Sally Rodgers, our Administrative Director, will be emailing you the specific schedule and details. In the meantime, here are a few general descriptors.
There are 2 main components of the program:
1. You will be assigned to a big band, which rehearses twice each day in preparation for the Friday night concert / dance. The charts are typical “big band charts,” in that there is a great deal of ensemble playing and an occasional solo. If a solo lands on your part, you have the option of playing it or giving it away (trading parts with someone else).
2. The 3 improv combos meet after breakfast Monday through Thursday. These are smaller, informal groups working on various standard songs through the use of simple “lead sheets” (single page charts with just the basic melody and chords). We also address other issues related to ear training, improvisation, and the interactions encountered in a small combo.
While the combo sessions are optional, we do encourage everyone to choose 1 of the 3 groups and attend throughout the week. The fellowship is great, some of the jokes are OK, and new insights are often gleaned from the experience. For those uncomfortable with improvisation, it is optional. One trombonist participated in my group for several years, though he never took a solo, which was OK. He seemed to greatly enjoy the group.
BTW, my primary profession is as a teacher of ear training and improvisation, and many of my best students have been trombonists.