My daughter said all the teachers are amazing, super supportive of students learning jazz for the first time.
~ Jazz Camp parent

Middle School Instrumentalists

  • Audition required; in-person or online
  • Concurrent enrollment in school music program required
We’re looking for trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, drums, and vibes; flute possible

Ten weekday evenings from 6:45 – 8:45 p.m., plus at least one performance.

To sign up for an audition, register using your existing SJW account or create one if you’re new to SJW. We’ll contact you to schedule an audition.


February 5 — May 7, 2018

Performance in May

Directed by Dave Gregoric

Rehearsal location at Mills High School
400 Murchison Dr, Millbrae, CA 94030


February 7 — May 9, 2018

Performance in May

Directed by Dr. David Hart

Rehearsal location at Woodside High School
199 Churchill Ave, Woodside, CA 94062


February 6 — May 8, 2018

Performance in May

Directed by Kristen Strom

Rehearsal location at The Harker School
 3800 Blackford Ave, San Jose, CA 95117

Program Focus

  • Weekly big band rehearsals, with regular improvisation instruction
  • Directed by top jazz educators
  • Weekly master classes with SJW instrumental faculty
  • Each student must purchase a copy of Make Music SmartMusic to allow for individualized practice and weekly instruction.
  • Weekly progress assessments
  • Showcase performances in May

he SJW Giant Steps Big Band program offers 10 weekly rehearsals with jazz instruction in a fun, exciting big band setting. Open by audition only, the Giant Steps Big Band gives middle school musicians a solid foundation in improvisation, practice discipline, and the performance of jazz styles and articulations. Following the 10-week program, the Giant Steps Band shows the world how much fun it is to play jazz with a public performance.

Taught by leading jazz educators who specialize in middle school curriculum and pedagogy, the Giant Steps Big Band offers more than just a weekly rehearsal. Each meeting also includes a master class with experts on each instrument. Additionally, SJW faculty work with each Giant Steps band member during the week via SmartMusic, a software practice and evaluation tool.

The result is that Giant Steps Big Band members learn and progress at an accelerated rate, and they sound much more advanced than their middle school grade level would indicate. Students who have participated in the Giant Steps Big Band report that they get placed in more advanced ensembles when they audition for their high school band programs.

Additional performance opportunities may occur. Last year, all of the Giant Steps Big Bands were able to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Festival.