Chase Sanborn is an engaging modern jazz trumpet voice with a warm, inviting tone, fluid lyrical phrasing, and a style that always swings. He exhibits the cultivated sensibility of a player at the peak of his powers.
Music Business Tactics is an easy and enjoyable read that provides sound, practical advice. If you are an aspiring musician, or you know one, get this book! You need this information!
Chase Sanborn goes right to the heart and soul of the music. His performance was an inspiration to hundreds of festival participants, and his positive and upbeat outlook made a lasting impact on our students
Jazz Tactics presents the material in such a clear and simple way, with the vitality and spirit of a live teaching session. This method speaks to all musicians, regardless of age and previous experience.
Chase addresses the needs of developing musicians in a manner that is understandable and relevant. My students were thrilled to work with someone who understands their learning curve.
Tuning Tactics teaches you to listen. In just a short time, I've witnessed strong improvement in my students' awareness. Tuning Tactics makes good intonation attainable for all!
Chase Sanborn has a natural gift for engaging and involving an audience. He shares a wealth of honest and knowledgeable information about music and the music business.
Brass Tactics offeres authoritative instruction balanced with sage and homely advice. It shows you how to handle yourself in any professional or amateur situation. No trumpet player should be without this book!

Safe From Ducks (National Music Camp)

Photo by Sharon Little

At the time of this writing, I am comfortably ensconced in a slightly dilapidated (yet it hath charms) cabin on the shores of Lake Couchiching, two hours north of Toronto near the town of Orillia, Ontario.
National Music Camp of Canada brings together upwards of 350 kids to take part in three concurrent programs: jazz, band/orchestral and music theatre. Generations of kids have grown up here as campers and children of faculty. My own kids enjoyed many a last-week-of-summer at camp, taking part in the program, enjoying the beautiful setting and reveling in the curfew-free privileges of being a ‘fac brat’.

(Photo by Sharon Little)

At the time of this writing, I am comfortably ensconced in a slightly dilapidated (yet it hath charms) cabin on the shores of Lake Couchiching, two hours north of Toronto near the town of Orillia, Ontario. National Music Camp of Canada brings together upwards of 350 kids to take part in three concurrent programs: jazz, band/orchestral and music theatre. Generations of kids have grown up here as campers and children of faculty. My own kids enjoyed many a last-week-of-summer at camp, taking part in the program, enjoying the beautiful setting and reveling in the curfew-free privileges of being a ‘fac brat’.

Campers enjoy action-packed days, alternating music activities with camp activities (all the usual, plus some not-so-usual including a climbing wall and golf course). The combination of hard work and hard play leads to fast friendships, and by mid-week it has become a large noisy family. When I first started coming here I was slightly intimidated by the teeming mass of hormones-on-overdrive; now I revel in the youthful energy.

In the jazz program, our students play in big bands and small groups, receive group lessons on their instrument or voice, and take a class in jazz theory and improvisation. At night, the students attend faculty concerts before the evening camp program, which includes activities such as ‘NMC Idol’ and a ‘drive in’ movie night where they snuggle in sleeping bags under the stars, watching a large outdoor movie screen and eating popcorn. Makes me wish I was seventeen again (sort of.)

Jazz camp students range in age from 13-18, and in level from beginner to sometimes shockingly advanced. There is a strong sense of admiration for the peers that exhibit particular ability, and there seems to be a certain reflected glory that everyone basks in for having been part of the shared experience. At the start of camp there are inevitably some students who think it is all over their heads, but five days later, when the students perform for each other, everybody is raring to go, bolstered by the shouts of encouragement from the audience. On the final Sunday, when the concert is presented for the parents, they are old pros. They head back to school with heads packed with information, and a heightened sense of self-confidence and maturity.

The Jazz Camp was founded by Paul Read, and is now ably headed by Larry Shields. The list of current and past faculty reads like a who’s-who of Canadian and US jazz musicians. Of special note is the much-loved and missed Frank Mantooth, who arrived each summer at the tail end of nine consecutive weeks of music camps. ‘Tooth’ left an indelible impression on everybody, especially the members of his various student ensembles, always dubbed the ‘Skanktones’. The members of the faculty are assisted by staff personnel, drawn from various university music programs. They act as camp counselors and equipment ‘managers’, and play with the staff combo and faculty big band.

NMC would not exist without the dedication of the Nashman family, who founded Camp Wahanowin where NMC takes place the last two weeks of every summer. Over forty years ago Harold and Yetta Nashman created a musical setting that has enriched the lives of thousands of campers and faculty. Today, the camp is run by Bruce and Patti Nashman, aided and abetted by Pete Thistlethwaite and Tan Robertson. They take the tradition seriously, and make sure the faculty knows our contribution to the camp is important and appreciated.

This is my favorite time of day at NMC-classes are finished for the day and the light is fading. I can hear my neighbor on one side, trumpeter Jason Logue, practicing scales, while my neighbor on the other side, saxophonist Bill Moolenbeek, is playing duets with a student. Students are practicing or tossing frisbees, milking the last little bit of daylight. Tonight the jazz faculty and the orchestra faculty will present a joint concert for the entire camp; tomorrow it is the music theatre faculty on display. Later tonight, the jazz faculty are cooking steaks on a large, rusting approximation of a BBQ and telling stories around the campfire. Marshmallow roasting has become a competitive sport. Traditions form easily and die hard here; bassist Mike McClennan has instigated a yearly ritual of burning outdated tax forms and receipts.

After nearly two decades, I still love coming to camp. The camaraderie, the scenery and the enthusiasm of the students invigorates me and gives me a boost as I head into the fall. The summer wouldn’t be the same without NMC, including these funky old cabins. (Vocalist Heather Bambrick informs me that my mine is painted ‘puce’. Seems a terrible name for a color, however it fits.) It is terrifically gratifying to see so many young people celebrating the arts, and being so supportive of each other. I’m happy to play a part in what will be a significant moment in many of their lives, as it has been in mine.

Oh yes, the title. Nobody was happier at camp than my dog, Kelsey, who spent long days on high alert for hapless chipmunks, charging noisily into the lake to make sure we are all safe from ducks.

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