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TD-3.jpg High School Jazz Intensive

“If this is the future of jazz… we’re going to be just fine.”
  – The Georgia Straight

The TD High School Jazz Intensive is a unique program for High School Music students to be part of a professional big band. Featuring up to 21 students selected through a "blind" application process from over 150 schools across the Lower Mainland, this free program offers young and budding artists the opportunity to learn from the best and cultivate their talents and networks. 


Students Learn from the Pros

During their nine-day residency at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, students rehearse intensively with skilled peers, led by an experienced guest conductor.

“I’ve found the jazz youth of BC to be some of the most talented students of their generation and I love throwing challenges their way… I only wish there could be more programs around the world like it!” - Nicole Mitchell, HSJI Conductor from 2003-2012 

Interact with Visiting International Artists

Students in the program get to participate in workshops with visiting local artists, learning from the best talents in the world. These instructive workshops are also free and open to the general public. 

Access to Festival Shows

TD High School Jazz Intensive band members are also invited to take in select TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival shows… hand-picked to instruct and inspire. What a fun way to experience new musical ideas!


All students participating in the HSJI receive bursaries from TD, our generous sponsor, and are also eligible to apply for the following additional scholarships:

Dal Richards Scholarship Fund

Coastal Jazz will award a $2,000 scholarship sponsored by legendary bandleader Dal Richards.

TD Scholarships for Music Studies

Outstanding students will receive additional scholarships for continued music education from TD Bank Group. 

TD Original Composition Contest

Where else does a High School student get to write music for a Big Band performance at a world-class Jazz Festival? Budding composers submit their tunes for consideration. The guest conductor will arrange the winning composition for the Final Feature Performance at David Lam Park Main Stage. 

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is accepting submissions for an original composition of jazz or creative music by a BC youth.

Application Guidelines for Composers:
  • Composition must be an original chart (not an arrangement of someone else's music)
  • Jazz compositions must be in the form of a lead sheet that includes melody, chord changes and indicates rhythmic feel
  • Creative music compositions should include explanations of nontraditional music notation
  • Lead sheets/scores must be accompanied by an .mp3 recording of the composition
  • Composer must be a BC High School student in Grades 10-12
Please note:
  • Please do not submit more than one composition
  • Please submit lead sheet in .pdf format, recording in .mp3
  • The composer owns her/his chart and permits an arranger (TBA) to make an arrangement of it
  • The arranger (TBA) owns her/his is arrangement of the chart and credits the composer in his arrangement
  • Both the composer and the arranger are free to perform the arrangements
Check-list for Submission:
  • Please include your name and phone number
  • Title of piece
  • Lead sheet of composition
  • Recording of the piece

Email chart and recording to:

Tegan Ceschi-Smith, Education & Outreach Coordinator | Coastal Jazz & Blues Society


2018 Intensive Dates: TBA

The TD High School Jazz Intensive dates to be announced. If selected to participate you are responsible for your travel to and from Vancouver and attendance at all rehearsals is mandatory. Exceptions for lateness due to final exams are allowed.

With special thanks to:

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To prepare your audition, read these two documents for requirements and recording tips:

Audition Requirements

Audition Tips