College of Fine & Performing Arts

Jazz Ensemble Auditions

Ensemble Auditions, Jazz

Director of Jazz Studies, Professor Kevin Woods.

The jazz area welcomes all WWU students regardless of major. We are offering auditions for our large Jazz Bands, Chamber Jazz ensembles, and Vocal Jazz.

General Information

Audition Form/Sign-Up

Fall 2019 auditions have passed. Please contact Professor Kevin Woods about mid-year auditions Jazz band and combos.

Audition Details

Please know the keys for your songs and provide lead sheets when possible. 
Play-a-longs (backing tracks) for all tunes from the audition list can be found on YouTube (search the title + play along). We recommend the play-a-longs from the Learn Jazz Standards YouTube page.

Class Schedules

Registration

All students participating in any ensemble must register for the appropriate course through Web4U.  Each course is 0-2 credits per quarter and is repeatable for credit towards graduation requirements, electives, and music degrees. Students will be able to register after ensemble audition results have been posted.

Ensemble Day Time
Jazz Big Band I (MUS 474) MWF 2 -2:50pm
Jazz Big Band II (MUS 274) TR 4 -5:20pm
Jazz Combo I (MUS 475) MWF 11-11:50am
Jazz Combo II (MUS 475) MWF 1-1:50-pm
Jazz Combos III, IV, V (MUS 275) TBA TBA
Vocal Jazz (MUS 284) TBA TBA

Audition Dates Requirements

Big Band and Combos

Brass, Piano, Strings, Woodwinds, Voice

Prepare one tune from the Audition List (melody, and improvisation if applicable).

Instrumentalists, be prepared to play major scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible). You will also be asked to sight read.  Additional sight-reading may be requested of the lead trumpet, lead trombone, and lead alto candidates. Feel free to prepare anything else that you feel shows your ability.

Audition List
  • What is This Thing Called Love by Cole Porter (C major)
  • How Insensitive by A.C. Jobim (D minor)
  • Au Privave by Charlie Parker (F major)
  • Take the A Train by Duke Ellington (C major)
  • My Little Suede Shoes by Charlie Parker (Eb major)
  • Bessie's Blues by John Coltrane (Eb major)
  • Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma  (Bb major)
  • Recordame by Joe Henderson (A minor)
  • All The Things You Are by Jerome Kern (Ab major)
  • Stella By Starlight by Victor Young (Bb major)
  • Oleo by Sonny Rollins (Bb major)
  • Alone Together by Arthur Schwartz  (D minor)
Guitarists

(in addition to above) Scales — two octaves, major and minor, alternate picking; reading - melodic through and including 5th position, ability to read a chord chart; prepare two contrasting tunes from a fake book, both melody, and chords; be able to solo over basic chord changes, i.e., blues changes.

Bassists

Please be prepared to demonstrate time/groove in the following styles: Swing (medium to up-tempo), Straight Eighth, Funk, and Latin (Bossa or Samba). Also, be prepared play behind a horn player on one of the tunes from the Audition List. You will also be asked sight-read. Feel free to prepare anything else that you feel shows your ability.

Drummers

Please be prepared to demonstrate time/groove in the following styles: Swing (medium and up-tempo), Shuffle, Straight Eighth, Funk, and a Latin style (Bossa, Samba, etc...). Feel free to perform any transcription or drum solo you know or have been working on. Be prepared play behind a horn player on one of the tunes from the Audition List. You will also be asked sight-read. Feel free to prepare anything else that you feel shows your ability.

Voice

Please prepare the following for voice big band and combo auditions

  1. One medium to medium-up swing tune (jazz standard) with melody and improvisation (if desired)
  2. One Ballad, melody only. 

Vocal Jazz

Please prepare the following for the Vocal Jazz auditions. 

Two pieces of your choice:

  1. One medium to medium-up swing tune (jazz standard) with melody and improvisation (if desired).
  2. One Ballad, melody only.