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EIU Department of Music


EIU Virtual Jazz Band and Combo Clinic

We are excited to announce that the EIU Jazz Studies program will be coordinating the EIU Virtual Jazz Band and Combo Clinic. Joining us will be four of the nation’s finest jazz educators, who will review video recordings of junior and senior high school jazz bands and combos.  They will offer detailed comments and suggestions and select a few outstanding ensembles and individual performers for recognition.  We will create a highlight compilation of the selected ensembles and post it to Youtube with a premier date in early June.


The Clinicians:

World renowned jazz educator, Jamey Aebersold will provide comments for the combos.  Big bands will be reviewed by three clinicians with long proven success in the public schools, not only with jazz ensembles, but with all types of instrumental music.  Thomas Birkner, Janis Stockhouse, and Steve Sveum have long standing reputations as award winning educators who know how to help students achieve their best. For more information, please see their bios below.

How to Participate:

Any director of a middle school, junior high school, or high school jazz group may submit a video (or collection of videos) totalling up to 25 minutes in lenth for each group. This could be any rehearsal or performance from the 2020/2021 school year.  The videos may be submitted any time between now and June 1, 2021.

We want to keep the cost to participants down, but we must compensate our clinicians.  To defray some of that expense, the fee is $80 for big bands and $50 for combos due by June 1, 2021.



To register, please fill out the registration form found here.


For more information, please contact:

Sam Fagaly, D.A.
Professor of Saxophone
Director of Jazz Studies
Eastern Illinois University
(217) 581-6628 (office)
(217) 549-9646 (cell)


More About the Clinicians 

Combos:  Jamey Aebersold

AebersoldJamey Aebersold was born July 21, 1939, in New Albany, Indiana. He attended college at Indiana University and graduated in 1962 with a Masters Degree in Saxophone. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Indiana University in 1992. He also plays piano, bass and banjo.

In 1989, the International Association of Jazz Educators inducted Jamey into their Hall of Fame at the San Diego convention. With this award, Jamey joins other jazz luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and others.

Jamey is an internationally-known saxophonist and authority on jazz education and improvisation, and has developed a series of Jazz Play-A-Longs (book and cd sets (now numbering almost 130 volumes) as well as various other supplemental aids for the development of improvisational skills. The Aebersold book and recording sets allow a musician the opportunity to practice and improvise with well-known jazz personalities at home as well as in the classroom. The recordings employ some of the best jazz musicians in the world. This concept has been responsible for changing the practice habits of thousands of musicians around the world.

Jamey was one of the first to encourage small group classes which concentrate on jazz improvisation, and he is the director of the Summer Jazz Workshops which now have 40+ years on record. Jamey feels that improvisation is something all people can do—and his clinics and lectures concentrate on demonstrating how the creative and spontaneous nature of each person can be brought to light.

These week-long Summer Jazz Workshops are having a profound effect on musical communities around the world. The Workshops have traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark and Canada. Every summer there are at least two week-long Workshops in the U.S. These camps employ many of the finest player/teachers in jazz and are open to any serious jazz student regardless of ability or age.

In 2007, Jamey was awarded the Indiana Governor's Arts Award by Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana.  On October 4, 1987, CBS' "Sunday Morning" with Charles Kuralt and Billie Taylor featured Jamey with the Summer Jazz Workshops in an exciting jazz educational segment.

Jamey has taught at three colleges and universities in the Louisville, Kentucky area and has made guest appearances in dozens of cities around the world. While conducting a jazz clinic in Brazil he produced a 110-minute DVD/video appropriately titled "Anyone Can Improvise" which has become a best-seller.

Jamey's hobby is listening to jazz, especially new young players. He also enjoys playing basketball (he has hit 50 free throws in a row!) and is very much interested in Metaphysics and spiritual pursuits as they apply to the growth of the individual. In December 2004, the Jazz Midwest Clinic bestowed upon Jamey the "Medal of Honor" in Jazz Education.

In 2014, Jamey was awarded The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, the nation's highest honor in jazz. Jamey Aebersold is the recipient of the 2014 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy, which is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz.  Jamey has been a driving force in America's native art form, Jazz, and continues to kindle the fires of musical imagination in those with whom he comes in contact.


Big Bands:  Thomas Birkner, Janis Stockhouse, and Steve Sveum

BirknerDr. Thomas Birkner serves currently on the faculty of Southwestern Illinois College where he teaches Music Appreciation, World Music, Jazz Improvisation, Applied Trumpet, and leads the SWIC Jazz Band.  Formerly, Director of Instrumental Music at Belleville West High School, his students and ensembles recognized through performances in Ontario, Canada, Germany, and the White House in Washington, D. C.  Prior teaching assignments include the University of Illinois, Parkland College, and Terre Haute South High School in Indiana.  Named a Golden Apple Award Winner for excellence in teaching at the secondary level, he has served on the faculty of the

Summer Jazz Camp at Eastern Illinois University for over thirty-five years and is a proud graduate of Eastern Illinois.







StockhouseJanis Stockhouse recently retired after 38 years as Director of Bands at Bloomington High School North in Bloomington, Indiana. Prior to that position she served as the North Vermillion Jr-Sr High School Band and Choral Director for 4 years.  She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she studied trumpet with William Adam and Louis Davidson.  She earned her Masters in Music degree at Indiana State University.  Her mentors include David N. Baker, Ray E. Cramer, William Revelli, Dominic Spera, Ron Modell and Stephen W. Pratt.

At Bloomington North, Ms. Stockhouse conducted the Symphonic Band, Intermediate Concert Band, Advanced & Lab Jazz Ensembles, and taught AP Music Theory.  She also served as assistant director for the Cougar Marching Band, directed the Basketball Pep Band and oversaw the Jazz Combo program.

During her tenure at Bloomington High School North, the Advanced Jazz Ensemble performed at the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic in 1982, 1987, 2008, and 2018.  Her jazz bands and Combos also were invited to perform at the IAJE and JEN annual conventions on 7 occasions.  In 2002, the jazz ensemble and top concert band toured Europe for two weeks of concerts culminating with performances at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Mid-Europe Music Clinic.  The Cougar Marching Band has appeared in the Tournament of Roses Parade as well as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Bloomington North’s Symphonic Band qualified for the ISSMA State Concert Finals 33 out of 35 years with two state championships and 30 top eight finishes.

Ms. Stockhouse is a member and past president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, a member of IMEA/NAFME, a member of Phi Beta Mu, a member of JEN, and was a board member for IAJE.  She was named the 1997 Outstanding Music Educator of the year by IMEA, the 2005 Educator of the year by the Bloomington Area Arts Council, was recipient of the 2007 Al Cobine Award, and was presented with the 2007 Outstanding Bandmaster Award by Phi Beta Mu, Gamma Chapter.  In 2015 she was presented with the John LaPorta Outstanding Jazz Educator Award, and in 2016 the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation named her the David Baker Indiana Jazz Educator of the year.  She has co-authored a book entitled JAZZWOMEN; Conversations with 21 Musicians, published by Indiana University Press in 2004.  She was recently honored with the Phi Beta Mu “2020 Hall of Fame Award.”


SveumSteve Sveum has been a band and jazz director in the Sun Prairie Area School District in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin since 1985.  In that time his jazz ensembles have performed at numerous state and national conventions, including the Midwest Clinic with Wynton Marsalis.  Other notable performances include a performance at the Wisconsin Music Educators Conference with guest soloist, Clark Terry and a concert tour of Germany.  His high school jazz ensemble has also been a 13 time finalist in the national “Essentially Ellington” festival and competition, placing third, three times and they recently played an opening set for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin.  He has brought in numerous guest artists to work with his ensembles including Arturo Sandoval, Clark Terry, Dennis Mackrel, Bobby Shew, James Williams, Ed Thigpen, Tony Williams, Ronald Carter, Rodney Whitaker, Terell Stafford, Kenny Rampton and Bria Skonberg among others. 

Mr. Sveum was a 2014 recipient of the Downbeat Magazine “Jazz Education Achievement Award” and has worked for Jazz at Lincoln as a faculty member of the Band Director Academy in New York, New York; Mesa, Arizona, St. Louis, Missouri and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.   Mr. Sveum has worked for 18 years as a faculty member at the Birch Creek Music Academy in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin and has been an Illinois district honor jazz ensemble director in 3 districts, 7 times, across the state of Illinois.  In 2016, he directed the Iowa 3A All-State Jazz Ensemble in Des Moines, Iowa.  Mr. Sveum is a contributing author for the “Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz” series published by GIA and “The Conductor’s Companion - 100 rehearsal techniques, imaginative ideas, quotes and facts” published by Meredith.

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