The Blaine Harbor Music Festival CAMP

Students who attend our music camp and festival experience an intense and rewarding week of instruction with a hand-picked faculty of nationally-acclaimed music educators. The ratio of teachers to students is 1 to 4, and this key feature of the program insures a close and collaborative learning environment for the student musicians.

There are many opportunities to play alongside the faculty, and the BHMF students report to us every year, through their Student Survey comments, how dedicated and encouraging their teachers are, and how much they have learned – as well as how much fun they had!

Bios for the BHMF instruction faculty can be found here.

Each year, Camp attracts a diverse group of music students from the U.S. and Canada. Camp can accommodate 60 -100 students for the week-long program.

Some local students will choose to commute to the festival. There is also a room and board option. Boarding students stay at Camp Horizon (7506 Gemini St in Birch Bay/Blaine). Students will be transported to and from the camp via a Blaine School District bus and driver.



Each of our programs is listed separately, but students in any program can elect to take classes outside of their area in the afternoon:

Want to try more than one?

  • Jazz or New Directions Instrumentalists may also perform in Jazz Choir by playing in Jazz Bands, Let’s Rock, or ND Large Ensemble in the morning, then attending Jazz Choir in the afternoon.  

  • Jazz or New Directions Instrumentalists interested in Songwriting or in playing Trad Jazz style can take those afternoon workshops.

  • Vocal Jazz students who play an instrument may sing in the vocal program in the morning and take a jazz combo in the afternoon.  

  • Other morning/afternoon swaps are available by request.



Jazz Bands/Let’s Rock Combos/Jazz Lab/Jazz Choir

Trad Jazz/Songwriting/

New Direction Combos


Solo Vocal, Songwriting (optional), Jazz Choir               Same choices or Instrumental

Combo/Trad Jazz/ND Combos  


New Directions Ensemble   ND Combos or Jazz Combos/Jazz

Choir/Trad Jazz/Songwriting


Let’s Rock Ensemble Combos/Jazz Lab or Jazz Choir/

Trad Jazz/Songwriting/ND Combos

Trad Jazz Studies

The Blaine Harbor Music Camp will offer an opportunity for young instrumentalists to learn to play New Orleans style Traditional Jazz (also called Hot Jazz) as an afternoon elective class.

Students who are learning to improvise will find that “Trad Jazz” is an easy style to learn due to less complicated chord changes. Solo opportunities are frequent in Trad Jazz, and every player in the band is a regular improvisor on most songs.

The music itself is fun to play as it is rich in melody, harmony and, most importantly, history. The Hot Jazz of the early 20th century is one of the foundations of more modern forms of jazz and is still delighting people all over the world.

Traditional Jazz Societies in Washington, British Columbia, and Oregon have funds for scholarships for students with a genuine interest in playing this form of jazz. These funds can be used to help pay for Tuition and Room & Board at the Blaine Harbor Music Festival’s Camp in July.

For more information about scholarships offered by the Bellingham Traditional Jazz Society, and other Traditional Jazz Societies throughout the Pacific Northwest, please visit the BTJS website at


Student Scholarships


1.   The student completes this form. A parent or guardian may also assist.

2.   Include a letter of recommendation from your band director or private music teacher and email to

Decisions on scholarships will be made by June 15th and applicants will be notified by phone or email directly.

The Hot Ticket Jazz Band from 2017

The Hot Ticket Jazz Band from 2017

Boarding students stay at Camp Horizon (7506 Gemini St in Birch Bay/Blaine).  Students will be transported to and from the camp via a Blaine School District bus and driver.

Boarding students stay at Camp Horizon (7506 Gemini St in Birch Bay/Blaine).

Students will be transported to and from the camp via a Blaine School District bus and driver.



To register, please select the camp program you are interested in; Jazz, Vocal, New Directions or Let’s Rock, fill out the registration form and submit. Proceed to checkout and secure registration with a $100 deposit.

Prefer to register by mail? Want to pay by check? You don’t want to use Paypal? Then download the form and send it to the address below

Click Here to download form

If registering by mail, please send completed registration form to Pacific Arts Association at P.O. Box 434, Blaine, WA 98231

Loved this camp – want to come back next year, and would suggest this camp to anyone who is ready to learn more about music. My favorite experiences were getting to improvise, Jazz Lab, and being around incredible players and teachers.
— Past 2018 Student

Tuition - Boarding - Private Lessons - Optional Meals


Tuition for the week-long music camp and festival is $495 and includes admission to all concerts and events. 

·       A minimum $100 deposit is due at time of registration. Full tuition and fees are due by June 1, 2019.

·       Private lessons (optional) are priced at $25/half hour. Due to time constraints, private lessons are limited to two lessons per student.

·       For boarding students, room and board (lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner) is priced at $400 for the week and include transportation to and from festival events.

·       For those commuting to the festival, lunches are available for an additional fee of $60.

·       Commuter students can also request both lunch and dinner during festival week for $120.

“I improved so much from this camp. I learned more about how to build an effective performance, ways to practice melodic phrases in different keys, and I learned about my instrument as well, thanks to private lessons and amazing teachers.”
— Past 2018 Student


Placement auditions and ‘first meetings’ help our instructors place students into groups so that each one can have an enjoyable and challenging musical experience.

Auditions take place on Sunday, Registration Day.

After students are registered, there will be a 2:00 pm General Meeting for all students, family, staff, and faculty in the Blaine Performing Arts Center.

Auditions (or first meetings) will take place following the 2:00 PM General Meeting.


Note: “New Directions” Camp students must email a sample of their playing in advance, as instructed below.



Jazz Vocalists have their first meeting with the Vocal Faculty in the Choral Room where they will:

·       Work with Greta Matassa, solo vocal instructor, to select a solo song(s) and

·       Work with Brennan Baglio, director of the Jazz Choir, to determine voice range and quality

For this first meeting, vocal students should prepare and sing a song of their choice.



Jazz instrumentalists will audition for placement in various jazz bands or the Let’s Rock class. Jazz auditions will be held in faculty studios/classrooms. Room numbers to be announced at the General Meeting.

All jazz instrumentalists should prepare:

·       Approximately 2 minutes of music that best displays your full abilities on the instrument. This music can be all or a portion of a solo piece, etude, study or any other music of your choice that gives a good idea of your level of play.

·       Two major scales, ascending and descending

(Optional: jazz instrumentalists may also perform a short improvisation sample)

·       Students will also be asked to sight-read a selection


New Directions students will perform music in the ND Ensemble that is newly composed for them. For this reason, every ND student must send a brief performance recording (audio or video) that includes -

·       A sample of music that reflects technical and musical abilities and

·       A scale that demonstrates a player’s full range on the instrument.

The recording should be less than 3 minutes in length and can be done on a simple recording device such as that found on most smart phones. Send the recording by email to Charlie Porter at: Please send this as soon as possible following your online registration. Direct any questions you might have to Charlie at the same address.

The ND first meeting will offer an introduction to musical memorization and improvisation, as well as a chance to preview some of their new music.

Almost in every way taught, I improved. Examples: sound, finger speed, my chords, sight reading, improvising, going in front of audiences. My favorite experience this week was the end concert because I was be able to show my improvement & celebrate an awesome week!
— Past 2017 Student


Instrumental Jazz

Jazz Instrumentalists in the morning are enrolled on the basis of audition into a Jazz Band or the Let’s Rock Ensemble*.  Jazz Bands rehearse and perform traditional and cutting-edge charts from the jazz band repertory. The Let’s Rock Ensemble is made up of rhythm section players who explore the works of rock, blues, latin and other contemporary and jazz forms. The morning also offers master classes, workshops and sectional rehearsals for all instrumentalists. 

 *Note:  Placement in Jazz Bands and Let’s Rock is by audition.

However, rhythm section players (keyboard, guitar, bass, drums) who prefer to play in the Let’s Rock program can notify teachers during the audition process on opening Sunday. 

 Jazz Instrumentalists achieve a comfort level as combo musicians by playing in a combo and in a jazz lab in the afternoon. The afternoon also offers an opportunity to play in a traditional jazz (Dixieland) ensemble. 

Development of improv skills is emphasized. All groups, large and small, participate in concerts throughout the week. 

TOTAL: $495 ($100 Deposit)


Vocal Jazz

Jazz Vocalists work in Solo Vocal Performance, Vocal Jazz Ensembles and Songwriting. Solo Vocal Students will receive daily coaching as they develop repertoire while working on tone, phrasing, style and improv. The Jazz Choir rehearses and performs stylistically varied jazz choir repertoire while Songwriting students create and perform original pieces. A resident faculty combo is available to accompany all vocal jazz performers and we offer an opportunity for select vocalists to perform with the festival studio band.

TOTAL: $495 ($100 Deposit)


New Directions

The New Directions program offers young musicians who play typically classical instruments an opportunity to perform an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from classic to modern post 20th century which may include rock, jazz, fusion, folk and new age. Improvisation and playing by ear are emphasized. The music is newly composed by our faculty and students each summer. Students and faculty perform in the New Directions large ensemble in the morning, breaking into combos/chamber groups in the afternoon, where students compose and perform their own music. Instruments included in New Directions include orchestra strings and woodwinds, tuba, guitar, piano, percussion, guitar and voice.

A New Directions afternoon workshop with Jovino

TOTAL: $495 ($100 Deposit)


Let’s Rock

Students in the Let’s Rock track spend mornings rehearsing with the the Let’s Rock Ensemble, made up of rhythm section players who explore the works of rock, blues, latin and other contemporary, popular, and jazz forms.  The mornings also include master classes in each instrument.  Afternoons are spent in a jazz combo and in the Jazz/Rock rhythm lab, which includes performing works by our Songwriting students.

TOTAL: $495 ($100 Deposit)