Participation in the FAME Jazz Band Program (FJBP) is open to all Prince George’s County Maryland middle & high school students who are eager to grow in their artistic expression, as well as maintain high academic standards in the classroom. Applicants must live and/or attend school in Prince George’s County. All Jazz Band instruments are invited.

Homeschooled students are encouraged to apply.

This is a Tuition-Free program.


All middle and high school students who live and/or attend school in Prince George’s County Maryland. Applicants must be committed to playing their musical instrument and performing jazz music.



Instrumental instruction


Music theory classes


Academic tutoring


Renowned staff and educators


College preparatory classes


Summer enrichment programs


Premiere performance venues


And more!


Audition Date: Saturday, May 7, 2022

Registration Open: Now

Registration Closes: Monday, May 2, 2022


In person, at the University of Maryland School of Music

Application Process

Registration Open: February 28, 2022 – May 2, 2022

FAME – Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education invites middle and high school students who live and/or attend school in Prince George’s County Maryland to apply to its FAME Jazz Band Program. Homeschooled students are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be committed to playing their instrument and performing jazz music. The Jazz Band’s Artistic Director is renowned music educator and performer, Dr. Clarence E. Knight, Jr.

Instrumentation The FAME Jazz Band Program is accepting applications for all standard jazz band instruments. Refer to the FAQ sheet at for our full instrument list.

Application Fee There is a non-refundable $50 application fee due with the registration form. There are limited scholarships available for students who present a significant financial need. If you think you meet the criteria, please inquire at

Application Requirements

Biographical Essay: Essays should address the following prompt in a clear and organized way.

Describe your background and musical/educational experience and address how participation in The FAME Jazz Band Program would help you achieve personal goals. Also, tell us some of your favorite musicians and what about them interests you.

Email essays as a PDF to by May 2, 2022. Follow the instructions and requirements below for essays based on grade level below.

For students in 9th grade and below essay requirements are:

  • Essays should be at least 250 words.
  • Should contain no grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Should address the prompt above completely.

For students in 10th grade and above essay requirements are:

  • Essays should be at least 350 words.
  • Should contain no grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Should address the prompt above completely.

Teacher Recommendations: A teacher recommendation/reference is required for each applicant. A music teacher or ensemble conductor is preferred but academic teachers, athletic teachers, or religious leaders are acceptable. The recommendation form linked HERE must be completed by May 2nd.

Headshot Submission: A headshot should be emailed to by April 19th. Acceptable file formats are: TIFF, GIF, JPEG, or PNG.

Musical Selection Requirements

Applicants will perform two songs that highlight your technical and musical ability. For jazz selections you may use a backing track. No pianist is needed for classical selections.

Email a PDF copy of your audition music to by May 2nd.

Audition Day Procedure

Begin with a formal introduction. You should state your name, school, instrument, city and the title of the works you will perform and if necessary what key (jazz selections only).

Solo Works: The solos of your choice should not exceed three minutes each. A movement or selection of larger works is allowed.

Application Checklist - Due May 2nd
  • Submit application & pay registration fee
  • Submit essay
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Submit headshot
  • Submit audition music
Teacher Recommendation

Frequently asked Questions

About FAME

FAME – Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit serving the Greater Washington Metropolitan Region. FAME’s mission is to give every young musician the best opportunity to succeed in life by providing music instruction and academic support. Our programs enhance young lives through quality musical experiences and inspire young minds to take charge of their lives. FAME’s programs include:

FAME Jazz Band Program (read more below);

Summer Music Program provides safe places and structured activities for students across the country during summer months through fun music workshops that incorporate STEM learning, exposure to the college environment, and music industry related career opportunities.

The workshops include:

Music Technology, Vocal, and Jazz Band Instrumental Intensive. Music is Central supports school-day and after school music programs in local elementary, middle, and high schools by providing supplemental music instructors, materials, supplies, instruments and opportunities to share a performance stage with the FAME Jazz Band and professional musicians.

Additionally, FAME provides scholarships to public school teachers to purchase items for their classrooms and/or address student needs.

What is the FAME Jazz Band Program?

The FAME Jazz Band Program (FJBP), is a tuition-free community-based year-round program that improves students’ musicianship and appreciation for Jazz, and provides opportunities for students to showcase their talents, improve their academic skills, and develop discipline needed for college and career success. The FJBP includes the FAME Jazz Band, FAME Jazz Ensemble, and Musicians in Training—a component designed to build musical skills among less experienced young musicians. The FJBP was founded by FAME’s CEO, Ms. A. Toni Lewis. Visit for more information.

Who are the FJBP Music Directors?

The FAMEJazz Band Artistic Director is renowned music educator and performer, Dr. Clarence Knight, and the Associate Artistic Director is educator and musician, Alphonso Jiles, ED. S. Langston Hughes, II, is the music director for the FAME Jazz Ensemble, and Dr. Matt Rynes is music director for the Musicians In Training.


The Founding FAME Jazz Band Artistic Director was Nat Adderley, Jr., scion of the famous jazz family and international jazz pianist. He is best known for his award-winning work as musical director, composer, and arranger for music icon Luther Vandross.

Application Process

Musicians should apply and audition for the FAME Jazz Band Program online at All auditions are conducted by a panel of judges. FAME uses one audition for placement into all three FJBP components.

  • Alto Saxophone
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone Guitar
  • Bass (electric/upright)
  • Piano
  • Drums/Percussion

There is a non-refundable $50 application fee required of all applicants due when your application is submitted. If admitted, an annual $200 program fee is due at the beginning of each season. A few scholarships are available for those who present a significant financial need. Inquire at or 301-805-5358 if you feel you meet the criteria. Payments may be made via major credit card, PayPal, Cash App ($FAMEMUSIC) or check. Checks must be received by the closing date, April 19th.

How is the FAME Jazz Band Program Funded?

Funding is made possible by monetary donations from individuals, and in-kind donations and grants from the Prince George’s County Government, University of Maryland College Park School of Music, United Parcel Service (UPS), PEPCO, and other foundations and corporations.

Rehearsals & Performances.

After a successful audition students are placed in either the FAME Jazz Band or the Musicians in Training. Rehearsals or sectionals are held on Monday’s after school at FAME-Wise, our satellite office at Dr. Henry A. Wise High School in Upper Marlboro, MD. Events, recitals and other activities take place at various venues such as the University of Maryland College Park, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and MNCPPC facilities.

In addition all students participate in weekly music theory classes on Wednesdays. Currently, music activities are held in person in compliance with the State of Maryland and Center for Disease Control recommendations to ensure the safety of all students and staff. Math Tutoring sessions are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday after school. Our academic partner is Innovative Study Techniques (IST). During the pandemic some activities were conducted through distance learning via our FAME Online Learning Portal.


Parental Commitment

Parents are required to attend and participate in parent-student meetings and support annual FAME programs and activities.