Open Music Collective offers summer classes

BRATTLEBORO — Starting on Monday, June 29, at 5 p.m., Open Music Collective (OMC) begins its summer class programs for Jazz Vocals and Jazz Ensemble, and also offers the return of the Zappa class.

In the Vocal Jazz Repertoire Class (June 29 at 5 p.m.), students will work on learning songs, writing charts, interacting with rhythm sections, counting off tunes and improvising. There is limited room for participants, but all are encouraged to enroll. The summer class historically tends to be more relaxed so more new students feel comfortable to sign up.

Jazz Ensembles will resume on June 30 at 5 p.m. Students will put together a short concert of music that is rehearsed and discussed in classes. Improvisational ideas are shared and music is explored in playing, listening, and historical aspects. All ages and instruments are encouraged to sign up.

The Zappa class (June 30 at 7 p.m.) is a fan favorite and is in its third year by request of the students. Because of the nature of the composer, the music tends to be both more challenging but also more satisfying for the performers. This year, there will be a few new compositions, but some old ones will be revisited and explored deeper.

Each class is directed by Jamie MacDonald and will meet six times; the ensemble classes will culminate with a concert. The cost is $175 for adults and $150 for students. There is a $50 discount if you take two summer courses (Any two classes, or class and SJI).

From July 22 to 26, OMC is presenting the sixth annual OMC Summer Jazz intensive that has grown and matured in its short life span.

Over the course of five days, the program allows students and faculty to immerse themselves in music and focus on personal growth and working with others. Everything is hands on with listening/discussion times and chances for breaks and practice. Students will find teachers open and encouraging, providing good advice for future endeavors, from the struggling amateur to the budding professional or serious college student.

Days will be divided into theory/improvisation, ensemble, and listening classes, with open jams in the evening culminating in a joint student and faculty concert. This year the classes will start in the evening (Wednesday through Friday at 5 p.m.) to allow for daytime conflicts, with all-day happenings on the weekend, finishing up on Sunday afternoon.

This year the faculty includes Berklee College of Music professor Mitch Seidman on guitar, UMass/Amherst jazz vocal teacher Cathy Jenson-Hole (Saturday only), and returning faculty Claire Arenius (Amherst College) on drums, Carl Clements (Amherst College) on sax and Jamie MacDonald on bass. Youth prices start at $325 and adult $425 with discounts/scholarships available. Saturday audit is available for vocalists.

Open Music Collective also offers private lessons by Kate Parsons (piano), Ben Carr (drums and ukulele), Jamie MacDonald (various) and Dan Thomas (guitar).

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