Registration Forms and Procedures


MGSA Extension Div. Summer Jazz Institute 7-29-11








For any questions regarding the application procedure, administrative matters, or dorm/student life matters, please contact the Extension Division

For any questions regarding music auditions, music curriculum, or other directly related music items, please contact Musical Assistant Director Marc Stasio.

Latest Camp-week itinerary can be found, here.


The following is to be completed in advance of camp week:

1. Submit a Participant Questionnaire
2. Submit a Video Audition, as may be required
3. While waiting on notification of acceptance, apply for financing options through the Rutgers Federal Credit Union.
4. Once you receive email notification of camp acceptance, register online for the Rutgers Summer Jazz Intensive.

5. Complete required medical forms and return via Certified Mail. Please make sure to include the name of the summer camp and the session they are attending on the envelope.

Students who have not submitted required health forms by June 29, 2017 will not be allowed to participate in RSJI. It is not permissible to bring medical forms at the start of the camp week. They must be received in advance. If need be, please contact the Extension Division office to discuss deadline requirements, or other medical concerns – 848-932-8618.

NOTE: students may purchase health insurance from Rutgers University Risk Management at the time of registration. Cost is $70/week. Please email Ms. Dana Wilson, ( to inform her if you plan to purchase health insurance.


To begin, all applicants must first fill out a Participant Questionnaire each year, and submit an Audition Video as may be required before actually registering for the Rutgers Summer Jazz Institute. The Questionnaire is below.

Also see Video Auditions for New Applicants page.


The following takes place AT THE START OF camp week, once acceptance is confirmed and camp registration is complete:

Live placement auditions take place on Sunday, the first day of camp directly after a Student Orientation at 3:30pm, that day. All campers, except for Middle School aged students, complete this audition each time they attend camp, which is used to determine their current level and rank to facilitate placements into ensembles and programs for the camp week. Middle School students interested in more advanced placement are welcome to audition, as well. Honors placement is also considered at this time.

This audition is not to be confused with Video Auditions for New Applicants, which are submitted in advance of camp week only by those new to the program as part of the registration process.

The camp accommodates beginning and experienced students alike. Students less experienced with sight reading or jazz improvisation, or any other aspect listed should not be anxious about these requirements as the camp caters to all levels. Beginning students should simply demonstrate any of the following criteria to the best of their ability. If helpful, students may also re-use the video audition tune selections for their live placement audition, if they feel more comfortable with that.

Advanced Placement
While no one should fret their live audition as stated above, it is likewise important to point out, particularly by those seeking top placement in ensembles, that their performance at live auditions weighs heavily on top placement decisions made by the jazz faculty. Top placements will go only to students demonstrating highest achievement.

Live Audition Criteria
Live auditions focus on four main elements: Sight Reading, Improvisation, Overall Musicianship, and Performance of a Standard Tune:

  1. Sight Reading – age/level appropriate music will be placed in front of students to sight read. Sight reading is the ability to perform unfamiliar music that has not been rehearsed by simply reading it for the first time.
  2. Improvisation – students will be asked to demonstrate jazz improvisational abilities over basic tune structures, such as Blues changes, or Rhythm changes, or other chord progressions a student might be comfortable with. Drummers will be asked to interchange time feels with solos as requested: i.e. four bars time, four bars solo. Eight bars time, eight bars solo, etc. Refer also to item #4 below for Drummers. Please note that the summer jazz camp caters to beginning and experienced improvisers, alike. Any demonstrated level of improvisation is acceptable, including no ability or experience.
  3. Overall Musicianship – instructors will evaluate each students’ overall ability on an individual basis and take into consideration areas each may excel in more than others. Placement and rankings, therefore, may be influenced by these observations and the jazz faculty reserves the right to place and rank students as they deem best.
  4. Performance of a Standard Tune
    Students are asked to prepare a jazz standard tune of their choice, of which they can perform as a solo at the audition. This can be the melody (head) only, or with improvisation over the form, as is possible. It is suggested that students consult with their private instructor/band director for advice on a tune selection and how to prepare, as follows:
  • Piano and Guitar students should play both the tune melody and chords in a solo style, as well as improvisation over the form as may be possible. Also, pianist and guitarists may demonstrate chord comping abilities over an additional chorus, as would be done within a rhythm section context.
  • Wind instrument players should prepare the tune melody and improvisation, as possible, in a solo style.
  • Drummers should instead (in place of a standard tune selection) prepare to demonstrate basic time feels: Swing in 4/4, and 3/4 (slow, medium, and up-tempo, with sticks and brushes), Bossa Nova, Samba, and Shuffle.

How to Prepare for Live Auditions
Students may use the above criteria as a guide to determine how to prepare for the placement auditions. Accompaniment is not typically provided for these auditions, so students should prepare to perform solo. In some cases, any given instructor running the audition may be able to provide accompaniment in some form, but this is not guaranteed. It is to the students’ advantage, both for the camp and beyond, to practice and sharpen their sight reading and jazz improvisation abilities. Again, it is best to ask your private instructor/band director for advice and instruction on how to work on these skills.


Consideration for Honors placement is also handled during live placement auditions on Sunday, the first day of camp, in similar manner to the above and is an optional component that students may elect to audition for. Picks are based on (1) demonstration of advanced audition criteria shown below, (2) final ranking results, and (3) overall determined ability as observed by the jazz faculty who reserve the right to consider honors placement as they deem best.

Students are to indicate upon entering their live audition that they’d like to be considered for honors placement. Please also note that those placed into the honors program can expect to perform during the Wednesday evening Faculty Concert during camp week, and are asked to make every effort to keep that time available to do so.

The Honors audition requirements are essentially an expansion of those previously outlined, with more challenging sight-reading material presented and a higher level of improvisation and performance ability expected.

It is important that campers make it clear that they wish to be considered for Honors placement when they enter their live audition.

Honors Audition Criteria

The following honors requirements are only for students that elect to audition for honors placement. They would, therefore, be in place of the live audition criteria previously mentioned, above:

Wind Instruments, Piano, Guitar, and Bass (including Pitched Percussion)

  1. Sight Reading of materials presented
  2. Improvisation over Standard Tune: Tunes choices to solo on will be presented at the audition. Students may read chord changes off of printed lead sheets, provided.
  3. Play the head to “Evidence” (by Thelonious Monk) against metronome click, quarter=250bpm or faster. Just the Tune-head only, no soloing.

The same students will also be asked to perform one or more of the following, which are to be memorized:

  • Scales:
    • Major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales, two octaves as possible in keys C, G, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab, minimum.
    • Basic Blues Scales in keys C, G, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab, minimum.
    • Scale-Modes: Diatonic major Scale-Modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian), two octaves as possible in keys C, G, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab, minimum.
  • Arpeggios: Major triad, minor triad, major-7th, dominant-7th, and minor-7th arpeggios, two octaves as possible in keys C, G, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab, minimum.

Note: Keys for Major and Minor scales and arpeggios are denoted literally (not as relative-minors). For instance, for the key of F, requirements would be interpreted as F-major and F-minor, as specified. Major Scale-Modes, however, ARE relative – i.e. in key of G, derived Dorian mode would be an A-Dorian scale (not a G-Dorian), etc.

Drums (in place of all items above)

  • Perform the following time feels:
    • Swing in 4/4, 3/4, 5/4, and 7/8 (slow, medium, and up-tempo with sticks and brushes)
    • Afro-Cuban 6/8
    • Bossa Nova
    • Samba
  • Interchange time feels with solos as requested: i.e. four bars time, four bars solo. Eight bars time, eight bars solo, etc.
  • Sight read charts and/or lead sheets, outline melodic content and hits while keeping time.
  • Sight read rudiment exercise(s).

A Note Regarding Advanced Placement Decisions
For some students, participation in the jazz camp may be an adjustment from what they’re used to within their native school experiences. Each students’ standing and rank in their own school programs can often be based on very subjective criteria that may or may not transfer directly to the RSJI camp, as they might expect. For instance, some students may have participated in and received awards for “All-State”, and other high-level programs, which certainly provide for many accolades and advance achievement. It is possible, though, that these same students might not satisfy all RSJI Honors audition requirements, and expectations of acceptance into higher-ranking camp ensembles may not be realized. This can be met by some campers with great surprise and disappointment.

It must be stressed that all camp participants equally undergo placement auditions at the start of camp to determine their current level and ranking. While previous achievements and status may be taken into account, the students’ currently demonstrated ability takes precedence. It is also important to understand and respect that camp auditions are conducted by seasoned collegiate jazz educators who hold each students’ best interest in mind, and who are intent on ranking them appropriately based on their expert observation. These decisions are meant to build up each student, to grow and advance in the best possible way. Camp students, therefore, are simply asked to approach auditions and placement decisions in an honest, open-minded manner, void of pre-conceived notions and expectation. Doing so will allow the camp program to address their individual strengths and weaknesses and promote the highest degree of learning.


  • Students ages 14-18 have the option of commuting or residing on campus.
  • Students ages 11-13 must commute to campus.
  • Registration opens on October 15th of the previous year of camp
  • Registration deadline is June 29th of the camp year
  • Residential Rate: $950 (includes room, board, meals, and activities)
  • Commuter Rate: $725 (includes lunch only)



A very limited number of scholarships are available. These are awarded on basis of demonstrated financial need and artistic merit. Students wishing to be considered for a scholarship must submit a completed  Financial Aid Application form, and must submit an audition video featuring the repertoire as described in the Audition Information section of this website.

All scholarship applicants – including returning students – must submit an audition video featuring the repertoire as described in the Audition Information section.  The video must clearly demonstrate the applicant’s current level of performance. A letter of support from the applicant’s band director (though not required) will be considered in making scholarship determinations as well.

The Rutgers Federal Credit Union has financing options available for continuing education and summer programs! If financing or cost is an issue, we urge you to fill out the Rutgers Federal Credit Union Continuing Education Loan application. Click on the logo below to go to the Rutgers Federal Credit Union website for more information!
Financing is available in the form of personal loans up to $10,000 from the Rutgers Federal Credit Union. Click here for more information. Click here to apply for a loan.


For any questions regarding registration, please read our summer program policies page here.