Jazz band rehearsing

Audition Information for Jazz Ensembles

Jazz Ensemble placement auditions take place in the fall for placement for the academic year.

NEW STUDENTS: Ad-hoc auditions may be scheduled based on availability. Please contact the individual jazz studio teacher for your instrument/voice prior to the start of the Spring semester for instructions.

Ensemble Meeting Times

  • Concert Jazz Band (MTWRF  12:00-12:50 PM)
  • Repertory Jazz Orchestra (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)


Contact the individual studio teacher for your voice/instrument:

Contact Chip McNeill

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.

Contact Melinda Rodriguez

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

Auditions for the JAZZ VOCAL ENSEMBLE, vocal combos, and possible placement in a big band or Latin Jazz Ensemble 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.

TRUMPETS: Contact Tito Carrillo
TROMBONES: Contact Jim Pugh

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.

Contact John “Chip” Stephens

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

Contact Larry Gray

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 at ~160-192 quarter note
  • Beatrice  at ~ 120-135 quarter note
  • I Love You at ~ 135-160 quarter note -  swing OR straight eighths
  • Sight reading

Contact Larry Gray

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

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

Contact Joel Spencer

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.

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.