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McNally Smith College of Music’s 5th Annual Winter Jazz Blast is a day-long non-competitive festival for high school jazz bands, featuring workshops, performances and clinics with professional jazz musicians, McNally Smith faculty, McNally Smith student ensembles and more!


Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8am–8pm


McNally Smith College of Music (Map/Directions)

Registration Fee:

  • $250 per band
  • $175 per combo
  • $85 per big band to attend evening concert

Registration Deadline:

  • Friday, December 16, 2016

Space is limited – REGISTER TODAY!

NOTE: We are currently at capacity for big bands, but there is room for 1 more combo. 

Register for Eclectic Strings Day

Brookings Jazz II 2016


Taking place Saturday January 21, McNally Smith’s 5th annual Winter Jazz Blast is a non–competitive festival that offers middle and high school jazz bands the opportunity to perform for their peers and receive a critique from professional adjudicators, including local jazz musicians.

Students also attend clinics and instrumental masterclasses, record in McNally Smith’s studio complex and enjoy an evening concert featuring the JazzMN Orchestra (guest directed by McNally Smith Brass & Woodwinds Department Head Pete Whitman), and the McNally Smith Fusion Ensemble (directed by Brass & Woodwinds faculty member Adam Meckler).


8am–6pm: band performances, clinics, masterclasses, recording sessions, awards

6:30–8:30pm: evening concert


McNally Smith College of Music
19 Exchange Street East, St Paul, MN 55101


  • While Winter Jazz Blast is a non-competitive festival, 2-3 outstanding ensembles will receive awards for outstanding performance.
  • Ensembles are invited to perform up to three pieces totaling 15 minutes.
  • Each ensemble receives a video recording of its performance.
  • Critiques are provided by professional adjudicators.
  • Ensembles receive a clinic session with professional adjudicators.
  • Combos are invited to sign up and perform on the combo stage. Combos will be critiqued and will receive a clinic from professional adjudicators following their performance.
  • Combos and soloists can sign up to record in McNally Smith’s studio complex. Combos must prepare a tune in advance; soloists can record solo or along with a track that they bring (SPACE LIMITED).
  • Students can attend instrumental masterclasses.
  • Outstanding soloists will be awarded scholarships to McNally Smith’s Summer Workshop, and will be invited to perform at the evening concert.
  • Boxed lunch available for $8/person (advance order required).
  • Pizza dinner available for $7/person (advance order required).
  • Discount tickets are available for the evening concert ($85 per band, or $5/student, $10/adult).
  • NOTE: After you register, McNally Smith will follow up with you to receive further information.