Who We Are
Durham Jazz is a community youth music program and registered charity based in the Durham Region just east of Toronto, Canada.
The program provides training and experience in jazz ensemble performance on all instruments, including voice, at every level from beginner to pre-university.
Since its inception in 2009, Durham Jazz has performed to great acclaim across North America and Europe, including earning multiple Gold levels at MusicFest Nationals.
Durham Jazz is directed by a volunteer team of Durham music teachers, with support from music professionals from the Greater Toronto Area.
The program is open to all middle and high school students in the Durham Region and nearby.
What We Value
We aim to:
- Provide a challenging and rewarding music education experience for all members
- Help students progress in their musical journey, including preparing for auditions into secondary and tertiary music programs
- Support local school music programs and promote jazz education in the wider community
- Have fun making great music together in a collaborative, family environment!
How it Works
Auditions – Students audition in late September for a place in the program. See the Auditions page [insert link] for more information.
Rehearsals – We rehearse on Thursday evenings, October to May. Rehearsals are 1-2 hours long.
Retreat – Our 3-day Retreat is an opportunity for intense rehearsal, focused learning, and active team-building. Due to the Covid pandemic, the 2021 Retreat may be rescheduled or held in a different format.
Performances – Ensembles perform at concerts, festivals, and community events throughout the year. Our annual 5-day trip gives members the opportunity to work with internationally-renowned jazz educators and performers from North America and Europe. Due to the Covid pandemic, a 5-day trip is currently not scheduled for the 2021-2022 season.
Fees – Our annual fee of $500 covers the cost of all instruction, music, uniform, and the 3-day Retreat. Limited scholarships are available for trips. It is the firm policy of the directors that Durham Jazz membership is open to all eligible students, regardless of financial constraints.
To ensure the safety of students, staff, and members of the public, all Durham Jazz activities are conducted following Provincial and Regional Health Department guidelines. While current restrictions permit in-person rehearsal and performance, the program has the capacity to pivot to alternate learning models as needed.
Musical Opportunities Available for the 2021-2022 season:
While we are preparing to offer a variety of ensembles this season, we will always take under advisement the suggestions from the Public Health Organizations in Canada, Ontario and Durham Region in regards to COVID-19 protocols. For more information see the audition pages.
- Durham Jazz Beginner Program (Learn to Play) (Grade 6-9)
- Durham Jazz Junior (up to grade 9)
- Durham Jazz Intermediate (grades 8, 9 & 10 with some exceptions)
- Durham Jazz Senior (grades 11&12 with some exceptions)