Audition Information for Jazz Ensembles

Placement auditions will not be offered for Spring 2021. Current students will continue with existing combo placements from Fall 2020. New students may contact Chip McNeill directly to inquire about openings for Spring. 

GENERAL AUDITION INFORMATION

Below are the audition requirements for ensemble placement from fall 2020 for reference. Updated information for Fall 2021 auditions will be posted mid-summer.

JAZZ SAXOPHONE AUDITION INFORMATION

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 A-flat, Just Friends in F or G, Stella By Starlight in B-flat.

JAZZ VOICE AUDITION INFORMATION

Contact Barrington Coleman

Auditions for the Jazz Vocal Combos will occur Monday through Wednesday, August 24-26, 2020 and are scheduled by appointment with Barrington Coleman. 

JAZZ TRUMPET AND TROMBONE AUDITION INFORMATION

TRUMPETS: Contact Tito Carrillo

  1. Perform a few selected major, Dorian, and/or Mixolydian scales
  2. Perform a prepared piece in a jazz style (solo transcription, jazz etude, or 2 bebop heads)
  3. Improvise over Sandu (Blues in Eb)
  4. Improvise over a Great American Songbook standard tune or a jazz standard tune(composed by a jazz musician) of your choice

TROMBONES: Contact Jim Pugh

  1. ALL: Scales (2 octaves in all 12 keys):
    • Undergrads: Major, Dorian, Aeolian (natural minor), harmonic minor
    • Grads: Major + other 6 church modes, Jazz minor, whole tone, diminished & aux diminished
  2. Melody and 2 choruses of improvisation on Billie’s Bounce (blues in F; play melody in lower octave)
  3. Melody and 2 choruses of improvisation on Autumn Leaves (G minor)

Email Prof. Pugh directly (jimpugh@illinois.edu) if you need play-along tracks.

JAZZ PIANO/VIBES AUDITION INFORMATION

Contact John “Chip” Stephens

The audition will consist of:

1. Sight-reading some jazz charts and improvising on one of these jazz standards: All The Things You Are in A-flat, Just Friends in F or G, and Stella By Starlight in B-flat. The following repertoire is required of all students auditioning:

2. Blues in the key of F - melody plus improvising & comping.

3. B-flat 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.

4. A solo composition of your choice; jazz standard, ballad, original etc.

5. Sight reading

JAZZ GUITAR AUDITION INFORMATION - UPDATED 8/7/2020

Contact Larry Gray

Audition will be by video recording (mp4 or .mov) which is to be submitted before August 24. For each tune play the head (melody) and solo. Also show some chordal playing, either soloistic block chords or comping (i.e. playing chords as in a rhythm section, supporting a soloist). You can use a play along recording or play unaccompanied.

  1. Out of Nowhere
  2. Au Privave

Please email Prof. Gray if you have questions at lwgray@illinois.edu

JAZZ BASS AUDITION INFORMATION - UPDATED 8/7/2020

Contact Larry Gray

Audition will be by video recording (mp4 or .mov) which is to be submitted before August 24. For each tune play the head (melody), walk and solo. You should prepare one chorus of each but can do more if you like. Choose the format with which you’ll be most comfortable- you can either play unaccompanied or use a play along track, either just drums or with chords as well.

1. Autumn Leaves in G Minor

2. Billie’s Bounce (blues in F)

Please email Prof. Gray if you have questions at lwgray@illinois.edu

JAZZ DRUM SET AUDITION INFORMATION - UPDATED 12/1/2020

Joel Spencer, instructor

Audition will be by video recording (mp4 or .mov) and submitted before August 24. The audition will require a demonstration of the following musical styles.

Jazz: Oleo (by Sonny Rollins)
Perform as follows: quarter-note = 200-250 bpm

  • Chorus 1: Interpret melody over drums (w/Hi-Hat on 2 & 4 throughout)
  • Chorus 2: Play Time (Samba feel on B-section)
  • Chorus 3: Improvised solo (Samba feel on B-section)
  • Chorus 4: Interpret melody over drums (w/Hi Hat on 2&4 throughout)

NOTE: Perform each of the following styles for approximately one minute. A demonstration of trading 4-bar, 8-bar, 12-bar improvised solo phrases will be requested as well.

  1. Funk (¼-note = 100-150 bpm)
  2. Samba (½-note = 100-125 bpm)
  3. Bossa Nova (¼ note = 150 bpm)
  4. Mambo (¼ note = 175-185 bpm)
  5. Afro-Cuban 6/8 (dotted-¼ note = 135-145 bpm)

Additional skills

  1. Brush technique
  2. Waltz and odd meter performance (5/4 & 7/4)
  3. Repertoire knowledge
  4. Sight reading

Please email Prof. Spencer if you have questions: spence14@illinois.edu