Our continuing dedication to jazz education led to the creation of the CPFJ Youth Band over 30 years ago.  Directed by Ron Waters, the band is open to all school age musicians - grade school through high school.  Mr. Waters prepares arrangements to suit the particular talents of the participants each year.  All applicants are accepted without audition - Mr. Waters finds a niche for every instrumentalist and vocalist.  The band’s rehearsals and concerts are scheduled year round including performances at the Central PA Jazz Festival, Jazz Picnic, and many other events. Not only do the students get wonderful experience playing in an improvising ensemble, but they get to meet kids from other schools who have the same interest in jazz.  This ensemble offers a different experience than most High School Jazz Ensembles - it is not a place where the students simply read the notes on the page - all members learn to improvise and get valuable experience playing jazz standards and original music in a group setting.   

youth band 2017CPFJ Youth band

The Youth Band is also not restricted to the traditional big band instrumentation (trumpets, trombones, saxes & rhythm section) - all instruments are welcome - we have had almost every imaginable instrument….cello, accordion, oboe, flute, etc. in past bands. 

There have been a wealth of professional musicians and teachers who have gained experience in the All-Star Band including Tim Warfield (world renowned professional saxophonist), Jonathan Ragonese (saxophonist and graduate of the Manhattan School of Music), Barry Long (professional trumpeter and Jazz Band director at Bucknell Univ.) and Jonathan Pinkerton (High School band director) among many others.  

To apply for the Youth All Star Jazz Band please go to our contact page and send a message with your interests, instruments that you play, and your contact information.


If you are interested in having the Central PA Friends of Jazz Youth Band perform for your event, please contact the CPFJ Office - 717-540-1010 or email friends@friendsofjazz.org

 Youth Band performance at the Pa. State Capital. Rep. Jake Wheatley hosted the second annual celebration of National Jazz Month in Pennsylvania. Rep. Stephen Kinsey, Rep. Patty Kim and Rep. Harry Lewis joined Rep. Wheatley in honoring the music genre and those who have made significant contributions to it in the Commonwealth.

CPFJ Youth Band

The CPFJ Youth Band kicks off the 32nd Annual Central PA Jazz Festival at Strawberry Square, Harrisburg PA - Aug 16, 2012

View Ronnie Waters interview on Living Legacy site - 150th Anniversary of Harrisburg