June 19 – 26, 2018

The 21st Century Band Jazz Institute at Snow Pond provides college, graduate-level, and beyond, jazz instrumentalists an intensive 7-day program of study led by international artists Ron Blake and members of Dion Parson & the 21st Century Band. Program participants focus on small ensemble performance, the introduction of rhythms of the Caribbean  through the adaptation of original and standard jazz repertoire,  creative practice techniques, & listening sessions. Private lessons, Master classes, small ensemble coaching, and performances. Ample time scheduled for practice and other activities.

Program Highlights

  • Providing participants with the necessary tools to pursue creative outlets in music and jazz improvisation.
  • Combos, private lessons, and performances.
  • Specific focus to creative and healthy practicing, listening, and mastery of instruments.
  • All-Star faculty
  • Intimate and supportive environment for networking with peers and professional staff.
  • Affordable tuition includes lodging, meals, and recreational equipment/facilities.


The 21st Century Band Jazz Institute Faculty:

Ron Blake, Program Director, The Juilliard School , Saturday Night Live Band, Christian McBride BigBand.
Dion Parson, 21st Century Band leader, United Jazz Foundation, head, Jazz at Lincoln Center, University of Virgin Islands, Artist in Residence.
Victor Provost, Steel-Pannist, George Mason University, Paquito D’Rivera Band


2Rashawn RossDion Parson

1Reuben Rogers

Victor Provost

Application Requirements

Participants must be over the age of 18 and are selected on the basis of ability and supporting materials. As the application process is on a rolling basis with a maximum of 20 students, we encourage you to apply early.

Audition Requirements:

Preformed Ensembles (Preformed combos are encouraged to apply)Please submit all auditions as Youtube video links or mp3 files.In some cases a live audition may be possible.

  • Two tunes showing your combo (Medium Tempo Swing, Ballad, and/or Blues.) The combined performances should include the head and opportunity to showcase improvisation skills of each member, therefore each member not required to perform solos on BOTH selections.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A preformed combo is defined as one that has rehearsed and performed together previously. Preformed combos are encouraged to apply. Please contact Dr. Levinsky directly for additional details.

Individual Instrumentalists

  • Two tunes showcasing your musicianship (Medium Tempo Swing, Ballad, and/or Blues. Video should include the head and 1 or 2 choruses.
  • Two letters of recommendation


2018 Tuition & Fees: (tuition includes non-refundable $100 application fee)

 7 days – all inclusive  (instruction, meals, housing, and on-campus activities) $1350

Additional Information


Travel to Sidney, Maine and to the Snow Pond campus can be achieved in several ways: Auto, Air, or Bus. If traveling by air, connections can be made through Boston, (MA), Portland or Augusta.  Easy connections via Cape Air or Concord Coach to the Augusta Transportation Center can also be arranged. A representative from SPMF will be available to take participants to to the Snow Pond campus. Snow Pond is located in the Belgrade Lakes region and on the shore of Messalonskee Lake, and between the cities of Augusta and Waterville.

Program Schedule

Arrival Day:

3:00 – 5:00 pm Registration
5:30 pm Dinner
Evening Orientation and Evening Gathering

Daily Schedule:

8:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am – 12:00 pm Studio Classes/Flexible Time, Individual Practice
Classes (Listening, Practice Development, Repertoire)
Individual lessons (2/3 2 hour lessons during the week will address each student’s improv, short/long range goals & how to implement)
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch
2:30 – 4 pm Conducted Small Ensemble Rehearsals
Flexible Time, Individual Practice
4:30 – 5:30 pm Small Ensemble Rehearsal
5:45 pm Dinner
Evening Evening Master Classes – Listening Sessions
Lectures-Extra-musical influences, Implementing New Practice Methods
Recitals – Faculty performances
Individual Practice
Off-Campus Activities
Other Group-initiated Activities, Social Activities

Departure Day:

8:00 – 10:00 am Breakfast and Departure