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Nick soloing on sax at jazz night.Big Bands, Combos and Vocal Jazz Ensemble Auditions for Fall 2021

CWU Large Jazz Ensemble placement auditions take place at the beginning of each quarter. Any enrolled CWU student may audition, participation is not limited to music majors. Below are the instructions for 2021 CWU Fall Large Ensemble Jazz Auditions. Fall Jazz Combo Auditions (MUS 218/418) will happen separately, on Thursday September 23rd at 11:00 am. Jazz Combo audition info can be found at the bottom of this page.

Vocalists

All vocal jazz auditions for vocalists will take place Sept. 21st (T) - 24th (F). Audition materials/info and sign-ups will be posted on Prof. Singh’s office door (Rm. 121) no later than Sept. 16th. Email any questions directly to Prof. Vijay Singh.

Instrumentalists

The audition is for placement into the following ensembles

  • Jazz Ensemble I (MUS 232.001/432.001)
  • 
M/W/F 12:00-12:50 pm

  • Jazz Ensemble II (MUS 232.002/432.002)

    • M/W/F 11:00-11:50 am

  • Jazz Ensemble III (MUS 232.003/432.003)
    • 
M/W/F 1:00-1:50 pm

  • Vocal Jazz I (MUS 210.001/410.001)
    • 
M/W/Th/F 1:00-1:50 pm

    • Rhythm Section Only

  • Vocal Jazz II (MUS 210.002/410.002)
    • 
T/Th 3:30-5:00

    • Rhythm Section Only


Instrumentalist Audition Schedule

Wednesday, September 22 - Jazz Room

  • Saxophones 11:00 am-2:00 pm

  • Trumpets 6:00-9:00 pm


Thursday, September 23 - Jazz Room

  • Rhythm Section 1:00-4:00 pm

  • Trombones 6:30-9:00 pm


Friday, September 24 - Jazz Room

  • Stragglers 11:00 am-1:00 pm
  • 
Please only sign up for a straggler time if you are unable to make the Wednesday/Thursday time for your instrument


To sign up for a time slot, please visit the billboard directly across from the CWU Jazz Room. Sign-up sheets will be posted by September 15th.

Audition Excerpts & Survey

Instrumentalist Large Ensemble Audition Sheet Music

Instrumentalists, please complete this Pre-Audition Survey

Audition Material will consist of the following components

  • Horn Players
    • Chromatic Scale from lowest note on instrument to highest comfortable note at a comfortable tempo of your choice
    • Play the melody to “Voyage” at a comfortable tempo of your choice
    • Improvise over a blues in concert F for 2 chourses
    • Sight-reading (To be provided at audition)
  • Drummers
    • Play along to “Voyage” at a comfortable tempo of your choice, as if you were performing the song with an ensemble
    • Play a 2-chorus improvised solo over a 12-bar blues progression
    • Be prepared to show the following styles (tempos are a suggestion)
    1. Medium Swing (with sticks) qtr note = 110 bpm
    2. Fast Swing (with sticks) qtr note = 240 bpm
    3. Waltz (with sticks) qtr note = 128 bpm
    4. Bossa Nova (with sticks) qtr note = 120
    5. Mambo (with sticks) qtr note = 128 bpm
    6. Samba (with sticks) half note = 110 bpm
    7. Afro Cuban 6/8 (with sticks) dotted qtr = 112
    8. Ballad swing (with brushes) qtr note = 82 bpm
    9. Medium Swing (with brushes) qtr note = 110 bpm
    10. Fast Swing (with brushes) qtr note = 240 bpm
    11. Funk (with sticks) qtr note = 75 bpm
    • Sight-reading (To be provided at audition)
  • Bassists
    • Chromatic Scale from lowest note on instrument to highest comfortable note at a comfortable tempo of your choice
    • Play the melody to “Voyage” at a comfortable tempo of your choice
    • Walk a bassline for 2 chourses of a blues in Concert F, then improvise for 2 chourses
    • Be prepared to demonstrate the following styles of bass playing. Choose whatever chords you would like, the style/rhythm is what is most important!
      • 2-Feel
      • Walking Bass Line
      • Bossa Nova
      • Tumbao
      • Funk
    • Sight-reading (To be provided at audition)
  • Pianists
    • Chromatic Scale - 3 octaves starting on a note of your choice, at a comfortable tempo of your choice
      • 2 hands preferred for pianists
    • Play the melody to “Voyage” at a comfortable tempo of your choice
      • Optional - Also comp chords to “Voyage”
    • “Comp” 2 choruses of a blues in Concert F, then improvise for 2 chourses
    • Be prepared to demonstrate the following styles of comping. Choose whatever chords you would like, the style/rhythm is what is most important!
      • Count Basie/Freddie Green
      • Medium Swing
      • Bossa Nova
      • Montuno (Piano only)
      • Funk
    • Sight-reading (To be provided at audition)

If you have any questions, please contact Prof. Brian Lawrence

Fall Auditions 2021: Combos

Combo auditions will occur during the combocation class time of 11:00 am on Thursday, September 23rd in the Jazz Room. Any enrolled CWU student may audition; participation is not limited to music majors. Make sure you are enrolled in MUS 218/418/518, Jazz Combo.

For the audition, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Play the melody and improvise a solo on “What Is This Thing Called Love?” within a jazz combo setting (2-3 horns plus rhythm section) to a professor/TA
    • Rhythm section should play in an appropriate style behind horn players during the melody, but will be expected to improvise
  • Individually play the melody to “What Is This Thing Called Love?” to a professor/TA
    • Drummers, please sing the melody while playing a stylistically-appropriate groove
  • Individually outline the chord changes to “What Is This Thing Called Love?” to a professor/TA

If you have any questions, please contact Prof. Brian Lawrence at brian.lawrence@cwu.edu

  • Vocal Jazz Singers Audition Details

    Schedule to be announced

    Vocal Jazz Auditions will contain:

    • Vocalizing – test range, vocal flexibility, technique, “chops”
    • Ear Training – outline Major/minor triads, augmented, diminished, whole tone & chromatic scales, intervals.
    • Sight Reading – you will be given a piece to sight read on the spot. I may ask you to sight read different parts (S,A,T,B) - you will get about 15 seconds to prepare, then sight sing the best you can
    • Vocal Jazz / Jazz Solo – pick a jazz tune that you can sing in jazz style (swing, bebop, ballad, etc.); Examples – something from a fake book, jazz standard, etc. no pop tunes, art songs, or arias please! Bring the lead sheet with you to the audition, preferably transposed if needed, you may bring your own accompanist if preferred.
    • Prepared excerpts from pieces, learn and sing your voice part accurately in style.
    • I am listening for your technical skills, looking for your entertainment skills as a performer, and seeking your character & commitment……..good luck!