Q: Is there a deadline to attend the SC Jazz Camp?
A: There is no date deadline, except for the number of students per instrument that we are able to accept.
Q: What is the size of the bedding we should bring for the dorms?
A: Twin Long.
Q: Are there refrigerators in the dorm rooms?
A: No, but there is a fridge on each level in a common space area.
Q: How and when do you audition students for their combo placements?
A: Auditions occur on the first day of camp after registration (Sunday) beginning at 4PM. For trumpet, saxophone, trombone (and other winds) players, auditions will typically consist of sight-reading and improvising over a blues progression, such as those found on typical play-along CDs such as Jamey Aebersold. Rhythm sections players will be asked to demonstrate instrument-specific skills at the discretion of their camp instructor. We take great care in making the audition process as friendly and stress-free as possible.
Q: What is the breakdown between males and females attending the camp?
A: For those of you interested in the camp's gender demographics, 2015 had 27% female and 73% male attendance. 2016's camp had 28% female and 72% male attendance. 2017's camp is 31.2% female and 68.8% male.
Q: Are students allowed to have snacks and drinks in their dorm rooms?
A: Yes, kids are allowed to bring snacks and have them in the dorm rooms. However, they need to be tidy and not have food mess!
Q: Do parents typically stick around after registration on Sunday (for auditions, etc.)? Would you recommend one or the other in terms of helping a new camper settle in?
A: That is totally dependent on camper and parent comfort level. Most parents hang out through the registration process, and help the student get unpacked and settled in their dorm room. If there is time between that and the audition, some parents take their kid for a quick bite to eat, or to the Outside Scoop, which is a nearby and very good ice-cream shop. Generally, most parents leave by the time auditions begin, but are welcome to stay for as long as they'd like.
Q: Are cell phones and/or tablets allowed? Are they allowed to bring these so we could potentially be in touch with him via text in the evenings? Are tablets allowed to be played in free time?
A: Cell phones are totally allowed. There are no restrictions on this at all. We encourage communication between parents and students so both can feel at ease with how the week is going. No problem on bringing a tablet as well, though we do hope that students enjoy the full social aspect of camp, and don't sequester themselves in their dorm room.
Q: My son/daughter tends to need some prompting to get out of bed in the mornings. Do the counselors who are living in the dorms with the kids check in on them at all to make sure they get up for breakfast?
A: The camp counselors will indeed check that their assigned students are up and getting ready for their day. Students have to check in with their counselors at breakfast, and are looked for if they have not appeared by 8:30AM or so.
Q: Do I need to know how to improvise to attend jazz camp?
A: No! We teach you improvisation skills starting from whatever level you are at.
Q: Can I request a roommate?
A: Many students do this, and we certainly try our best to make this happen. Due to room sizes and availability it is not always possible, but it is more likely than not.
Q: What do I need to bring to camp?
A: Under the ATTEND JAZZ CAMP page on this website, the bottom sentence contains document. Many questions on what to bring to camp are answered here.
Q: Are there any scholarships for the camp?
A: There are three types of scholarships for the camp. The first is for previous years' campers who sign up for the next jazz camp before September 1st; they receive a matching $50 off of the tuition once their $50 deposit check is received.
The second is for students who attend our Simpson College Jazz Festival and are recognized with an Outstanding Soloist Award; this scholarship is worth $75 towards their jazz camp tuition. Students should encourage their band director to have their jazz ensemble sign up for the SC Jazz Festival!
Third: Some parents have multiple children that want to attend jazz camp. In this case, the camp will reduce each family's child's tuition by $25.
Unfortunately, other scholarships are not currently offered. However, please note that this camp is one of the most affordable in the midwest for a week's worth of tuition, housing and food.
Q: Where and when do we go for camp registration (and checkout)?
A: Registration on June 11th, 2017 begins at 2:00PM in the first floor lounge of the Barker Residence Hall. Click HERE for the campus map. Above is a highlighted picture that shows you where to go; click HERE for the full res picture.
Checkout begins at 2:45PM, on Friday, June 16, 2017 in the same place.
Q: Where do the students stay?
A: If students choose to stay on campus, they stay at the beautiful Barker Residence Hall of Simpson College. Males are on one floor, and females another. We have a strict policy of not going onto the other sex's floor. The camp also has between 8-10 counselors each year that makes sure that everyone is safe and healthy.
Q: What type of bed sheets should I bring to camp?
A: The beds in Barker dorms are all twin-long size. You should also bring a pillow. Another option is to bring a sleeping bag.
Q: My son/daughter has a prior commitment during the week. Can we pick him/her up for this?
A: As a policy, we do not allow students to leave campus. However, if it is an unavoidable conflict and the parents are in support, then the student is allowed to leave provided that they inform both the camp director (Dr. Camwell) and their counselor as to their leave and return times.
Q: Can parents come to the evening concerts?
A: Yes! All concerts are free and open to the public, and typically begin shortly after 7PM each night except for Wednesday, which is the social evening of the camp. Note that the Friday night concert begins at 6:15pm.
Q: Since my son/daughter isn't staying in the dorms during the week, what time should he/she arrive in the morning, and where should he/she go? Also what time will the practice portion of the day conclude?
A: When he/she checks in to registration, he/she will be given a schedule that will show all of those details. All the students' first activity after breakfast is theory at 9AM. The practice sessions will be done around 3:45PM and the students then have time off for fun outdoor activities (or to go home) until the nightly meeting at the Black Box Theatre at 7PM, followed immediately by the concert.
Q: Can parents take their students out to supper on the final day (Friday) of the camp before the final concert?
A: Yes. In fact, you should plan on that! Check out will begin at 2:45PM on the Friday, and students should plan on grabbing some food somewhere either in Indianola or Des Moines before the camp finale concert (mandatory, and the highlight of the week!) at the NOCE Jazz Club in Des Moines that begins at 4:30PM. FYI - there is not food (only drinks) at NOCE.
Q: I have just sent in my $50 deposit for the camp. When do I have to pay the balance?
A: You are free to pay the remaining balance anytime through the first day of the camp, June 11, 2015.
Q: Does my son/daughter need any extra spending money?
A: There are not many (if any) additional expenses, though some students do like to buy snacks etc. There are vending machines, though the Kent Campus center has many more and better choices than a vending machine. Some students like to go to the movies on our social night on the Wednesday evening of camp, so that would be a possible expense. A popular excursion is going to the Outside Scoop for a delicious ice-cream with a cost of around $5. I'd be surprised if he/she needed more than $20. The one caveat to that is this: some of the jazz camp faculty bring their own CDs for sale at the camp. Many students like to purchase these items directly from the jazz faculty member.
Q: Do all campers check in and complete registration on Sunday even though my son/daughter is not an overnighter?