UMSL "Big Band" Summer Jazz Camp: Featuring the Jim Widner Big Band

  • When: June 8-13, 2014
  • Where: UMSL, JC Penney Building
  • Fee: $329 (Early bird rate of $279 ends March 10, 2014)
  • Housing & Meals Fee: $201 (optional)

Camp Information | Fees & Tuition | Faculty | Schedule | Profiles | Registration | Printable Brochure


The University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) "Big Band" Summer Jazz Camp is now part of the Jim Widner Big Band Jazz Camp series. The emphasis of the camp will be formatted to a big band setting rather than to combos, although combos will still be a part of the camp. Daily instruction is to include big band rehearsals, sectionals, instrument master classes, improvisation, ear training and combo jam sessions. Members of the Jim Widner Big Band serve as the faculty for the camp and will teach all of the classes. The band is entering its 27th year of hosting summer jazz camps all over the country.

The Jim Widner Big Band has recently recorded their sixth in a series of critically acclaimed CD’s featuring these world renowned artists. The camp gives students of all ages and talent levels the opportunity to study with and listen to these professionals on a daily basis. For more information, contact Jennifer Clemente via phone at (314) 516-5994. Student housing is available.

Camp Information

  • Make certain to bring instruments including amps, drum sets & cymbals. Music stands will be provided by the camp.
  • Campers will need lunch or money to purchase food in the Nosh cafeteria
  • Students will perform in the final concert in the J.C. Penney Conference Center Auditorium at 1:00 pm on Friday, June 13th.  Family members, teachers and friends are invited to attend this spectacular concert!

Fees and Tuition

The tuition Fee is $329 for all five days (Early bird rate of $279 ends March 10, 2014). The fee includes an opportunity to work with professional musicians for five days in a variety of settings including:

  • Masterclasses
  • Ear Training Classes
  • Improvisation Classes
  • Sectionals
  • Big Band Rehearsals
  • Group Listening
  • Concerts with the Jim Widner Big Band

On campus housing is available for $201, which includes breakfast and dinner.

**Unless otherwise requested, all final information packets will be emailed this year.  Hard copies available only upon request.**

Proposed Faculty

  • Saxophones: Kim Richmond, Chip McNeill, Joel Vanderheyden, Hugh Jones, Aaron Lehde and Others
  • Trumpets: John Harner, Andy Tichenor, Dave Scott, Dustin Shrum and Others
  • Trombones: Scott Whitfield, Brett Stamps, Dave Dickey, Matt Hoormann and Others
  • Rhythm Section: Ken Kehner (Piano), Rod Fleeman (Guitar), Gary Hobbs (Drums) and Jim Widner (Bass)


Sunday, June 8

  • 01:00-04:00 PM | Camp registration, auditions, and dorm check-in
  • 04:30-05:30 PM | Camp meeting and concert by the Jim Widner Big Band

Monday through Thursday, June 9-12

  • 08:30-09:20 AM | Ear Training
  • 09:30-10:50 AM | Big Band Rehearsal or Sectional
  • 11:00-11:50 AM | Instrument Master Class
  • 12:00-12:50 PM | Lunch
  • 01:00-01:50 PM | Improvisation
  • 02:00-03:20 PM | Big Band Rehearsal or Sectional 
  • Free Time 
  • 04:00-05:00 PM | Concert by Jim Widner Big Band

Friday, June 13

  • 08:30-09:20 AM | Big Band Rehearsal or Sectional
  • 09:30-10:20 AM | Improvisation
  • 10:30-11:20 AM | Big Band Rehearsal or Sectional
  • 11:30-12:30 PM | Lunch
  • 01:00 PM | Final Camp Concert

Faculty Profiles

Jim Widner

Jim Widner, Professor/Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis is an alumnus of the Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Glenn Miller Big Bands and is celebrating his 26th year of hosting summer camps all across the United States. As a bassist with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Jim was strongly influenced and motivated by Kenton's dedication to young student musicians. He was a faculty member for the Kenton Camps for 10 years and helped Stan organize and expand his camps from California to other locations across the United States. Jim has performed at the world famous Lionel Hampton and Montreaux Jazz Festivals. His performance background includes concert dates with Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Mulgrew Miller, Louis Bellson, Randy Brecker, Bill Watrous, Marilyn Maye and an appearance before former President Bill Clinton.

Rod Fleeman

Rod has been a professional guitarist for over 30 years. He developed a love for jazz while a freshman at Southwest High School in Kansas City, MO. After high school Fleeman attended the University of Utah and studied jazz guitar under Dr. William Fowler. Fleeman returned to Kansas City to work extensively after his freshman year. He played jazz six nights a week at various jazz venues, became the staff guitarist at Starlight Theatre and “learned the ropes” of playing a myriad of musical genres as a freelance musician and member of the Kansas City Musician's Union Local 34-627. Fleeman returned to the academic environment after receiving a scholarship to attend the University of Miami. He was drawn to Miami because of the outstanding jazz program and the recommendation he received from former Miami student, Pat Metheny. Fleeman made the number one jazz band and continued his professional career as a guitarist for various shows on Miami Beach. A move to New York was next, where Fleeman did extensive touring and recording with the jazz fusion group Dry Jack. Since returning to Kansas City in 1981, he has toured and recorded with such artists as Marilyn Maye, Karrin Allyson, Jay McShann, Claude Williams and Interstring. Fleeman has taught jazz guitar at Missouri Western State College, the University of Kansas and is currently on staff at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

John Harner

John was a music educator in the Xenia Community Schools in Ohio for 25 years where he conducted three Middle School Bands and Choirs, and the XHS Jazz Band. He is also the Director of the Cedarville University Pep Band and is the trumpet instructor at Central State University.  John is a former 1st-Trumpet player of the Stan Kenton Orchestra and has recorded 3 CD’s with them including: "Kenton Plays Chicago, "Fire, Fury, and Fun," and "Kenton ‘76," where he is the featured soloist on Send In The Clowns. He also was the 1st Trumpet player at the Dunes, the Sands, and the Sahara Hotels, from 1977 until 1984 and the split-lead player at Caesars Palace in 1983, performing for entertainers that include Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, Doc Severinsen, Vic Damone and many others.

Gary Hobbs

Gary is a native of the Pacific Northwest and lives in Vancouver, WA. He has played professionally for over three decades and appears on over 50 recordings. Gary played with The Stan Kenton Orchestra from 1975 through 1977. Through the years Gary has played with Randy Brecker, Pete Christlieb, The New York Voices, Bill Mays, Kurt Elling, Bobby Shew, Bobby Watson, Bob Florence, Carl Saunders, The Woody Herman Orchestra,Terry Gibbs, Jaquie Naylor, Jim Widner Big Band, and the Mike Vax Big Band. Carnagie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Tivoli Garden, Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap are among the venues Gary has played along with scores of festivals and clubs all over the world. Gary is very active in Jazz Education teaching at The University Of Oregon and traveling all over the US doing clinics, concerts and jazz camps with the help of Bosphorus Cymbal Company and the Yamaha Corporation of America.

Hugh Jones

Hugh graduated from Berklee College of Music, Boston in 1992 with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree; and received a  Master of Music Performance degree Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville in 1996. Jones taught music at Chaminade College Preparatory School from 1997-2004; and also taught private lessons at the St. Louis Symphony Community Music School from 1999-2000. In 2002 Hugh taught at the International Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow, Poland; at many Jazz camps at local universities including Webster, SIUE and UMSL. As a performer, he has performed as a free-lance musician for many artists and groups including the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Petula Clark, and the Jim Widner Big Band.

Ken Kehner

Ken holds a degree in Piano Performance from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, where he served as staff accompanist, and later joined the faculty as an adjunct jazz instructor. This is his sixth year teaching jazz piano at University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he also conducts several jazz combos.  He has appeared with such noted artists as Bill Watrous, Bobby Shew, Buddy DeFranco, Pete Christlieb, Louie Bellson, and Clark Terry. Ken is on the staff of the Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camp series and appears regularly with the Jim Widner Big Band. Currently living in Jefferson City, Missouri with his wife, Annette, Ken is in demand as a free-lance pianist, recording artist, clinician and adjudicator around the state, and maintains a full studio of piano and jazz piano students.

Chip McNeill

Chip McNeill is currently a tenured full professor and Chairman of Jazz Studies at The University of Illinois and the musical director and jazz tenor saxophonist for Grammy award winning recording artist Arturo Sandoval. He was formerly associate professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Florida International University and Virginia Tech University. A graduate of the University of Miami (Master in Studio Jazz Composition); he enjoys an active performance schedule as a solo saxophonist, clinician, composer/arranger, and pianist.  Mr. McNeill’s latest release is “Four Steps-3” on the Capri Record label.  He currently tours with Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band as well as with Grammy award winning vocalist Natalie Cole. He has recorded with Arturo Sandoval on his CD “Americana” as well as the Grammy Award winning release "Hot House" (on Encoded Music), which won a Grammy Award for “Best Latin Jazz Performance”. Mr. McNeill was formerly the musical director and jazz saxophonist for legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.  Mr. McNeill produced, wrote, and performed on five CD’s, one including “Swingin’ For Schurr”(’01) Concord Jazz with guest jazz vocalist Diane Schurr. Mr. McNeill has performed at countless jazz festivals, special venues, numerous jazz radio and television productions around the world; in Europe, Japan, U.K., India, Indonesia, Australia, and U.S.A. Mr. McNeill has a list of an extensive list of recording credits as a jazz tenor saxophonist that have included such notables as Doc Severinsen, Nat Adderley, David Liebman, Duffy Jackson, Ira Sullivan, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Ted Shumate and Larry Willis. His past performances include numerous world tours with Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, and the North Texas State 1 o'clock Lab Band. He has also performed with many of the worlds' top jazz artists and entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Natalie Cole, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, Wynton Marsalis, Randy and Michael Brecker, Nat Adderley, David Liebman, Bob Mintzer, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell, Paquito D'Riviera, and Ira Sullivan.

Kim Richmond

Kim is an active and versatile musician based in the Los Angeles area. His first love is jazz, and his primary jazz voice is the alto saxophone. He has, however, been involved in nearly every facet of the professional music industry, both as a player and as a composer/arranger. His instruments are alto, soprano, tenor and baritone saxes, clarinet, bass clarinet, and flutes. Kim has been a member of the orchestras of Stan Kenton, Louis Bellson, Bob Florence, Clare Fischer, Bill Holman, and Vinny Golia among others. Kim is also a consummate educator. He is an adjunct professor in the Jazz Studies department of USC, and does numerous jazz camps and clinics in the Spring and Summer of each year. He has been staff at many of the Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camps, the Bud Shank Workshop camps, and the University of Iowa Jazz Camp. Kim also holds a summer jazz camp/party for adults in Rhinelander, WI. In spite of his busy schedule in the professional music world, Kim Richmond enjoys keeping in touch with the educational music field by serving as guest lecturer, conductor and guest soloist at college music festivals and workshops around the country.

Dave Scott

Dave is an award winning trumpet player with a wide range of professional experience who has worked with some of the greatest jazz artists in the world. As a clinician and soloist Dave has performed on numerous jazz festivals and at schools across the United States including the University of Illinois, the University of Missouri, the University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University, the University of Oregon, California Institute of the Arts, Syracuse University and the University of Utah. He has been featured at the Newport Jazz Festival with Gerry Mulligan, at the Monterey Jazz Festival with Harvey Wainapel’s Quintet, and has performed with the Tom Harrell Big Band in Los Angeles and New York.  In 1984 Dave was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in jazz performance. Dave is currently on the jazz faculty at Western Connecticut State University. Dave Scott is an endorsing artist for Conn-Selmer and plays a Bach trumpet. 

Andy Tichenor

Andy studied piano as a youngster, but was more attracted to the trumpet and began to pursue serious trumpet studies by age sixteen. He holds a degree in music from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois, and is a top freelance trumpet player in the St. Louis area. He is the lead trumpet player with the Muny Opera and the Fox Theater in St. Louis and is often called to perform with the St. Louis Symphony. He has performed with Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Doc Severinson, to name just a few.  

Scott Whitfield

Scott is internationally recognized for his work with contemporary bands, including his own Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestras (East AND West).  In addition to Whitfield’s own recordings, he has performed and recorded with many diverse artists, including Nat Adderley, Lionel Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, the Pied Pipers, and many others. Scott holds a BM in Trombone from Florida State University and MM in Jazz Studies from North Texas State University, and also served on the faculties of the University of North Florida and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. A clinician and guest artist for Getzen trombones, Whitfield has appeared throughout the world, from Australia to Zurich, sharing his expertise on trombone technique, improvisation, composition, arranging, and jazz history.


  • Register Online or complete the Jazz Camp Registration Form and mail to the address indicated or fax to (314) 516-6414.
  • Or call Jennifer Clemente at (314) 516-5994 or use TDD by calling (314) 516-5961. Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express number must be given to assure registration.
  • Housing is offered for $201 which includes breakfast and dinner for all 5 days. Please complete the Housing Registration Form and return it according to the instructions.