The Gunnery will welcome the students and faculty of Litchfield Jazz Camp to its campus in Washington, Connecticut, for the first time this summer. This exciting new partnership will bring 50 to 100 boarding and day students to The Gunnery each week during the month of July. Students can enroll for one or more sessions, which will be offered, July 1 – 6, July 8 – 13, July 15 – 20, and July 22 – 27.
“The Gunnery’s decision to host the Litchfield Jazz Camp speaks to our commitment to the community around us,” said Jesse Perkins, Performing Arts faculty and administrator for The Gunnery’s summer programs, which also include rowing, field hockey and Dutch Total Soccer, which will host an overnight soccer camp at the school August 5-10.
“As a school with a thriving visual and performing arts program, we want to help provide homes for these types of programs, and it’s great for local and international students to come and be part of this. Many will be introduced to The Gunnery for the first time by learning here and living on our beautiful campus,” Perkins said. “The jazz camp provides an opportunity for local musicians to hone their skills and fuel their passion for jazz music, and it’s great for the community. There will be free concerts every night and music playing on our campus all month long.”
Family and friends of students are invited to attend student concerts, which will be held each Friday in July at 6:30 p.m. The public is also invited to attend free faculty concerts Monday through Thursday evenings.
Perkins anticipates that number of participants in the jazz camp will grow, especially with the opening of The Gunnery’s new Arts and Community Center in 2019-2020. The new, 32,000-square-foot center will be one of the largest facilities on campus and will showcase the school’s Visual and Performing Arts program with the addition of a 415-seat, professional theater, community and event space for multiple uses, classrooms, studios, and rehearsal and gallery spaces.
Founded in 1997 by Litchfield Performing Arts, the Litchfield Jazz Camp is a charitable organization dedicated to changing lives through music. The camp accepts all students age 12 years and older, from beginners to advanced musicians. Students are taught in skill-based combos and participate in jazz and theory/composition workshops, master classes, jam sessions, evening activities and concerts. Electives include introductory piano and drums classes, R&B Ensemble, Listening to Jazz, Big Band, Latin Jazz Ensemble and a college prep class led by Doug Munro, a professor of music and founder of the jazz program at SUNY Purchase.
Students are encouraged to participate in sports and fitness electives such as swimming, yoga, running supervised by marathoners, soccer and basketball. All meals will be provided in The Gunnery’s Solley Dining Hall.
Campers will have the opportunity to attend and perform at the annual Litchfield Jazz Festival, which will be held July 28 and 29, 2018 at the fairgrounds in Goshen, Connecticut. “This makes for a thrilling wrap-up to one of the most exciting music education experience available anywhere,” said Vita Muir, co-founder of Litchfield Jazz Festival.
Litchfield Jazz Camp offers need-based scholarships and last summer distributed $104,000 in financial aid. The camp will host a College Night on July 18 to give students the opportunity to meet with representatives of university-level music programs. In past seasons, participating schools have included SUNY Purchase, William Paterson University, Berklee College of Music, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory of Music.
Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.