2023 Jazz Fest at the Nest
Jazz Fest at the Nest

Jazz Fest at the Nest

On May 6, 2023, we will host the second ever “Jazz Fest at the Nest” at our beautiful campus and first-class College of the Arts facilities from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (registration at 8:00 a.m.). We are very excited for another opportunity to make jazz education fun, easy, cost effective, and mutually beneficial for your students and your music program.

You, as the music educator, will be able to nominate students you feel would benefit from, and contribute to this event. Students will be sorted into jazz groups by our team based on experience, skill level, and director recommendation.  What types of groups? We will offer big band ensembles and (limited) jazz combo groups.

Our 2nd annual festival will be only on Saturday, and will culminate in a final concert featuring the student ensembles and the Kennesaw State University Jazz Faculty Parliament (faculty performing ensemble).

Open to high-school aged students only.

IMPORTANT! Parents: please complete the Minors Protection Paperwork here in order for your child to participate in Jazz Fest at the Nest. All paperwork must be submitted by Monday, May 1, 2023. 

Minors Protection Paperwork (DocuSign)

    • Immersion into a collaborative learning domain with the opportunity to be successful.
    • Master-classes by our world-renowned Kennesaw State University jazz faculty members.
    • Instruction in idiomatic style, jazz improvisation, and active listening.
    • A relaxed, fun environment focused on learning and performing this uniquely American art form. 
  • Nominate students to audition for the following groups:

    • two 21-piece Big Bands,
    • one 10-piece little Big Band,
    • three 9-piece combos

    A limited number of vocalists will be accepted due to space and equipment demands.

  • We are beyond excited to welcome you to the 1st Annual Jazz Fest at the Nest (get it – we’re Owls?) Below, you will see many downloadable parts. Here are the general guidelines for you.

    1.  Download the appropriate part for you, below. 

    1. If you are auditioning for lead trumpet, or bass trombone, there are specific audition materials for those instruments.
    2. All parts (except Guitar) are designed to go with this MIDI file online (mp3).
    3. Guitar part is from a different song, and you may listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5K6JZfuAjg
    4. Those wishing to improvise should provide 2 choruses of blues, in the key of your choice. For that, we would like to hear the background track.
    5. Here is one example of a backing track that you might use (if improvising in F concert). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg-Ea7aCb1E&t=72s

    2.   On all of the parts, you will see instructions about the part(s) to be performed.  

    3.   All auditions MUST be video to be considered.  Audio only auditions will NOT be accepted.

    4.   You should perform the excerpt without any background (MIDI file or YouTube video).

    5.   Once completed, come back here and click “Upload my audition video” and follow the instructions. This will take you to a WuFoo form where you can give us your information and a link to your video audition. 

    6.  You will be notified via email about your acceptance status.  Your possible results would be “Accepted,” “Try again next year,” or “Alternate player.”  The alternate player is someone who would attend if someone got sick, or was unable to make it.

    7.  In the email, there will be a link to make your payment online.  Payments must be received no later than April 30 in order to secure your spot.  After that date, alternates will be contacted.

    8.  On the day of the festival, your directors will listen to you throughout the day, and will meet to discuss who will be invited to perform with the KSU Faculty Jazz Group that afternoon.  

    9.  Everyone will perform in concert on that same day, in late afternoon (schedule is still being put together).

    10.  If you have ANY questions, please email: jazz@kennesaw.edu

    So excited to meet you!

    Tyrone Jackson, Festival Coordinator

    Rob Opitz, Festival Assistant Coordinator

    Audition Parts

  • Ready, set, GO! Submit your video audition below! Questions? Please email jazz@kennesaw.edu


    And remember to fill out the Minors Protection Paperwork by Monday, May 1! 

    Minors Protection Paperwork
    8:00 -– 9:00 a.m.9:00 – 9:15 a.m. REGISTRATION
    Faculty Parliament is introduced and performs 1 or 2 songs.
    9:20 – 11:30 a.m. Big Band 1
    Big Band 2
    COMBO 3
    COMBO 3
    COMBO 5
    COMBO 6 or little Big Band
    11:35 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
    1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Saxophone Clinic
    Saxophone Clinic
    Rhythm Section Clinic
    Marc, Justin
    Vocal Clinic
    Karla, Tyrone
    Guitar Clinic
    (could meet in Trey’s office)
    2:05 – 4:30 p.m. Big Band 1 Rehearsal
    Big Band 2
    COMBO 3    Rehearsal
    COMBO 4 Rehearsal Justin COMBO 5 Rehearsal    Marc COMBO 5 Rehearsal   Marc
    5:00 p.m. Adjudicated (Awards) Concert 
    6:30 p.m.  Dinner/Debriefing for Clinicians
    • Sam Skelton - Big Band 1
    • Rob Opitz (asst. coordinator) - Big Band 2/Assistant Coordinator
    • Trey Wright - Combo 1
    • Justin Chesarek - Combo 2
    • Marc Miller - Combo 3
    • Wes Funderburk - Little Big Band or Combo 4
    • Karla Harris - Clinician for Master Class
    • Luke Weathington - Additional Clinician 
    • Tyrone Jackson - Coordinator/Administrative/ Clinician
    • Tyrone Jackson - Coordinator, Piano clinician
    • Rob Opitz - Assistant coordinator, Trumpet clinician
    • Sam Skelton, Luke Weathington - Saxophone clinicians
    • Wes Funderburk - Trombone clinician
    • Justin Chesarek - Drum Set clinician
    • Trey Wright - Guitar clinician
    • Marc Miller - Bass clinician
    • Karla Harris - Vocal jazz clinician
  • For more information, please contact: jazz@kennesaw.edu