Honor Jazz Festival and Jazz Skills Workshop September 27-October 1, 2017

AMIS International Honor Jazz Festival
AMIS Jazz Skills Workshop

Eivind Lødemel, Host
27 September – 1 October 2017


Mark Fields, Big Band Conductor
Kate Meininger, Vocal Jazz Ensemble Conductor
Jon Hodge and Jeff Pellaton, Jazz Skills Workshop Clinicians  

View Additional Images from the 2016 Festival


About The Honor Jazz Festival

AMIS  is proud to sponsor this festival which is designed to support our finest high school jazz musicians and to give them the opportunity to learn from top level jazz educators from around the world.  Many of the instructors perform jazz in various ensembles in many different countries. Students will have the opportunity to share this experience  with like-minded fellow jazz student musicians. The festival consists of a full Big Band Jazz Ensemble with the opportunity for rhythm sections and a few wind players also experiencing combo work.

The typical Big Band includes approximately 6 trumpets, 6 trombones, 7 saxophones, and 3 complete rhythm sections. When possible, a Vocal Jazz Ensemble is also offered, providing jazz singers the opportunity to work with the big band and combos as well as creating their own a cappella ensemble. Students submit auditions in April; a group of professional jazz educators and performers form the selection committee.

For those unsuccessful candidates and for others who wish to improve their jazz skills,  the festival also, when logistically feasible, includes a workshop component that works on the  fundamentals of jazz.

Previous Festival Locations

American School in London
American School of the Hague
American Community School Hillingdon
American School of Warsaw
International School of Prague
International School of Brussels
American School in Japan
International School of Luxembourg
Marymount International School of Rome
International School of Beijing
International School of Kuala Lumpur
AFNorth International School

The 2015 Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble with Guest Conductor, Darmon Meader

The 2015 Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble with Guest Conductor, Darmon Meader

Previous Guest Conductors

Alan Ginter, Bilkent University Preparatory School
Jon Hodge, Heidelberg High School
John Salminen, International School of Brussels
Jim Yarnell, The American School of the Hague
Neal Yocom, The American School of Paris
Peter Lutkoski, The American School in London
Kerry Nichols, The American School in Japan
Randy Wanless, The American School in Japan
Richard Hein, ACS Hillingdon International School
Joseph Granzow, International School of Kuala Lumpur
David Beckstead, International School of Beijing
Carolyn Stock-Chapin, International School of Brussels
Darmon Meader, Founding Member of the New York Voices
Jeff Pellaton, Ramstein High School

The 2017 festival will be hosted by Eivind Lødemel at United Word College in Singapore.


AMIS Festivals support the music programs in schools whose primary purpose is to serve expatriate children in various world locales. Applications are not accepted from students whose schools are outside of this international school community.

Applicants must submit their auditions through a music teacher from their school, and must be active members of the relevant performing ensembles within their school. Any exceptions to the above must have prior approval from the Executive Director in order to audition. Only students who will be in grades 9 – 13 during the 2017-2018 school year will be eligible to audition for the 2017 Jazz Festival.  

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Click Here to Access Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble Auditions

The Jazz Skills Workshop

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 11.30.16The Jazz Skills Workshop, held in conjunction with the Honor Jazz Festival, welcomes instrumentalists of all ability levels and is designed to familiarize musicians on any instrument with the knowledge and skills necessary to learn to play and improvise in the jazz idiom. Space for rhythm players is limited. Students will learn the theory and style characteristics of this art form in a master class and small ensemble environment. A wealth of materials for further study and practice are included. The three day workshop culminates with an informal performance by small groups of a selection from “standard” Jazz repertoire.

IMG_0937-LEligibility: Students who have auditioned unsuccessfully for the Honor Jazz Festival will have first priority to register for this workshop.

Applications for the Jazz Skills Workshop will be accepted following the announcement of the Big Band audition results.


Guest Conductors

Mark Fields is a music educator with more than two decades of varied teaching experience, both in the US and Internationally.  Now in his ninth year of teaching Instrumental Music in Tokyo at the American School in Japan, Mark serves as the Department Head of Fine Arts, and leads the HS Jazz Ensemble, as well as teaching High School and Middle School Bands. Prior to ASIJ, Mr. Fields taught music at The International School of Stavanger (Norway), and the International School of Prague (Czech Republic) as well as Kent-Meridian High School in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington. He has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Washington State University and a Master of Music Education degree from Boston University.

Kate Meininger has taught high school and middle school choir for the past 13 years at Chatfield Senior High School in Colorado, the International School of Panama, the International School of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and is currently completing her first year at Hong Kong International School. Although she has taught a variety of music classes, vocal jazz is her true passion as a teacher and performer. Kate has been an adjudicator and clinician for festivals in the USA, Costa Rica, and Malaysia. As a vocalist and pianist, Kate also enjoys performing in various capacities within the community. She loved working with Darmon Meader and the AMIS Vocal Jazz Ensemble last year, and is excited and truly honored to direct this exceptional group of singers! 

Jazz Skills Workshop Leaders

Jon Hodge is the music teacher at AF North International School in the Netherlands, where he teaches Band, Choir, Guitar, and Strings.  He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of North Texas, and has also studied conducting and music technology at the Cincinnati College Conservatory as well as at Florida State University.  He has enjoyed a varied performing career as both a trumpeter and vocalist, and continues to perform and conduct.  Jon is pleased to guide young musicians through the 2016 Jazz Skills Workshop.

Jeff Pellaton is an Air Force veteran from Castro Valley, CA. This will be his fourth year with the AMIS Honor Jazz program and he has previously worked with the Big Band as Big Band conductor, emergency substitute drummer, and as a Combo leader. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education as well as a Master of Arts in Percussion Performance from Eastern Illinois University. Jeff was the Director of Percussion Studies at Mississippi Valley State University prior to beginning his career with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools, for whom he served positions in Okinawa, Japan; Wuerzburg, Germany and Ramstein, Germany. Mr. Pellaton was the musical director for the DOD All Europe Honor Jazz Seminar for twelve years. 

Hotel & Housing Information

Student Housing
All student participants in the festival will be housed with families from United World College for the 4 nights of the festival, starting Wednesday, 27 September. Any group arriving in Singapore prior to the Wednesday should make arrangements for the students to stay in a hotel with their teachers until Wednesday.

Members of the Festival accept that staying with host families in other parts of the world is an important part of the AMIS philosophy, and a major part of the total festival experience in which they are to participate. Teachers make roommate recommendations when registering their students. Students are housed in pairs. No student will be housed individually. A school can request that three students be housed together, but this request cannot be guaranteed. Do not include alternates in your rooming requests. If a student does not require housing after the concert on Saturday night, this must be clearly stated on the housing request form, and this status cannot be changed later. 

Adult Housing
Teachers will be housed at
Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy
50 East Coast Road
Roxy Square
Singapore 428769
Phone: +65 6344 8000
Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your AMIS booking.

Single occupancy – S$224.80 per room per night
Double/Twin occupancy: S$242.46 per night
Rates include service, tax, and breakfast
Free Wifi

Registered teachers and chaperones will book directly through the RoomTrust System. A credit card will be necessary to secure your reservation. If you would like to extend your booking to include nights outside of the festival booking window, book your room as usual and send your specific extension request directly to RoomTrust, quoting your booking reference number. Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your booking.

Click Here to Book

The RoomTrust booking system is only for teachers and chaperones who are registered for the festival. Parents and friends may not book rooms through this system.

Transport between the hotel and the school will be provided to teachers each day.


Students who have been offered a place in the festival must accept their places, no later than 16 May 2017. Directors accept places on behalf of their students via the registration portal below.


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Acceptance / Registration Data Base will Open on 1 May 2017.

31 August 2017 is the final date for submitting all information about participants via the online database, including:
• Emergency Contact Information
• T-Shirt Sizes
• Nationalities
• Roommate Preferences
• Arrival and Departure Information

Directors of festival participants agree to remain in contact with AMIS throughout the summer holiday.

Click HERE for more information about directors, chaperones and visiting parents.

Directors should also print out the Festival Agreement Form, to be signed by each student and presented upon arrival at the festival.

Applications for the Jazz Skills Workshop will be accepted until 31 August, or until places are filled.

Festival Fees

IMG_8065-MFull payment for the festival is due on 14 September, 2017. Fees for the 2017-18 season have not yet been published, however a full listing of AMIS fees for 2016-17 can be found HERE.

Invoices are issued in pounds sterling with the exception of those schools located in the euro zone, who are billed in euros. The euro amount will be determined by the exchange rates quoted by the AMIS bank on the day the invoice is issued. Questions regarding fees and payment should be addressed to Tim Germann, Chief Operating Officer.

Alternates do not pay fees until accepted into the ensemble.

Please be advised that registration fees for AMIS events are never refundable.

Financial Aid Applications must be received by AMIS by 17 August 2017.

Concert Information

Combo Night

Friday 29 September 7pm
United World College Black Box

Honor Big Band and Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble Concert
Saturday 30 September 7pm
United World College Auditorium

1 Tampines Street 73
T +65 6305 5344
24-hour security desk +65 6260 0602


There are plans to live-stream both events.

Please ensure that guests are aware that the use of video is prohibited for all AMIS concerts.

Saturday Concert Attire
All men: Black trousers, long-sleeved white shirt, waistcoat/vest, black shoes and socks.
Women in the Band: Black trousers and shoes, long-sleeved white blouse or shirt, waistcoat/vest.
Women in the Vocal Ensemble: All black, including shoes; a dress or skirt rather than trousers, which must come just below the knee and must not be tight so as to allow for freedom of movement.
Jazz Skills Workshop Participants: a festival tee-shirt will be issued during the workshop.

Visa Information

It is the Director’s responsibility to check on the status of their students’ passports and, where necessary, visas. In many countries, it is now necessary, in addition, to have 6 months’ validity in the passport AND residence visa of your home country (if applicable) in order to apply for a visitor visa for another country. You should take care of visas as soon as the festival participants are chosen. If your visa application requires a letter of invitation, you will need make a request directly to Eivind Lødemel, festival host, providing the following information:

  • Full name of the student or teacher
  • Birth date
  • Nationality
  • Arrival and departure dates for Singapore
  • The name of the adult who will be traveling with the student
  • Address and fax number of the consulate from which you are obtaining the visa

Once again, this is the director’s responsibility.


Members of the Honor Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Will Be Published Here on 3 May 2017

Financial Aid

Funds for AMIS Financial Aid are provided by contributions and gifts. A limited number of financial aid grants to for students from AMIS member schools are available during each academic year.  Applications may be submitted for all band, choir, and orchestra festivals.  Financial aid is not available for workshops or for Solo & Ensemble Festivals. Eligibility

  1. Alternates are not eligible to apply.
  2. A student cannot apply for financial aid for the same festival in two consecutive years.
  3. A student cannot apply for two festivals in the same school year.
  4. In general, financial assistance will be offered to no more than one student per school for any given festival, although the Financial Aid Committee may, in exceptional circumstances, decide to award assistance to more than one student from the same school.
  5. It is assumed that a student whose family members have the means to attend the festival are not in need of financial aid.
  6. Only those students who attend an AMIS member school are eligible for financial aid.

Application Procedure

  1. The financial aid application forms are available HERE
  2. Prepare hand printed or typed teacher and parent reports in large type. The parent of each student applicant is required to complete the parent financial aid request form and to return it to the music teacher.
  3. The music teacher must scan the 2 documents and email them to financial_aid@amis-online.org.
  4. Both forms must be received before a student’s application can be considered.
  5. The decisions of the committee will be sent by e-mail to teachers making financial aid applications.

Deadline The deadline for financial aid applications can be found on the calendar for each individual festival. Payment

  1. The maximum award is 50% of student travel/hotel expenses, not to exceed €500. In most cases the amount granted will be less than the maximum possible amount.
  2. AMIS will credit the applicant’s school in the amount of the award.


To be announced.

Click HERE to view images from the 2016 festival at the American School of the Hague.

IMG_1115-LScreen Shot 2015-10-04 at 07.47.30

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