Central PA Jazz Camp

Central PA Friends of Jazz presents the 11th annual Central PA Jazz Camp

Central PA Friends of Jazz is pleased to announce its eleventh annual Jazz Camp at Messiah College, Grantham, PA  The Camp, held this year on June 13, 14 & 15, serves students, age 12 to 21, of all instruments and voices.  All students who seriously desire to further their music education are welcome. No audition is required. The Central PA Jazz Camp outstanding artist faculty will deliver a comprehensive curriculum that will allow beginners and experienced players alike to improve their skills while gaining valuable experience in the study of improvisation, jazz theory, ear training, composition, keyboard skills, and jazz history. Students are placed compatibly in small groups and work together in performances. There is also camp time devoted to individual instrument instruction. The camp concludes on Friday late afternoon with a camp-wide concert that is free and open to the public.

This year’s faculty includes guest artist/educators Cyrus Chestnut and Jonathan Ragonese as well as the Messiah College faculty members, Kirk Reese, Jeff Stabley, and Steve Meashey.  Cyrus is a renowned recording artist and one of the greatest pianists of his generation.  Jonathan Ragonese is an acclaimed saxophonist and graduate of the Manhattan School of Music who formerly attended the CPFJ Jazz Camp.

“This year’s Camp is made possible by a generous grant from the Olewine Family Trust.  In addition, scholarship funding is provided by Pennsylvania National Insurance, and the Hall Foundation.” 

To register: Applicants may apply online at CPFJ.org or: Download and print out the mail-in registration form.  You can download the Camp brochure as well.  Or, call to register by phone using a credit card at 717 540-1010. The Jazz Camp will confirm your registration by mail once application and tuition are received. For more registration information please call Messiah College’s Department of Music – 717-796-1800

Resident participants will stay in Messiah College residence halls and eat their meals in the College’s dining hall. Commuters may also eat in the College dining room and pay on a per-meal basis.

Fees: Resident: Tuition, room, and board_$350.00                                                                          (Includes instruction, housing for 3 days and 2 nights, all regular meals).
Commuter: Tuition and meals_$250.00                                                                                            (Includes instruction, all regular meals)

Jazz Camp Faculty Bios:

Cyrus Chestnut

Cyrus Chestnut has been in the forefront of modern jazz for many years. He began his career at the age of six, playing for Mt. Calvary Church in Baltimore.

He received a degree in Composition and Arranging in 1985 from Berklee School of Music where he won many awards. Following school he honed his craft in the bands of jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Betty Carter, Freddie Hubbard & Joe Williams.

Cyrus began releasing CDs as a leader in 1991 and has been recording steadily ever since. He signed with Atlantic Records in 1993 and has released many critically acclaimed titles for that label.  His recordings have been listed in Downbeat’s annual “Top Ten” list and his gospel tinged style inspired the popular solo recording “Spirit” in 2008.


Jonathan Ragonese

Jonathan Ragonese is originally from Central PA and was a student at the Central PA Jazz Camp. He began his studies on piano, switching to saxophone at age twelve.  He was mentored by Central PA musicians Tim Warfield, Jr., Ron Waters and Steve Rudolph while in high school, and received a full scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music. Among his teachers there are Steve Wilson, Bob Mintzer and Gary Dial.  Jonathan is currently in his Master’s of Music studies in Composition.

In NYC he has performed with many great jazz musicians including James Moody, Dave Liebman, John Riley, Phil Woods, and Bobby Watson.  His arranging and orchestrating talents are in demand and have been heard in concerts with the Harrisburg Symphony and all Ellington Suite for saxophonist Steve Wilson at the Vermont Mozart Festival.


Kirk Reese

Kirk Reese has been an active part of the jazz scene in Pennsylvania for thirty years.  He has performed with numerous notable jazz artists including Phil Woods, Lou Marini, Marvin Stamm, Tim Warfield, Jr. and Terrell Stafford, and has been asked to be the opening act for Bela Fleck, B.B. King and others. An active recording artist, he has appeared on countless CDs including one by the Reese Project, “Blue Etude”, which received a Grammy nomination in 2002.  Reese has been on the music faculty at Messiah College for nearly 10 years and in that time has established a culture of small-group jazz that has enhanced the department, reinforced the big bands, and has been the catalyst for many students developing a lifelong appreciation for the art form.

Steve Meashey

Steve Meashey is originally from Lebanon, PA where he now lives with his wife Erin and their three children, Samantha, Chester and Robyn

For more than 25 years, Steve has made a living playing bass in Central PA and around Philadelphia where he has had the privilege of playing with many of the finest musicians in the region.  Meashey has also been involved in many recording projects through the years including CDs with the For Peace Quartet and the Joe Hunt Trio.

Jeff Stabley

Jeff Stabley teaches Jazz Studies at York College of Pennsylvania where he directs the jass ensemble and the percussion ensemble. He is also a music teacher at Lincoln Intermediate Unit #12 in York County and is the contemporary music director and pianist at Zion Lutheran Church of York.  For more than ten years, Stabley has been the music director of the First Presbyterian Church of York’s popular jazz vespers concerts honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This concert has featured many notable artists including Chris Bacas, John Swana and Paul Carr.

Locally Jeff can be heard drumming with Amy Banks, Kirk Reese, Tim Warfield, Jr., and Jim Wood. He also plays keyboard with Kris Kostoff’s hip-hop jazz group Compound.  The Jeff Stabley Trio has released a CD entitled “Music To Listen to Music To” with Steve Meashey & Andy Roberts..