2018 High School Jazz
Band Competition


The High School Jazz Music Competition will include 12 bands that are from schools located in the Mid-Atlantic States and beyond. This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to interact with their peers from other schools, have up close and personal access to professional regional and touring jazz musicians and engage in friendly competition. Read on for more information:

The MAJF High School Jazz Band Competition will include 12 high school jazz bands that are from schools located in the Mid-Atlantic States, including North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, D.C., West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and beyond. The competition will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 17th at the MAJF’s NEW Discovery Stage location. Each band will have a maximum of 25 minutes on stage to set-up, perform, break down and exit the stage. Bands must adhere to these timeframes. Band Directors may select compositions of their choice to perform however, the entire program must be Jazz orientated, (i.e. Swing Jazz, Bebop Jazz, Latin Jazz, or Funk Jazz) and at least 2 of the 3 selections must be of contrasting styles. The panel will include 3 judges and 2 clinicians. Immediately following each performance, one of the MAJF clinicians will conduct a private clinic to provide immediate feedback on the band’s performance.

At 4:15 p.m., three finalists will be named and will proceed back to the festival’s Discovery Stage location for a final playoff which will begin at 5:00 p.m. Each finalist will play two selections of their choice. The panel of judges for the final playoff will be augmented with one of the touring musicians that is performing at the MAJF.

At the end of the playoff, the first, second, and third-place trophies and cash awards will be awarded. Admittance to the competition will be on a first-paid first-served basis and will be determined by the postmark date.

Each band will be provided an individual that will serve as its MAJF liaison at the festival. The liaison will escort the band to the rehearsal space, to the stage area, and will be available to answer questions and assist with other needs and requirements. Each band will be provided access to a room to tune and warm up prior to its competition performance on the MAJF’s Atrium stage. The warm-up room will be equipped with a piano, and a full drum set. Bass and Guitar Amps are not provided. Each band will be allowed up to 30 minutes in the warm-up room just prior to its performance time. Approximately 15 minutes before a band’s scheduled performance time, the Band Director should send the band’s setup crew to the Atrium performance area. The only equipment available on stage will be a piano, a drum set without cymbals, chairs, stands and sufficient microphones. While backline will be provided, schools may choose to bring their own equipment. However, on-stage time will not be extended beyond 25 minutes. Schools must bring all of their own percussion equipment, including vibraphones. Approximately 10 minutes before the scheduled performance time, the rest of the band should move to the performance area. Each band will have a maximum of 25 minutes on stage to set-up, perform, break down and exit the stage.


Upon check-in for the competition, the Band Director shall provide the completed “Band Repertoire Form” that has been included in your registration package. The form should include the names of the soloists, so that each soloist can be considered for the outstanding soloist awards. The performance rules are as follows:

  • On-stage time may not exceed 25 minutes including set-up, performance, breakdown and exit;
  • The entire performance must be Jazz-oriented (i.e., Swing Jazz, Bebop Jazz, Latin Jazz, or Funk Jazz);
  • Two of the three selections must be of contrasting styles;
  • Directors are encouraged to vary the tempo of the selections and demonstrate the use of dynamics.




The Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival High School Band Competition will culminate with the presentation of the awards. The awards presentation will take place on the festival’s Main Stage. There are 3 band awards; 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and 3 individual awards that will be given to the outstanding soloists of the competition. Each band award recipient will receive a trophy and the following cash prize based upon placement:

1st Place/Grand Prize = $1,000

Each individual award recipient will receive a plaque and a scholarship valued at $595.00 to attend the Jazz Academy Summer JAM Camp which is our three week day camp on full scholarship or Lab which is a 1-week residency camp on partial scholarship. Students are taught jazz improvisation, history and are paired by skill level in combo groups to play and perform various compositions representing various periods of jazz music.



The early registration deadline is December 15, 2017 and the final registration deadline is January 15, 2018.

You may download the registration form by clicking here or by calling us at 301-871-8418. The form must be completed, signed, and dated by the school’s Band Director and Principal. (If you are unable to open the form, download Adobe Reader for free.)

The registration fee is $175.00 for registrations received on or before December 15, 2017 and $200.00 for registrations received between December 16, 2017 and January 15, 2018. Your registration fee must be included with the application. Checks should be made payable to: The Jazz Academy of Music, Inc. You may also pay by credit card by including the payment information on the application or by calling the Jazz Academy Offices at 301-871-8418 to pay by phone.

All MAJF free events are open to the students for participation. There are master classes, a “Kids JAM Session”, a late-night Jam session and many performances that are free and open to the public. Concerts held in the NEW Discovery Stage Ballroom require tickets. The Band Director will receive 1 complimentary all-access general seating pass for the entire event. Participating band students, and any chaperone for schools located out of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, who would like to have full access to all performances must pay an additional fee of $125 per student or chaperone for an all access economy seating pass covering the entire festival period.

Interested high school band directors should download and submit the form as soon as possible. You may contact us by calling 301-871-8418 or by e-mailing us at inquiry@midatlanticjazzfestival.org with any questions or to request hard copy registration materials.

NOTE: The Discovery Stage requires a Grounds Pass. Purchase your daily or weekend pass to real jazz all under one roof.

PURCHASE ADDITIONAL WRISTBANDS HERE! Each student that performs at the festival will receive a Grounds Pass from their Music Director.

PARENTS/FAMILY/FRIENDS OF BAND MEMBERS:The competition on Saturday is on the Discovery Stage which requires a Grounds Pass. The other 5 stages have an entry fee or require a ticket. The Discovery Stage and Billy Taylor Humanities Theater require a Grounds Pass wristband and the opened-aired Jazz Academy Atrium Stage is the only free stage. Students performing will receive a Grounds Pass wristband from their school director.

Click Here for 2018 High School Band Competition – Full Packet (PDF)

Click Here for 2018 Competition High School Band Application Only
Click Here for Band Competition Application and Repertoire Forms
Click Here for Sample Band Competition Adjudication Form