“Jazz in the Bighorns” Workshop

The SC Jazz Studies program has enjoyed a great deal of growth in the last two years.  In order to build upon this momentum, Sheridan College Director of Bands and Jazz studies Dr. Eric Richards developed a workshop “Sheridan College JAZZ IN THE BIGHORNS”, using the Spear-O Wigwam mountain campus to offer a five-day summer residential jazz camp for high school juniors, seniors, and music educators. Sheridan College Foundation donors helped fund the workshop with an Opportunity Grant.

A unique feature of the workshop was its location. The Spear-O Wigwam mountain campus, located 30 miles from Sheridan in the Big Horn Mountains, has no cellular reception and thus allows the attendees to completely focus on their music in a beautiful, natural setting. The workshop concluded with a concert on the final night demonstrating the performance skills that were developed.

The students all made tremendous strides in their understanding of jazz performance and repertoire. In addition, from a recruiting and promotional perspective, the camp was extremely effective since 45% of the attending students requested a tour of our excellent music facilities along with information on music scholarships.

A couple of quotes from students and faculty after the conclusion of the camp:

From a student attendee – “It was a very fun experience and I learned so much about jazz and the theory behind it. I hope that this camp continues in the coming years since it is great.”

 From a parent of a student attendee – “(Our student) enjoyed camp tremendously and we are looking forward to next year. We are also encouraging a couple of his out-of-state friends who he met at Berklee to join him.”

 From a faculty attendee – “Thank you for an excellent experience. The camp was designed really well.”

Dr. Richards was very pleased with the outcome and plans to make it an annual event.