Jazz Festival Rules and Guidelines

Our festival’s purpose is to provide a positive educational experience for Middle School Big Bands, High School Big Bands and High School Combos.  At the Chantilly Jazz Festival, students in these ensembles gain the most from earning individual solo awards, scholarships, and by participating in a clinic run by a professional jazz educator. Ensembles are registered on a first come, first served basis using a time-stamped reply system online beginning January 23rd, 2024.

Schools may register more than one ensemble, however their “first” big band will be considered for Saturday’s competition and all “second” or “third” big bands will perform on Friday’s exhibition unless there is room to accommodate them in Saturday’s schedule.


Every band that performs receives a dropbox link to comments from three CIJF judges.  Every ensemble will receive a private clinic with an outstanding jazz educator.

  • Rhythm Section Equipment provided by our Festival:
    • Vibraphone
    • Piano
    • Power strips and limited extension cords
  • Rhythm Section Equipment NOT provided (please bring what you need):
    • Drum set
    • Any/all amps for guitar, bass, etc.
    • Necessary patch cables
    • Mallets/drum sticks for percussion equipment
    • Auxiliary percussion

Our adjudicators may recognize select students for various awards, including but not limited to “All-Star Band” status and possible scholarships opportunities depending on sponsorship funding.


1.  There is one performance site for combos and big bands, the 600-seat Chantilly High School Auditorium.  We offer free admission to anyone interested in hearing jazz ensembles and exhibition ensembles perform during the Chantilly Invitational Jazz Festival.

2.  Each ensemble performance time is 25 minutes total, including set up and breakdown.  Ensembles may perform 3-4 selections of their choosing – there are no required pieces or styles.  Please be respectful of the performance time limits and plan your set lists accordingly.

3.  Each ensemble will have three judges’ record comments onto a digital recording device during your group’s performance.  Bands will receive digital copies of each judge’s comments.

4.  After you perform on stage, each ensemble will transition to their professional clinic.  The clinic will last 25 minutes, including set up and tear down time.  There will be extension cords and power strips in each room, and CHS will provide carts to transport heavier equipment to the clinic and back to the storage areas.

5.  After every band has performed, there will be a feature group performance, followed by an awards ceremony.  We will announce the TOP 3 High School big bands along with outstanding musician awards and certificates.  The All-Star Band will be e-mailed to directors after the event, and certificates will be mailed to each school.

6.  On Saturday, the TOP 3 High School big bands will be invited to perform again as festival finalists – prior to finals there will be a banquet with the three bands and Chantilly Jazz.  Three adjudicators will listen to each band perform and determine final placements for the Chantilly Invitational Jazz Festival.


There are participation fees for each registered ensemble:

$250.00 per group postmarked by March 29, 2024

$300.00 per group postmarked after March 29, 2024

Complete the Preliminary Registration Form beginning January 23rd, 2024.  Additional registration information will be collected later once your ensemble is a confirmed participant.

E-mail questions to Mr. Maloney

Chantilly High School
4201 Stringfellow Road
Chantilly, VA 20151
703-222-8180 office
703-222-8197 fax