We’re published!

See the article in the IAJE that highlighted the Wellington Jazz Academy

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Registration Guidelines

Who Can Apply?

The Jazz Academy is open to all Grade 9 – 12 high school students who have the desire to pursue jazz music in an in-depth manner.

When Do I Apply?

Students who wish to be admitted for the fall classes in September must send in their applications to the Academy no later than June 9, 2014. Students entering the academy for the second term must submit an application form during the regular course selection period in the spring.

Where Do I Apply?

Applications are available at the Wellington Secondary School or by downloading here. You may be asked to attend for an audition at a time and date convenient to all parties.

Where Are Classes Held?

Jazz classes are held during regular class hours at the Wellington Secondary School band room in Nanaimo, a beautiful and quiet city by the sea about 100 kilometers north of Victoria and just a ferry away from Vancouver. Nanaimo is home to some of the world’s best jazz musicians.

Our Vision

The inspiration to form the Jazz Academy stems from the need to develop and nurture our wealth of young musical talents. On a national scale, Nanaimo is well known as a breeding place for many of great jazz musicians - Diana Krall, Ingrid Jensen and Christine Jensen. Inspired by their music, local high school students have become more increasingly dominant in the international scene winning top awards and scholarships. Our vision is to provide our youth with a supportive and well-structured setting where they can prepare and ultimately achieve their greatest potential in a high school setting.

Benefits to Student Musician

The Jazz Academy’s music program provides high school students the opportunity to benefit directly from intensive music instruction and guidance within a public school environment. All students will have the opportunity to play in a group of his or her peers who have the same commitment to academic and musical success. Each student will receive professional instruction from qualified instructors and clinicians in an environment dedicated to excellence. By committing to the Jazz program, students will enhance their skill and knowledge in the jazz music field and will have the chance to participate in jazz opportunities at the highest possible level during the senior high school years and upon graduation.

Benefits to Parents

The program provides local families with an opportunity to access a structured program designed to meet the musical and academic needs of their children as well as enhancing the opportunities jazz music offers. The Academy offers an educational program that includes in-depth musical training. In addition, the program will provide parents with the knowledge and satisfaction that their school is committed to working with them to nurture and support their child’s musical and academic development.

Nurture the passion within and let the music begin

The Curriculum

The Jazz Academy offers an integrated high-performance music program in a high school setting. All courses are focused on the development and enhancement of individual and groups skills as well as requisite skills for jazz improvisation and performance. Courses receive full credits. The main courses are Jazz Band and Jazz Studies. These courses are available to students entering Grades 9 – 12. Jazz Band offers students basic jazz theory, jazz ensemble performance skills, introduction to jazz styles, articulations, jazz ear training and jazz improvisation. Students will also learn basic jazz history and jazz listening skills. Jazz Studies introduces students to the study of jazz improvisation in a jazz combo setting, advance jazz theory, advance ear training, jazz composition and arrangement, concert and promotion management skills, computer music technology and audio recording skills. (To participate in the Jazz Studies course, students must also enroll in Jazz Band).


Carmella Luvisotto

Carmella Luvisotto completed the Malaspina College Jazz Program and earned her Bachelor of Education (Major in Music) Degree from the University of Victoria in 1996. She has been with the School District teaching music since 1996.

Carmella is the 2004 recipient of the prestigious Keith Mann Most Outstanding Music Educator in Canada award for her dedication to music and passion for teaching. Her students are award-winning soloists and ensembles in provincial, national and international events and recipients of various academic scholarships and bursaries.

Steve Jones

Steve Jones, a veteran music instructor at the Malaspina University College Jazz Program, recently joined the Academy. He is a well-respected and sought-after educator, mentor, adjudicator and clinician in Canada and was instrumental in helping develop a strong and highly successful post-secondary jazz curriculum in Nanaimo during his tenure as Chair of the Malaspina Music Department from 1981-2001.

Steve mentored Canadian jazz greats Christine Jensen (trumpet) and Phil Dwyer (saxophone). He currently directs the Nanaimo Musicians’ Association Big Band and regularly plays in the 10-piece band ‘Decadence’ and the Steve Jones Jazz Trio.

If you require more information about the Jazz Academy, please contact:

Carmella Luvisotto, Music Director

Wellington Jazz Academy

@ Wellington Secondary School

School District #68

3135 Mexicana Road

Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9T 2W8

Tel. (250) 758-9191 ext 7020