Last week was a very special week at KMH. 3 weeks out of the semester we have intensive weeks in school, where there is no classes and it is a time for students to work on the term projects or to prepare for the large concerts (such as the symphony orchestra or big band). Usually for first year and exchange students this week is very relaxing because if we are not playing in one of the large ensembles we are free all week, but this past intensive week was an extremely busy yet exciting week for all of the Jazz students. This week we had the special privilege of welcoming all the students from the monk institute to our school. The monk institute in a school in L.A. that takes in one full ensemble of masters or higher level jazz students every two years and they earn their degree under the guidance and mentorship of some of the largest names in jazz such as Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. These students are very high level musicians and were accompanied the whole week by the great Dick Oatts as their mentor. The week was spent having master classes, private lessons and ensembles with together under the guidance of the monk students. Each one of them had so much knowledge and information to share, it was a very inspiring week. Each evening ended in a pub and jam session at our school which gave us an extra chance just to hang out and get to know all of them personally. The week culminated in a great joint concert on Thursday night with the KMH Jazz orchestra and the monk students collaborating together in one evning. first the Jazz orchestra played a set, then the Monk Students played with their group and we finished up the evening by combining our two groups together. All of the students and teachers from both of our schools really thought it was a successful week and this may be the start of a great school collaborating tradition. Over all, it was a very inspiring week, and I was very lucky to have had the chance to be here for this week and learn so much. Time to go practice!!