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Has anyone here ever been to the Interlochen jazz camp before? I'm trying to find out how good it is. I know the camp, specifically the orchestra and theatre departments, have an incredible reputation. If my resources are correct, the jazz program is relatively new, created within the past 5-ish years, and I'm trying to find out whether it's like the orchestra and theater programs, where everyone goes and learns a ton and has the best time of their lives, or whether they just created another program trying to find ways to suck in people's money because the have a good reputation. What are peoples' opinions?
 

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The lead alto player in my daughters' HS Jazz band went there last summer. He had nothing bad to say about the experience. Even the food was half way decent!
If the program is at Interlochen you can count on it being top notch.
All of the instructors KNOW their stuff. It they didn't, they wouldn't have kids from around the world competing for a spot at a camp in a very small town in northern Michigan.
 

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i studied jazz there in 1983!!! great place...if you can play by the rules..... revellie at 6am.....then calisthenics on the tennis court...thats just for starters!!!!
 

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I am an academy graduate (2006). The jazz program has been completely revamped in the last 2 years, allowing one to have the opportunity to study in close proximity with masters of their own instrument. Bill Sears is a fantastic instructor. As well as that, if you attend on the week Rodney Whitaker is there (bass instructor and head of jazz at Michigan State University) your experience will be fantastic. I'm currently at MSU now and Professor Whitaker is an amazing instructor with a deep knowledge of jazz.
 

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My daughter had a bad experience at Interlochen last summer. It could have just been her particular circumstance--she was placed into the Intermediate camp due to her grade, instead of being placed according to her ability. Also, she had just attended the BUTI Tanglewood program, which turned out to be a far more advanced program. She was really bored by the wind ensemble at Interlochen and even by the jazz band where she played 1st alto. Relatively speaking though, the jazz band was better than either the band or the orchestra (where she played oboe), in terms of being more challenging as she was required to do a lot of improvising. What upset me was that the administrators did nothing about it, even after I wrote and called and talked to them, asking them to intervene and to place her elsewhere so she wouldn't be so miserable for 3 weeks.

I've since learned that the Interlochen summer program changed about 5-6 years ago when they fired many of their long-standing teachers. Of course, a one-week specialized workshop may be a completely different experience than the regular camp, and the high school camp is more advanced than the intermediate. And the instructors were all good. But my point is, if something goes wrong or you are placed in the wrong group, don't expect the administration to do anything for you. The instructors have no power to change your ensembles. Once they have your money, they're done. I have learned that I really need to ask a lot of questions before I send my daughter to a particular camp, and I will never rely on reputation again.
 

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You cant get placed in the high school program if you have already been placed in the intermediate program. Intermediate is for middle school aged children, and high school is obviously for high school aged student. First and foremost there is the pricing issue (most high school camps besides jazz are 6 weeks...intermediate is 3 weeks.) I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. But the rules and ages for each camp respectively is listed on the website before you apply. Don't knock the entire camp just because of your bad experience in the intermediate level. Nonetheless, I can say, the experience one will have at Interlochen is like no other.
 

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P.S. While I understand that the administrators may appear as incompetent (I say appear, because they aren't, I know them and they are all amazing people), honestly, do you expect them (in a camp that houses 1500 students) to completely botch the audition list for the high school campers in order to enroll your daughter into a higher level program. Regardless of your daughter's actual ability (i'm sure she's very talented, otherwise you probably wouldn't seem so disgruntled). I hope you can understand that administrators get emails like that from parents all the time (both from issues that are founded and unfounded), thus it can be very difficult for one to judge whether the student actually deserves to be placed higher or if his or her parents are simply angry.
 

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I clearly said that MY daughter had a bad experience, and explained why. A good summer music program, especially one that charges as much as Interlochen does, should pay more attention to placing students at appropriate levels. Otherwise, why send in audition CDs? When a student sends in a CD containing a well-played recording of a Mozart oboe concerto, or a well-played recording of the Glazenuv sax concerto, that student shouldn't be placed into a beginning-level (Grade 2) band--that's simply illogical. If administrators do not want to change their iron-clad system of placing students according to age, then they could easily have informed us that there was no place for my daughter this year, based on her ability, and to please apply when she is older and in high school. I'm not saying the administrators are incompetent--only that the ones I spoke with didn't care, just as long as they got the money.

Another thing my daughter didn't like--and it might not bother others at all--was the relative confinement of the campers. She was not allowed to roam around the campus without a buddy, or at all without her cabin on Sundays. While others might not mind this and may even need supervision, mine felt very stifled by these rules.

The OP asked for feedback on Interlochen. I've tried to provide the specific information I have so that others can make informed decisions. It might not be relevant at all to a different program. But it is the kind of information I wish I'd had last year when I was trying to decide where to send my daughter to summer music camp.
 

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I understand your take, however, as I understand, they have a ton of high school applicants every year. Personally I never attended the camp, as I attended the academy, but I worked at the camp for a number of summers as a part of a flagship ensemble that toured, so I am still familiar with it. Did your daughter specifically apply for the high school program? Because otherwise, they do try to keep people together in accordance with age group, this has a lot to do with the social context of the camp. I apologize for your daughters issues with the rules of supervision and such, however it is for the middle school aged students' safety. I also know that these rules are less strict for the high school campers. But there is still a rigid structure (even at the academy). And to be honest, though the students (including myself at times) may have issues with this, the camp has certain liability for 1500 students, and 500 academy students at a given time. With this in mind, a little bit of slack should be given, in my opinion.

It is extremely difficult to cater to the one individual student who is more talented than the rest of the intermediates (when there are many talented high schoolers already there) and just throw them into the high school camp after the the student is already on campus. I know it sounds cold, but there would be a whole slew of issues that would come out of revamping and reassessing this sort of situation. It has nothing to do with your daughters talent, but merely what camp she ended up attending (intermediate level). One cannot jump from the intermediate to high school level once already on the campus...unfortunately, this is an issue that probably could have only been solved by calling before attending or accepting the offer. I am sorry for this poor experience, it must have been troubling for both you and your daughter.

As well as that, just because one student may be more mature and in need of less stifling boundaries, a majority of the students do need this kind of supervision. They have to keep the students safe. Once again, I am not trying to attack you, I am just playing devils advocate and adding another perspective to your issue. Nonetheless, I am sorry that you had the experience you had. I hope your daughter would consider the high school program, as it is indeed invigorating, and an amazing experience.

Also, trust me, though there are many students on campus at a time, the instructors at interlochen DO take great care in who they place at what level, however, like I said, they do have their age restrictions based on camp. Once again, sorry for the bad experience. But there is a vast difference between the intermediate level and the high school level, however they both have their benefits.

However, OP is about the high school jazz camp, which is again an amazing new program, with a great faculty. While I respect and love the jazz program as it used to be, I am fully behind the new format that they have had since last summer. It seems to be extremely stimulating, and one should be able to get a lot out of it.
 

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...hey...like I said theyve got mega rules i know guys that were kicked out IMMEDIATELY for smoking a cigarette

...but then again those were the good old days when getting accepted MEANT SOMETHING in all my schoologrophy I was always PROUD to be there

and your fellow classmates INSPIRED you!!!! that was the good old days
 
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