JazzFest Jazz Camp

Augustana University and the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society are pleased to announce the sixth annual JazzFest Jazz Camp, scheduled for July 12-16, 2016.

Campers arrive for registration and an evening jazz concert at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, and the camp concludes at JazzFest at Yankton Trail Park on Saturday, July 16.

The camp was developed by Augustana professor Dr. Paul Schilf and Rob Joyce, executive director of Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues. Approximately 50 7th- through 12th-grade campers will enjoy courses in Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Theory, History of Jazz, Combo Rehearsals, Big Band Rehearsal, Lessons, Concerts, Master Classes, and evening concerts with faculty, guests and students. The highlight of the camp is the opportunity to perform on the Main Stage at JazzFest, the largest annual summer event in the Sioux Empire.

Perform at JazzFest!

The top band will perform on the Main Stage at JazzFest 2016! JazzFest is the biggest jazz and blues festival in the upper Midwest — featuring performances by Gary Clark Jr., Gov't Mule, Sheryl Crow, Joe Walsh, the Neville Brothers, Little Feat, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bettye LaVette, Tower of Power, Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples and many more!

All campers will attend the Friday night JazzFest pizza party, backstage VIP pass visit, and other fun activities during the week. In addition, they will have the opportunity to purchase group photos and a DVD of the JazzFest performance will be available a week following, courtesy of South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Attention Singers: NEW

This year, a new vocal component has been added to JazzFest Jazz Camp! Vocalists will learn to sing with an ensemble, combo and develop “jazz” singing skills. Special lessons will be available such as style, interpretation, vocal technique, introduction to music theory, scat singing and more. Plus, top vocalists will be featured with the jazz combos at JazzFest!

Space is limited for vocalists! Vocal applicants will have to audition before final acceptance.

Audition Criteria:

  1. A standard jazz tune (Fly Me to the Moon, Stormy Weather, etc.); please bring a copy of the sheet music for the accompanist
  2. Auditionees will be required to perform range and tonal memory tests
  3. Auditions may be done:
  • In person on the campus of Augustana University with Dr. Russell Svenningsen
  • By submitting a private YouTube
  • Audition via Skype
  1. To set up your audition, contact us at: info@sfjb.org

Featured Clinicians for the 2016 Camp:

Jazz Camp’s guest artist is talented saxophone player Mark Colby, who has had opportunity to play shows with popular acts, including Tony Bennett, Sonny and Cher, Ann-Margret and Sammy Davis, Jr., with seasoned musicians. He has played and in some cases toured with such varied luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Jaco Pastorius, Mose Allison, Joe Williams and Charlie Haden. Currently he is performing as a guest soloist and clinician at middle schools, high schools and colleges throughout the United States and Europe.In addition, the camp will feature:

  • Dr. Paul Schilf, Director of Bands at Augustana University, Camp Director, Brass and grades 9-12 jazz band ensembles.
  • Jim McKinney, Former Director of Bands at South Dakota State University. Rhythm and grades 6-8 jazz band ensembles.
  • Joel Shotwell, Woodwinds.
  • Dr. Russell Svenningsen, Assistant Professor of Music at Augustana University and will be leading the NEW vocal component of Jazz Camp.
  • Augustana Band Students will serve as camp counselors.


All incoming 7th- through completed 12th-grade musicians may apply for submission.


Some financial assistance may be available to campers. Complete this scholarship application form.


To register, fill out the application form, along with a recommendation by your school band director, the tuition (which includes a $35 non-refundable deposit to be applied to your camp tuition) or contact our office for a mailed application. ALL campers will be required to perform a live audition prior to the first camp big band rehearsal to place each student in the correct ensemble based on their current skill level.

Full payment for tuition is due by Monday, June 20.

Cancellations made by June 20 will be refunded minus the $35 deposit and any credit card fees.

Upon receiving your application and tuition, Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues will send a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of application. Application and enrollment implies agreement to abide by all JazzFest Jazz Camp and Augustana University rules and regulations.


Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Theory, History of Jazz, Combo Rehearsal, Big Band Rehearsal, Lessons, Concerts, Master Classes, and evening concerts with faculty, guests and students.

Finale performance will take place on the Main Stage at JazzFest 2016 – Saturday, July 16, for the top select big band! Campers will also get a backstage visit with JazzFest artists and will be featured on South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s “Best of JazzFest” TV show.


All resident campers will receive breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sheets and towels in the dormitories will be provided. Doors will be locked at 9 p.m., for your safety.


  • Commuter: $324
  • Resident Camper: $377

Tuition includes a camp t-shirt, lunch and dinner, some fun evening activities, plus a JazzFest pizza party!
Full payment for tuition is due by Saturday, June 20.

*A commuter is a camper who is not sleeping on campus and does not eat breakfast.

+ includes tax and a 3% fee for all credit card transactions


You may call the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues office at 605.335.6101 for more information.


All classes, lessons, and rehearsals will be held in the Humanities Building on the campus of Augustana University. Students will be housed in air-conditioned dormitories located on the Augustana campus. Meals will be served in the dining hall at the Morrison Commons.

The Elmen Center may be used for recreational activities during your visit to campus. The Elmen Center houses a full-size indoor swimming pool, racquetball and volleyball courts, and several basketball courts. Several outdoor tennis courts can be found immediately south of the Humanities Building.


  • A camera to snap photos!
  • An alarm clock so you’re not late to rehearsal
  • $25 cash to cover bowling, snacks, etc.
  • Cool, casual clothing.
  • Swimsuits, towels and flip flops.


Augustana University, CorTrust Bank, K & M Music, Dakota Riggers & Tool Supply, Inc., Sammons Financial Group, South Dakota Arts Council, Vern Eide Motorcars, and Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues.


Apllication deadline was June 20.

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