The Seattle Saxophone Institute is the only saxophone specific summer music camp in the Pacific Northwest.

There's a place for you here, now let your voice be heard!

“It was a wonderful learning experience. I really enjoyed the camp, and it helped me define my style of playing.” -Liam O. (10th grade)

Our Mission

Founded in 2015, the Seattle Saxophone Institute provides Pacific NW saxophone students of all levels of ability a saxophone-focused option for summer study.  Our goal is to give students the most fun, intensive and focused experience learning about the saxophone possible.  The Sax Institute summer music camp is a welcoming environment that emphasizes both instrumental fundamentals and improvisation across classic and modern genres. We work hard to empower students through collaboration and creativity by connecting them with the regions's most inspired saxophone faculty.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Low Student-to-Teacher Ratio: We cap our enrollment at twenty students to ensure that each student gets individual attention, can have questions answered, and is playing with students of similar experience and interests. With four coaches, three guest artists, and professional rhythm section, our ratio of students to professional musicians is 2:1!

  • Full-Time Saxophone Expertise: At many other summer jazz camps, saxophone students may be spending the majority of their time with teachers of other instruments. By focusing only on the saxophone, our renowned faculty can continuously provide students feedback about saxophone sound and technique concepts. Students will have the opportunity to immediately apply lessons from faculty and guest clinicians in their ensembles.

  • Well-Rounded Curriculum: In our first three years, students have learned and performed jazz standards in combo settings, swung classic big-band solis with ease, developed their own conducting language, and performed Charles Mingus melodies as a 12-person supergroup! We held lectures and masterclasses on saxophone reed maintenance, electronics, transcription, tone development, and more! Because we focus on saxophone only, our camp provides students with more opportunities for developing a broad range of skills while honing in the all-important playing fundamentals. All playing styles are welcomed and encouraged!

  • Professional Rhythm Section: Each student gets to rehearse and perform with a trio of some of Seattle's most in-demand professional musicians. This gives our students the opportunity to immediately apply their newfound confidence with skilled artist-teachers who will support and further their performance experience. Students wishing to pursue a jazz curriculum have an opportunity to work with these professionals individually as well.

  • Real-World Performance Opportunity: We don't hold our last performance in a school in the afternoon, but in a storied public Seattle jazz venue. 2018's concerts at the Royal Room jazz club in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood were performed to sold-out crowds! We also offer an optional student jam session and faculty showcase on the Monday of each camp. This event is also accompanied by our professional rhythm section and provides interested students another opportunity to collaborate and perform.


Our 2019 Seattle Sax Institute Summer Music Camp offers 2 separate high school sessions and 1 middle school session. Click here for more information about our camp dates and locations. Our camp curriculum is collaboratively designed, and many of the final curriculum decisions are based on enrollment specifics. Here’s what you can expect from a typical day:

9:00 – Welcome and Warming Up

Breathing exercises: expanding the diaphragm using chorales and overtones

9:30 – Group Repertoire 

Rehearsing music by the World Saxophone Quartet and original compositions commissioned for the Sax Institute.
10:00 – 10:25  — Pods A and B

Students break into smaller “Pods,” led by our artist faculty. Students will work on repertoire such as big band solis or Sax Institute-originated arrangements

10:30 - 10:25 — Elective Sessions

Session 1. How to sand, shape and maintain your reeds. Led by Dr. Evan Smith

Session 2: Using the Saxophone with live electronics . Led by Neil Welch

10:30-10:55 – Private lessons with a Sax Institute artist coach

11:00-11:45 – Small Ensembles (combos, quartets, or duos)

Past works have included Sammy Nestico, Jim Snidero, Don Menza, Duke Ellington, and many more.

11:50-12:00 — Large ensemble chorales: soprano to bari saxophones

12:00-12:25 – Lunch (outside in the grass, together as a group)

12:30 – 1:25 Guest Artist

Guest artist presentations are participatory sessions with a regional saxophonist, composer, or local creative artist. Past guest artists have included Kate Olson (saxophonist from Sryinx Effect), Christian Pincock (session in Big Band Conduction), Peter Daniel (45th street brass band), James Falzone (Cornish College of the Arts) and many more.

1:30-1:55 – Artist faculty-led workshop: The Modern Saxophone 

Creative improvisation and extended saxophone technique, led by Dr. Evan Smith

2:00-2:25 – Group repertoire Round II

Rehearsing music by the World Saxophone Quartet and original compositions commissioned for the Sax Institute.

2:30–2:50 – Pods A and B Round II

2:50-3:00 — A group conversation about our day at the camp.

3:00 – Home/Pick-up


What People Have Said

"I really enjoyed the camp. It really helped me define my style of playing, and what sound I wanted to get out of the saxophone. It was a wonderful learning experience, and overall greatly improved my playing ability." - Amy, 10th Grade