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The Frank Mantooth
Jazz Festival
at New Trier High School


Q.  I understand this is a paperless festival with everything coming via email or through the festival website. I don't have email or the Internet at home or school. How can my band participate?    

We had such a school last year with this problem last year when we went paperless.. The solution was for the director to designate a student who did have email and internet access to be the director's representative. It is important to keep an eye on the web page and check for festival emails at least once a week in the early stages, and daily in the last few weeks. A student will feel quite empowered and important to keep you informed.

Directors will have access to a webpage updated everyday called "DIRECTOR CORRESPONDENCE." On this webpage you can see if you have paid for things, how many item you have ordered.  We just don't take time anymore to do mailings. Also, emails receive answers much faster than leaving a voicemail.

Q. I want to bring non-performers (another band) from my school for the evening concert. Is this possible?

As long as tickets last you can order non-performer tickets for $25. Tickets for performers and chaperones are only $15 each if ordered on the application form. You may NOT raise your ticket request order, only lower it.

Q. I want to bring my band for the daytime clinics and evening concert, but do not want to perform. Is there a way to do this?

Yes. You may purchase a block of reserved seats for the evening concert for $25 each as long as they last. (2 tickets are complimentary) You may attend the daytime events for free... just let me know you are coming for the day.

When does the evening concert end?

While they may not always listen, we have in our contract with the guest artists that they should play absolutely no longer than 10:00 p.m.  If you have parents that want to know when to pick up their kids at school, tell them to watch the concert on INTERNET live. They can then judge about when you might be arriving back at your school.

Q. Where do we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Breakfast and lunch is available at the high school and is not your typical "jazz fest meal." Our school's Fine Arts Association takes great pride in the meals they prepare for students at our festival. We encourage you to have your band eat lunch at the festival because the profits from the cafeteria is used to offset the losses from charging such a small  registration fee for schools.

The parent group also makes a wonderful and FREE lunch available for the directors. We believe we have the very best food of any jazz festival anywhere!

Dinner is available in the area, but not at school. We will provide a list and map of places to eat. Some require a reservation for large groups, others are typical fast food places. Your dinner break starts at 5:00 p.m., and you must be in your reserved seats for the evening concert by 7:20 p.m. Therefore, dinner is not a relaxing experience.

  Our group just isn't that great and I don't want them to be embarrassed. Is this a competition?

This is the perfect festival for you. We do everything possible to take away the overwhelming negative experiences that competitive festivals always create for students. There are no scores or comparisons between bands. Since there are no losers, everyone is a winner. Our goal is to provide the best possible first jazz festival experience for younger, less experience bands AND DIRECTORS. This is not a festival for bands that compete regularly.

The festival awards are for individuals, not bands. The clinicians can each recognize any number of truly outstanding musicians that they hear during the day. High school students can receive t-shirts signed by the professional musicians that perform in the evening concert. Junior high players can receive a play-a-long CD (awarded right when the band finishes performing) that Jamie Aebersold donates to our festival.


Q. How are clinicians selected?

We avoid hiring clinicians who are not successful jazz teachers. To just be a great jazz player does not guarantee that the clinician can get in front of less experience groups and say things that are positive and helpful.  A webpage with clinician bios is linked from the left margin of this page.


Q. What is the best way to prepare my band for this festival and get the best experience?

A.  Just a few suggestions...

1. Plan to stay for the evening concert. This is the only festival that, year after year, students will hear everything from junior high players, to high school, to college, and finally to professionals. Groups that stay to hear the pro groups get the most out of the day. 

2. Tell your students to expect to be exhausted by the end of the day and pace themselves.

3. REQUIRE your students to attend the special interest sessions during the afternoon.

4. Tell your students to not just watch a band play... but follow that band to the clinic room to see what a clinician will say to make their future performances better.

5. Tell your students to not park themselves in the cafeteria all day. Sure they will need time to get away from all the music, but they also need to take this opportunity to hear how others their age play.

6. Tell them to participate in the Sight Reading Band.

7. Remind them that during the evening concert they are part of a very large audience. Most everyone on the main floor are adults who paid more for their seats than did the participating bands.

8. Printout and distribute in advance the bios of the clinicians (linked from the left margin) who will be working with your band. It will help your students better understand their backgrounds and experiences.

9. Carefully read the festival "rules" (linked from the left margin) so you don't forget to do something, or plan a program that is too long.


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New Trier High School - 385 Winnetka Ave. - Winnetka, IL  60093
(847) 784-6701 -  FAX: (847) 501-6400

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New Trier Jazz Studies is an aspect of the New Trier Music Department.
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