CU Jazz Ensembles auditions

Auditions will be held on Monday, Jan. 13, in Macky Auditorium, Room 117, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Questions about the online sign-up process? Contact Laura Graham, Ensembles Assistant, at lmgraham@colorado.edu or 303-492-6584

All Jazz Ensembles (Big Bands and Combos) are open to CU students, regardless of major, and are placed by audition only. You must audition for acceptance into any of the CU jazz groups! Registration alone does not guarantee acceptance into an ensemble. Typically, not all students who audition are able to be placed into a group. Big Bands rehearse twice per week at designated times. Jazz Combos rehearse two hours per week, and each combo is scheduled following audition results based on group member’s schedules. In addition to performances both on and off campus, students are required to attend occasional sectional rehearsals which are held outside of regularly scheduled class time. These performances and sectionals are mandatory and are required of each student participating in the jazz ensembles.

The audition schedule for each instrument is listed below. Each audition will be anywhere from 10-12 minutes in length. All audition sign-ups are online (link available in late July). Sign up for your audition no later than Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020.

Students audition for big band and combo at the same time – there is not a separate audition for each. Auditions for big bands are based primarily on sight reading and style. Jazz Combo auditions are based primarily on improvisation and knowledge of jazz repertoire.

Drummers

Bring a list of tunes for the committee that you know and can play by memory! You may be asked to play a tune from that list. Be prepared to play time in a group setting, trade fours, sight read a big band chart, and demonstrate the following styles:

  • Bossa Nova
  • Swing
  • Funk
  • Afro-Cuban
  • Cascara
  • ¾ (Jazz Waltz)
  • 5/4 and/or 7/4 swing or Latin

Bassists

Bring three or more pieces of varying styles (bop, blues, ballad, 3/4, Latin, etc.) that you can play by memory. You should also be able to walk a blues and a rhythm changes tune in all keys (jazz changes). Bring a list of tunes for the committee that you know and can play (melody and improvise) by memory! You may be asked to play a tune from that list. Be prepared to sight read.

Guitarists, Pianists and Vibists 

Be prepared to play "rhythm changes" (up tempo), a medium tempo tune, and a ballad. Guitar amp and piano will be provided at the audition. Bring a list of tunes for the committee that you know and can play (melody and improvise) by memory! You may be asked to play a tune from that list. Be prepared to sight read. Guitarists, remember to bring your own patch cords! We will NOT provide a patch cord.

Audition Times (sign up online)

  • Saxophone: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Macky 116
  • Trombone: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Macky 115
  • Bass and Guitar: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Macky 117
  • Piano: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Macky 119A
  • Drums: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Macky 1B03B
  • Trumpet and all other instruments: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Macky 113

Winds, Brass, Strings, and Voice (Combo auditions)

Please choose three jazz standards (your choice) that you would like to play for your audition. Please bring a play-along CD of your tunes. ALSO: Bring a list of tunes for the committee that you know and can play (melody and improvise) by memory! You may be asked to play a tune from that list. You may also be asked to play on a tune chosen by the audition committee (with music provided for you). Your selections must include a jazz ballad, medium or up-tempo piece (bebop, standard, jazz standard, modal or rhythm changes) and a 12-bar blues. Memorization is encouraged. Questions regarding combo auditions should be directed to Professor Brad Goode.  

Audition results will be posted and e mailed as soon as results are determined and ALL ensembles are placed. Results will be posted outside of Macky 115 on the jazz bulletin board.

Combos will meet beginning as soon as a rehearsal time has been determined by the combo director. Members will be contacted by the director.