Jazz Ensembles Audition Info 2013-14
PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE PAGE FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE 2013-2014 AUDITIONS.
Auditions will occur Monday, August 26th, 2013. Jazz auditions will be done blind, behind a screen. More information on this process will be distributed to all students who sign up on the the Jazz Ensemble Audition Sign-Up Page (see the link near the bottom, after you've read the entire page). Students of any major (including non-music majors) are encouraged to participate and audition for placement in the four instrumental jazz ensembles and Jazz Vocal Ensemble rhythm section.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All players interested in being placed into any of the large jazz groups in either fall 2013 or spring 2014 semesters must audition in the fall. There will not be additional auditions in the spring, unless unexpected vacancies occur.
OVERVIEW OF JAZZ AUDITIONS:
Auditions for jazz ensemble will consist of three parts:
- Playing a prepared piece (this year, the Thelonious Monk Tune "In Walked Bud"),
- improvising (if you improvise, you will play over the changes to "In Walked Bud"), and
Placement into the jazz ensembles or lab bands is based on multiple criteria, including:
- Basic musical elements (good tone, intonation, dynamics, instrumental control)
- Jazz style (articulation, vibrato, authenticity)
- Swinging time feel
- Woodwind doubling (for saxophonists, the ability to play flute and clarinet)
- Section lead playing
PART 1: WHAT TO PRACTICE FOR THE PREPARED PORTION
Please prepare the tune "In Walked Bud." A PDF of the sheet music in your instrument's key, several famous recordings of tune, and a practice playalong MP3 recording can be downloaded from Mr. Titlebaum's Dropbox page.
Once you've completed the sign-up process, download the proper PDF(s) and play-along recording(s). Practice the melody "In Walked Bud" with as much style, articulation, and good time feel as possible.
NOTE TO SAXOPHONISTS: Saxophonists are not required to play flute or clarinet, but strong flute/clarinet/saxophone doublers will be significantly more likely to be seated in the premier band, the IC Jazz Ensemble. If you do play flute and/or clarinet, you MUST also download the flute (treble clef) and clarinet (Bb) PDF parts at the above link, and perform the song on these instruments at the audition.
NOTE TO DRUMMERS: Please bring sticks, brushes, and mallets for vibes if you also play them. A drum set, cymbals and vibes will be provided. If you play vibes, you should prepare to play "In Walked Bud" on vibes. On drums, you will play "In Walked Bud" along with the track called "In Walked Bud Playalong NO DRUMS" (There are no drums on the track). You will also sight-read some selections (on drums and vibes if you play vibes). You may be asked to play a few other grooves, possibly to include (but not limited to) a "walking" ballad time feel with Brushes (at quarter note=80) and a Bossa Nova or Samba.
NOTE TO BASSISTS: We will be playing acoustic bass unamplified. Please prepare the head (melody) to "In Walked Bud" and be ready to play both walking basslines and a 2-feel. Also, plan on taking a solo on the same changes. You will be playing along with the playalong entitled "In Walked Bud Playalong NO BASS" (There is no bass part on this track).
NOTE TO PIANISTS: Prepare the head (melody) to "In Walked Bud" and be ready to play the melody and comp on the changes. Also, plan on taking a solo on the same changes. You will be playing along with the playalong entitled "In Walked Bud Playalong NO CHORDS."
NOTE TO GUITARISTS: Prepare the head (melody) to "In Walked Bud" and be ready to play the melody and comp on the changes, and play "Freddie Green" style for the changes. Also, plan on taking a solo on the same changes. You will be playing along with the playalong entitled "In Walked Bud playalong NO CHORDS."
PART 2: WHAT TO PREPARE FOR THE IMPROVISATION SECTION
If you improvise, you will play on the chord changes to "In Walked Bud" with the play-along. The changes are included in the same PDF lead sheets as above. Also, you are encouraged to use the MP3 above for improvisation practice.
To begin, you should listen to the recordings of the "In Walked Bud." A bunch recordings are in the Dropbox sub-folder called "Real recordings." Pick your favorite ones and transcribe the solos.
Then, practice arpeggios on all the chords. It is valuable to practice them in quarter notes (or eights notes when the chords are only two beats long), using the patterns 1357, 7531, and 3517. Seek out the guide tones and work on how the resolve from one to the next. Another recommendation is to write out a solo that sounds improvised, so you can get the idea of what a good improvised solo might sound like.
When working on jazz, it is best to do it in multiple ways: by yourself, with a metronome, with the play-along recordings, even along with the real recordings, and jamming with other players/friends/colleagues. Record yourself playing along and listen critically to yourself play on the recording.
PART 3: SIGHT READING
Every auditioner will be asked to play one (if not more than one) sight-reading excerpt.
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THE AUDITION
Here's the link to begin the signup process:
NOTE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact jazz director Mike Titlebaum at email@example.com. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about auditioning for IC jazz ensembles, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Titlebaum at firstname.lastname@example.org.