Jazz band rehearsing

Audition Information for Jazz Ensembles

Auditions for jazz ensembles are only held in the fall.
New members may email Prof. McNeill to schedule an audition for the Spring Semester.

Ensemble Meeting Times

  • Concert Jazz Band (MTWRF  12:00-12:50 PM)
  • Jazz Band II (MTWR  2:00-2:50 PM)
  • Jazz Band III (TR  3:00-4:20 PM)
  • Jazz Band IV (TR  4:30-5:20 PM)
  • Latin Jazz Ensemble (MW  4:00-4:50 PM)
  • Jazz Guitar Ensemble (F  4:00-5:50 PM)
  • Jazz Saxophone Ensemble (F 2:00-3:50 PM)
  • Jazz Trombone Ensembles (MW  6:00-6:50 PM / 7:00-7:50 PM)
  • Jazz Vocal Ensemble (MW  3:00-4:50 PM)
  • Small Jazz Ensembles/Combos (various times)

GENERAL AUDITION INFORMATION

For Jazz Bands, Instrumental/Vocal Combos and Jazz Vocal Ensemble

 

Professor McNeill will be available to advise jazz saxophone/vocal/guitar students and students who are not sure who their adviser is in the area of jazz performance. Contact him directly at chipmc@illinois.edu. There will be a sign-up sheet (on a first-come, first-served basis) on his office door for advising. 

Auditions for all jazz ensembles are generally held the first two days of class in the fall semester. Exceptions may be made by individual jazz studio professors from semester to semester so always check with your particular instrument or voice professor for changes. Be sure to scroll down for specific audition instructions for your instrument!

For all jazz students who know who their adviser is (usually your jazz studio applied teacher) please contact them directly for advising times/places.

  • SAXOPHONE: Chip McNeill
  • JAZZ VOCAL ENSEMBLE: Melinda Rodriguez
  • DRUMS: Joel Spencer | spence14@illinois.edu
  • PIANO & GUITAR: John “Chip” Stephens | chipster@illinois.edu
  • PIANO: Joan Hickey | hickey@illinois.edu
  • TROMBONE: Jim Pugh | jimpugh@illinois.edu
  • TRUMPET: Tito Carrillo | tcarrill@illinois.edu
  • BASS: Larry Gray | lwgray@illinois.edu


AUDITION SIGN-UP INFORMATION

Sign-up for an audition time on the posted sign-up sheets for your particular instrument/voice that will be posted at the location of your audition: Sax-SMH 5-E, Voice-MB 0061-A, Trumpet SMH 5-C, Trombone SMH 5-D, Piano/Vibes SMH 108, Bass/Guitar SMH 101, Drums/Percussions SMH 2. The results of the auditions will be posted by 10 am, Wednesday, of the first week of classes. Be sure to scroll down for specific audition instructions for your instrument!

Special Note: Some jazz classes will not meet during the first two days of the semester due to jazz auditions!  Check with individual jazz prof. teaching a particular class to make sure.  All jazz ensembles and jazz classes will meet at their regularly scheduled times starting on the third day of the semester. The improvisational performance forum will meet on the first Friday of the semester at 1 pm in smith hall room 25. All jazz majors must attend!

SAXOPHONE AUDITION INFORMATION

All SAXOPHONISTS go to Smith Memorial Hall Room 5-E (Professor McNeill). Contact Prof. McNeill chipmc@illinois.edu for further details.

On the sign-up sheet outside Room 5-E, please give your full name a local phone number/email where you can be reached.

The audition will consist of sight-reading some jazz charts and improvising on a blues in the key of your choice and improvising on one of these jazz standards: “All The Things You Are” in Ab, “Just Friends” in F or G, “Stella By Starlight” in Bb

The results of the auditions will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Smith Memorial Hall Room 11 by 10 am on the third day of the semester.

JAZZ VOICE AUDITION INFORMATION

Jazz Voice Information and Form (to be filled in and brought to the audition)

Auditions for the JAZZ VOCAL ENSEMBLE will be held on Monday, August 27, 2018 during the regular class time (3:00-4:50pm) in the Music Building Recording Studio (MB 0061A). Jazz Voice auditions for vocal combos, possible placement in a big band or Latin Jazz Ens. are scheduled by appointment with Melinda Rodriguez.

If you are auditioning for the Jazz Vocal Ensemble, please review the Audition Information sheet prior to your audition.

The results of the auditions will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Smith Memorial Hall Room 11 by 10 am on the third day of the semester.

BRASS AUDITION INFORMATION (TRUMPET/TROMBONE)

All TRUMPETS go to Smith Memorial Hall Room 5-C (Professor Carrillo). Contact Prof. Carrillo for further details.

All TROMBONES go to Smith Memorial Hall Room 5-D (Professor Pugh). Contact Prof. Pugh for further details.

On the sign-up sheet outside the specific office in which you are auditioning, please give your full name, your instrument, and a local phone number/email where you can be reached.

The audition will consist of a prepared piece of your choice (can be a classical or jazz etude, performance piece, etc…), sight-reading drawn from typical big band charts and improvisation (if you wish improvising is optional). Some scales may be asked for as well.

The results of the auditions will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Smith Memorial Hall Room 11 by 10 am on the third day of the semester.

PIANO/VIBES AUDITION INFORMATION

Auditions for Jazz Piano and Vibes, will take place on Monday, August 27, 2018 Smith Memorial Hall Room 108 (Professor Stephens). Contact Prof. Stephens  for further details.. There will be a sign up sheet there one week prior.

On the sign-up sheet outside the specific office in which you are auditioning, please give your full name, your instrument, and a local phone number/email where you can be reached.

The audition will consist of sight-reading some jazz charts and improvising on one of these jazz standards: “All The Things You Are” in Ab, “Just Friends” in F or G, and “Stella By Starlight” in Bb. The following repertoire is required of all students auditioning:

  • Blues in the key of F - melody plus improvising & comping.
  • Bb Rhythm changes – melody plus improvising & comping. (Pianists, guitarist and vibraphonists must demonstrate their ability to comp effectively on the above material.  Bassists must demonstrate their ability to walk bass lines on the above material.
  • A solo composition of your choice; jazz standard, ballad, original etc.
  • Sight reading

The results of the auditions will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Smith Memorial Hall Room 11 by 10 am on the third day of the semester.

GUITAR AUDITION INFORMATION

Auditions for Jazz Guitar will take place on Monday, August 27, 2018 in Smith Memorial Hall Room 101 (Professor Gray) from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Contact Prof. Gray at lwgray@illinois.edu for further details. There is a sign up sheet on the door.

On the sign-up sheet outside Smith Memorial Hall Room 101, please give your full name, your instrument, and a local phone number/email where you can be reached.

There is an amplifier in the room for your use, so please do not bring one.

Audition repertoire, please prepare to the best of your abilities:

  • Scrapple from the Apple ~160-192 quarter note
  • Beatrice  ~ 120-135 quarter note
  • I Love You ~ 135-160 quarter note -  swing OR straight eighths
  • Sight reading

The results of the auditions will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Smith Memorial Hall Room 11 by 10 am on the third day of the semester.

BASS AUDITION INFORMATION

Auditions for Jazz Bass will take place on Monday, August 27, 2018 in Smith Memorial Hall Room 101 (Professor Gray) from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Contact Prof. Gray at lwgray@illinois.edu for further details. There is a sign-up sheet on the door.

Electric bassists do not need to bring an amp; one will be provided at the audition.

On the sign-up sheet outside Smith Memorial Hall Room 101, please give your full name, and email where you can best be reached.

Audition repertoire, please prepare to the best of your abilities.

  • Oleo (2-4 choruses walking, solo optional) ~ 200-250 quarter note or as practical.
  • I’m Old Fashioned ~ 110-135 quarter note
  • Solar (head, walking and solo) ~ 160-200 quarter note
  • Sight-reading

The results of the auditions will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Smith Memorial Hall Room 11 by 10 am on the third day of the semester.

DRUMS/PERCUSSION AUDITION INFORMATION

Audition Materials:

  • Be prepared to play in a variety of styles, tempi, and time signatures, including jazz, rock, funk, waltz time and other odd meters, and various Latin styles.
  • Demonstrate current ability to play over various song forms including trading and soloing.
  • Perform sight-reading demonstrations from large and small jazz ensemble charts and lead sheets.
  • Demonstrate current familiarity with jazz literature.
  • Demonstrate current brush techniques.

Go to Smith Memorial Hall Room 2 (Professor Spencer). Contact Prof. Spencer (spence14@illinois.edu) for further details or any questions.

Drumset auditions for Professor Spencer's studio will coincide with the Jazz Division's large combo and ensemble auditions. Contact Prof. Spencer for audition times.

The requirements for each prospective studio member will also serve as the requirements for combo and ensemble candidates. Those requirements appear below.

When signing up for an audition, please indicate if you will be auditioning for a position in a jazz ensemble, jazz combo, and/or a position in my applied studio. Please bring cymbals, sticks, and brushes to your audition. Drums and hardware are provided.

Additionally, prospective ensemble members may be asked to perform in sample rhythm sections with bass, piano, and/or guitar players for ensemble placement. Results of auditions will be available by 10 AM outside of Smith 11 on the third day of the semester.

Those students selected for my studio should sign up for an available time on the schedule, which will be posted outside of my office at Smith 2.

The results of the auditions will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Smith 11 by 10 AM on the third day of the semester.