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Audition Requirements

All students interested in the program are required to take part in an audition (see the Milestones Calendar for audition dates). If you are unable to participate in the audition that day, please be sure to contact us so we can make alternate arrangements.

  1. At least one full year of experience on your instrument
  2. If you are not a member of your school music program, you must be studying privately.
  3. Be able to play a chromatic scale at least one-and-a-half octaves

(Drummers, bass players, guitarists and pianists: please be sure to check any additional requirements at the bottom of the page.)

JAZZ FOUNDATIONS ENSEMBLE REQUIREMENTS
Grades 6-9
This group is for those with limited or no jazz/improvisation experience. All instruments are welcome in this group. Students in this ensemble must meet the requirements listed above for all students. In addition:

  1. Be able to play at least two major scales
  2. Learn the melody to a Level One or Level Two tune listed below. You do not have to improvise if you are not comfortable doing so.
  3. You will also sight read a piece appropriate for your grade level.

JAZZ DISCOVERY ENSEMBLE REQUIREMENTS
Grades 6-12
To play in this group you should have a minimum one year of jazz/improvisation experience. In addition to the requirements for all students:

  1. Have memorized and be able to play a minimum of five major scales two octaves
  2. Learn the melody to a one of the tunes listed below – choose the most difficult one that you are comfortable improvising over. Play the head followed by two solo choruses. (We will provide the play-along track.)
  3. You will also sight read a piece appropriate for your grade level.

ALL-STAR JAZZ ENSEMBLE REQUIREMENTS
Grades 8-12
This group is for the most advanced players. To play in this group you should have a minimum of two years of jazz/improvisation experience.

  1. Be able to play any of the 12 major scales
  2. Learn the melody to a Level 3 or Level 4 tune listed. Play the head followed by two solo choruses. (We will provide the play-along track.)
  3. Sight read a piece appropriate for your grade level.

REQUIRED TUNES
Note that levels do not necessarily correspond with group levels. You should choose a tune that challenges you, but is not so difficult that you cannot master it.
LEVEL 1 (easiest)
Sonnymoon for Two
Play along track
Reference track

LEVEL 2
Satin Doll
Play along track
Reference track

LEVEL 3
Stella by Starlight
Play along:
Reference track

LEVEL 4 (most difficult)
Strollin’
Play along track
Reference track

DRUMMERS
Drummers at all levels should be able to demonstrate swing, funk, and Latin (bossa, samba) grooves.

  • Drummers auditioning for the top two groups should be able to demonstrate the ability to trade fours and play with brushes.
  • Drummers auditioning for the top group should be comfortable soloing for a chorus over one of the Level 3 or 4 tunes above.

BASS PLAYERS
In addition to the requirements for all instrumentalists, bass players in all groups will be asked to play a walking bass line.

PIANISTS/GUITARISTS
In addition to the requirements for all instrumentalists, pianists/Guitarists auditioning for the top two groups should be comfortable comping behind a soloist as well as exhibiting the ability to be able to read a chord progression.