Jazz Institute At The Conservatory
Intermediate & Advanced Music Programs
The Jazz Institute is one of the longest running jazz education programs in the United States. Our faculty members are premiere jazz artists, as well as dedicated and accomplished educators with the expertise to work with students of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels.
Middle school, high school, and adult musicians can gain experience by playing in small ensembles. Students will meet weekly and receive regular coaching by a Jazz Institute faculty member.
Open To The Community By Audition
Honors Jazz Program
The Jazz Honors program, part of the Conservatory’s Jazz Institute, is a comprehensive, year-round experience for high school students by audition only. Students have the opportunity to work with visiting guest artists and to perform in the community. Jazz Honors Program auditions for the 2020-21 academic year will take place in the 2020 Spring Semester. For more information call student services at (414) 276.5760 or fill out our contact form.
- Entry Level | Open to woodwind, brass, percussion, bass, guitar, and piano students currently in grades 8-11 (high school students in 2019-20).
- Evaluation | Judged based on: improvisation, accuracy, rhythm, time, technique, stylistic awareness, and harmonic skills. All judges’ decisions are final.
- Day of Audition | Judges reserve the right to ask students to skip sections of selections for the sake of time. Recorded or live accompaniment is permitted but not provided. A CD player and mini plug input for playing recorded accompaniment will be provided. Students will provide judges copies of lead sheets for audition selections.
Honors Jazz Audition Requirements
One jazz standard: play the head (melody) followed by two choruses of improvisation
Improvise two choruses on a blues progression
Bass Players: In addition to the requirements above, walk a bass line for one chorus on each selection
Pianists and Guitarists: in addition to the requirements above, comp for on chorus on each selection
Demonstrate each of the following styles on the drum set:
Jazz/Swing (slow, medium, and up tempo)
Brushes (ballad and medium tempo)
Trading fours (alternate four measures of time with four measures of soloing)
Latin: select one or more of the following: Bossa Nova, Samba, Mambo
Jazz Institute Faculty
Meet Our Teachers
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Voice Performance | Roosevelt University (Chicago Musical College)
- Graduate Level Vocal Training | University of Iowa
- Joined the Vocal Arts faculty at the Conservatory in 2017.
- Cross-genre singer that is classically trained, jazz influenced, and soul inspired.
- Has taught private voice to students of all levels for thirty years, which includes more than a decade in New York.
- As a classical singer, Marcya began her career as a soprano and has sung with Lincoln Opera Chicago, the Lyric Theater of Illinois and the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee.
- Has gradually transitioned from singing classical music exclusively to performing an eclectic repertoire of music.
- Marcya has performed alongside a diverse group of critically acclaimed artists such as Simon Estes, Wycliffe Gordon, BeBe Winans, Vanessa Williams, Laurel Masse and Gerald Levert.
- Bachelor of Music, Music | University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
- Master of Music, Wind Conducting and Trumpet Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Krystal Esty has been an active freelance trumpet player and studio teacher in southeast Wisconsin since 2009.
- Her performing has taken her throughout the Midwest, New Orleans, New York, and overseas to Manchester, England and Edinburgh, Scotland.
- She has performed with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Lakeshore Chorale, and Pankratz Arts Exchange.
- You can find her freelancing around the Milwaukee area in New Orleans-style brass bands, pit orchestras, jazz ensembles, and chamber ensembles.
- In addition to her position as the Education Manager at WCM, Krystal currently serves as Principal Trumpet in the Beloit Janesville Symphony and Principal Solo Cornet in Milwaukee Festival Brass, and is an active member of the Milwaukee Philharmonic, an all-volunteer orchestra made up of members of the Milwaukee musical community.
- Berklee College of Music
- WCM faculty member since 2005.
- Moved back to his roots in Milwaukee, after 10 years of living in New York and touring and recording with the band ulu.
- Has played and recorded with many bands and artists including De La Buena, Choir Fight, Jamie Breiwick, Steve Peplin, The Static Chicken, Tristan Royalty Squad, The Extra Crispy Brass Band, The Soul Trio, The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Eric Bennet.
- Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
- Joined the Conservatory faculty in January 2019.
- Teaches and plays various styles of music on the drum set, specializing in jazz.
- Plays with her modern jazz quartet in the Milwaukee area.
- A featured instructor for the Vic Firth video series “Inside the Teaching Studio” entitled How to Sound Like Elvin Jones.
- Had the chance to play with musicians such as Leni Stern, Ingrid Jensen, and Jamie Baum.
- Enjoys teaching the bucket drumming and world percussion classes through the Conservatory Connections program, as well as private percussion lessons.
- Bachelor of Arts, Music | Millikin University School of Music
- Master of Music | Northern Illinois University
- WCM faculty member since 2016.
- Equally versed in teaching and performing vocal jazz and classical repertoire.
- Was the Assistant Professor of Music at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin between 2008-2015, directing the Alverno College Choir, Alverno Chamber Vocal Ensemble, and Jazz/Pop Ensemble.
- Also served as the Audition and Performance Coordinator while at Alverno, in addition to teaching private voice lessons, vocal techniques, voice lab, and various music seminar courses.
- Currently the Director of Adult Choirs at Unity Lutheran Church (Cross of Life campus) in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
- Also maintains a performance calendar with recitals and regular appearances with The Marion Consort, a Chicago based professional Early Music vocal ensemble, of which she is a founding member.
- Bachelor of Music, Emphasis in Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
- Performer’s Certificate for Senior Recital
- WCM faculty member since 2016.
- Began playing drums at age eight and has been studying percussion since age nine.
- Currently based in Milwaukee, Mitch is an in-demand performer, active educator, and composer.
- Co-leads tour-de-force fusion group, “Match Stick,” which released a self-titled album in 2019.
- In 2014, Mitch released his debut CD, “FLY!”, which invites listeners on a musical journey of original compositions and out-of-the-box arrangements for 20-piece big band.
- Featured clinician for the 2015 Summerfest Big Band Camp, along with Curt Hanrahan and Mike Steinel.
Conducted masterclasses at UW-Parkside, University of Indianapolis, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Park Tudor School, and Nicolet High School.
- Teaches percussion at several Milwaukee public schools through the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s Conservatory Connections program.
Jeanne Marie Stalteri
- Bachelor of Music, Saxophone Performance | Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
- Bachelor of Music, Music Education | Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
- Joined the Conservatory faculty in the Fall of 2019.
- Worked as an orchestra musician for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines May – August 2018.
- Recorded 2016 CD release “Identity” with the Slippery Rock University Jazz Ensemble, featuring guest artist Troy Roberts.
- Has had the opportunity to play with artists such as Sean Jones, John Clayton, and John Daversa.
- Has been a member of the Conservatory since 2017 serving as a guitar instructor, and working for the Guitar Prep Program.
- Teaching for over 33 years, Michael specializes in genres such as jazz, fusion, rock, alternative, and finger-style acoustic.
- Additionally, emphasizes in music technology, composition, and production.
- His compositions have been placed in over 1,000 different television shows and films worldwide including American Idol, Dateline NBC, The Today Show, and The Emmy Awards.
- Corporate music work includes extensive recording and production for Hal Leonard’s play-a-long series, 2018’s “Stronger Together” live music activation for Aurora Health Care and extensive jingle and custom music composition, recording and production.
- Performed, recorded and composed in an extremely wide variety of genres and styles, including Jazz, Latin Jazz, Rock, Fusion, Funk, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Alternative and Pop and proficient in Metal, Country, Folk, Finger-style Acoustic, Classical and other styles.
Rosemary McGee Walzer
- Bachelor of Music | Heidelberg University
- Master of Music, Instrumental Conducting | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Music educator and saxophonist Rosemary McGee Walzer is Director of the UWM Youth Jazz Ensemble, and Director of Bands at Maple Dale Elementary School.
- During her time at UW-Milwaukee, she studied conducting with Dr. John Climer, saxophone with Curt Hanrahan, served as a graduate conducting associate with both the University Band and the Youth Wind Ensemble program, and assisted with the overall administration of the university band program.
- Additionally, she served as music director for Pankratz Arts Exchange in Mount Calvary, WI for five seasons.
- In addition to her regular teaching gigs, Rosemary has served as a guest lecturer, clinician, and music camp instructor.
- Is a regular clinician with the Woody Herman Jazz Festival, and has been invited to work with many instrumental ensembles throughout Southeast Wisconsin.
- As a performer, Rosemary was one of the winners of the Heidelberg University Concerto Competition in 2003, and received the Arthur Bean Award there in 2005.
- Freelances in the Milwaukee area and has been in several instrumental ensembles, including the funk/soul band Montage, the East Side Jazz Orchestra, the Kicks Big Band, and the Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra.
- Bachelor Degree | Michigan State University
- Master Degree, Jazz Studies | Florida State University
- Performs professionally in a wide variety of musical styles, as a leader and as a sideman, on upright bass and electric bass.
- While at Michigan State University, studied with world- renowned bassist, Rodney Whitaker.
- Has also studied classically with the Assistant Principal of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Robert Goodlett, and taught alongside Robert at the Quattro String Academy in Indianapolis, IN.
- Currently serves as the Bass Instructor at Eastern Illinois University.
- As a seasoned teacher, Sam enjoys working with students with experience ranging from beginners to professionals.