Audition Overview & Requirements

The audition will consist of three elements:

  1. A written entrance examination to measure competency in the following jazz/contemporary skills:
    • aural
    • theoretical
    • arranging
    • historical
  2. An interview to discuss your educational and professional goals
  3. A performance (see specific requirements for each instrument below)

Students who are deficient in some requirements but who are, in the opinion of the adjudicating faculty, capable of attaining them between the time of their audition and actual entrance into the program, may be conditionally accepted.

 

Bass (Acoustic & Electric)

Improvisation 

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency and musicality with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad 

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • two octaves, all performed from any pitch in eighth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 96

Sight-reading 

  • demonstrate ability to sight-read chord progressions
  • demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading standard big band or fusion arrangements 

Other performance requirements

  • perform an advanced level etude or classical piece
  • perform a jazz solo transcription for bass (minimum 32 bars)
  • present and perform a properly notated original transcription of a recorded solo of at least 16 bars for bass (bring the recording)
  • demonstrate proficiency at performing appropriate bass lines in various styles

 

Drum Set

Perform each of the following

  • one jazz selection in a trio, quartet or quintet setting with a walking bass line, short solos ('fours') should be included;
  • one contemporary fusion or rock piece played with an appropriate rhythm section or track;
  • one selection with an Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian or world rhythm;
  • one big band excerpt; and
  • one snare drum etude (concert or rudimental).

Since musical interaction is essential, please use a live rhythm section or appropriate play-along track accompaniment for your video recording.

You will be asked to demonstrate

  • soloing in various settings: trading fours, filling and improvising over a vamp/ostinato; and
  • chart sight-reading in various styles.

An accompanying portfolio containing original compositions, arrangements and research with accompanying transcriptions is highly encouraged. 

For any questions about repertoire, please contact Professor Steve Fidyk at sfidyk@uarts.edu.

 

Guitar

Improvisation

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency, musicality and improvisational ability with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad 

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • two octaves, four different fingerings, all performed from any pitch in eighth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 120 

Sight-reading

  • studies comparable to Charlie Parker Omnibook
  • demonstrate proficiency at sight reading standard big band or fusion arrangements 

Other performance requirements

  • perform an advanced level etude (i.e. Joe Pass chord/melody)
  • present and perform a properly notated original transcription of a recorded solo of at least 32 bars (bring the recording)
  • demonstrate proficiency at comping in various styles
  • perform an unaccompanied chord/melody arrangement on a standard jazz tune using intricate voicings, single note fills, variations, and reharmonization

 

Piano

Improvisation

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency, musicality and improvisational ability with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad 

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • two hands, four octaves, all performed from any pitch in sixteenth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 108 

Sight-reading

  • demonstrate the ability to sight-read and interpret a lead sheet
  • demonstrate the ability to sight-read two hand piano arrangements
  • demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading standard big band or fusion arrangements 

Other performance requirements

  • perform an advanced level etude or classical piece (may be an advanced jazz composition written for two hands)
  • present and perform a properly notated original transcription of a recorded solo of at least 32 bars (bring the recording)
  • demonstrate proficiency at comping in various styles
  • perform an original harmonic reworking of a tune from the standard repertoire

 

Saxophone & Woodwinds

Improvisation

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency and musicality with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • entire range of the instrument, all performed from any pitch in eighth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 96

Sight-reading

  • demonstrate ability to sight-read chord progressions
  • demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading standard big band or fusion arrangements

Other performance requirements

  • perform an advanced level etude (Ferling, Karg-Elert, LaBanchi) or classical piece
  • perform a jazz solo transcription for saxophone or woodwind (minimum 32 bars)
  • present and perform a properly notated original transcription of a recorded solo of at least 16 bars for saxophone or woodwind (bring the recording)

 

Trombone

Improvisation

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency and musicality with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • two octaves, all performed from any pitch in eighth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 96

Sight-reading 

  • demonstrate ability to sight-read chord progressions
  • demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading standard big band or fusion arrangements

Other performance requirements

  • perform an advanced level etude or classical piece
  • perform a jazz solo transcription for trombone (minimum 32 bars)
  • present and perform a properly notated original transcription of a recorded solo of at least 16 bars for trombone (bring the recording)

 

Trumpet

Improvisation

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency and musicality with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • two octaves, all performed from any pitch in eighth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 96

Sight-reading

  • demonstrate ability to sight-read chord progressions
  • demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading standard big band or fusion arrangements

Other performance requirements

  • perform an advanced level etude (Charlier, Brandt, Bitsch, Smith) or classical piece
  • perform a jazz solo transcription for trumpet (minimum 32 bars)
  • present and perform a properly notated original transcription of a recorded solo of at least 16 bars for trumpet (bring the recording)
  • perform the head to Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring” from memory or "Donna Lee" from memory

 

Vibraphone

Improvisation

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency and musicality with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad 

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • two octaves, all performed from any pitch in sixteenth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 108 

Sight-reading

  • demonstrate ability to sight-read chord progressions
  • demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading standard big band or fusion arrangements

Other performance requirements

  • perform a solo from advanced four mallet repertoire which demonstrates pedal and damping techniques
  • perform a jazz solo transcription for vibraphone (minimum 32 bars)
  • present and perform a properly notated original transcription of a recorded solo of at least 16 bars for vibraphone (bring the recording)
  • demonstrate proficiency at comping in various styles
  • perform an unaccompanied chord/melody arrangement

 

Voice

Literature

  • a performance (with a rhythm section or Aebersold CD) demonstrating proficiency, musicality and improvisational ability (using scat syllables) with tunes from the standard jazz repertoire (i.e. “All the Things You Are,” “Stella By Starlight” or “Cherokee”) and a ballad

Scales/modes and arpeggios (see the scales/modes and arpeggios sections below)

  • entire range of the voice, all performed from any pitch in eighth notes at a tempo of quarter note = 96

Sight-reading

  • demonstrate ability to sight-read melodies with lyrics
  • demonstrate ability to sight-read lead sheets and vocal arrangements

Other performance requirements

  • perform an advanced-level vocal etude
  • present and perform a properly notated transcription of a jazz vocal scat recording (minimum 32 bars)

 

Scales/Modes

  • major
  • harmonic minor
  • melodic minor
  • jazz minor
  • dorian
  • phrygian
  • lydian
  • mixolydian
  • aeolian
  • locrian
  • blues
  • major and minor pentatonic
  • whole-tone
  • bebop dominant
  • diminished,
  • dominant diminished
  • lydian augmented
  • lydian dominant
  • locrian #2
  • diminished whole-tone (superlocrian)

 

Arpeggios

  • major 7
  • dominant 7
  • minor 7
  • minor 7b5
  • diminished 7
  • minor/major 7
  • major 9
  • dominant 9
  • dominant 7b9
  • minor 9