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Jazz & Contemporary Music Studies Audition Requirements

Instrumental Jazz & Contemporary Music


Live auditions are approximately 10 minutes. The applicant chooses the first work, and the faculty will choose additional standards from the audition repertoire list. A rhythm section, amplifiers, and a drum set (without cymbals) will be provided. Applicants will likely be asked to stop in the middle of selections.

All instrumentalists should prepare three jazz standards featuring different styles, moods, and tempos. One must be a ballad. Be prepared to play the head and improvise over several choruses. Applicants must provide music for the accompanying rhythm section in the correct key. Play-along recordings are not permitted.

  • Horn players must play the head once and play a chorus or more of soloing. Sight-reading will be included, and scales may be requested.

  • Pianists and Guitarists must play the head once, followed by a chorus of comping, and a chorus or more of soloing. Sight-reading will be included, and scales may be requested.

  • Bassists must play the head once, followed by a chorus of walking (or appropriate stylistic groove), and a chorus or more of soloing. Sight-reading will be included, and scales may be requested.

  • Drummers must play an appropriate part during the head, followed by a chorus or more of time/comping, and a solo and/or trades with the rhythm section. They will also be asked to demonstrate different musical styles (Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, contemporary grooves, etc.) in various tempos and time signatures, as well as show brush technique. Sight-reading will be included. Drummers must bring their own cymbals, sticks and brushes.

Vocal Jazz & Contemporary Music


Vocalists should prepare two songs: one jazz standard and one contemporary (non-classical) piece. An accompanist will be provided, however, students may accompany themselves or bring a CD play-along. Students will also be asked to improvise over blues changes and given a brief ear-training assessment.