Jazz Ensemble Auditions

2021-22 Academic Year

Students interested in participating in a large instrumental jazz ensemble and/or combo should check-in for their audition outside of room 103 (Organ Studio) in the Music Building. Vocalists should check-in for their audition outside of room 306 (Dr. Stamps' office) in the Music Building.

Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Jazz Guitar, and Jazz Mallet auditions include:

  • major scales
  • sight-reading
  • a prepared etude (downloadable below!)
  • optional – improvisation over a Blues or standard tune of your choice
  • Saxophonists are encouraged to indicate doubling abilities on flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet

Rhythm Section (piano, bass, and drum set) auditions will be in a group format for returning students and one on one for first year students. They will include:

  • demonstration of swing, latin, and rock/funk grooves
  • interaction with other rhythm section members (returning students only)
  • prepared etude (the jazz standard There is No Greater Love by Isham Jones). A lead sheet can be found in The Real Book, Vol. 1 available in the Bookmark or on Amazon. Special attention should be paid to playing the melody, comping chord changes or walking bass lines, and marking the tune’s form.
  • optional – improvisation over a Blues or standard tune of your choice

Vocal auditions include:

  • two contrasting prepared songs from the Great American Songbook (doesn't have to be from the actual book - just standard jazz repertoire)
  • a brief interview regarding your past experience fronting an ensemble and/or singing in a vocal jazz group

Etude and Audition Form

  • The 2022/23 Jazz Ensemble (instrumental) audition etude can be accessed with your Gustavus email address here. An mp3 example is included for your reference as well as three playalong backing tracks at various speeds.
  • Returning students can signup or adjust their audition time here. First year students should contact Abby Borene for a jazz audition time (aborene@gustavus.edu).
  • Please complete this Audition Form before showing up to your audition.