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auditions FAQs

Question: I play piano, and I was wondering if the prepared piece was supposed to be jazz specifically, or if it could be a piece from any genre.
Answer: As this is an audition for Jazz Band, the hope is that you play something that shows your current ability to play jazz.  Obviously, not everyone has had an opportunity to learn to play jazz yet so if you have a piece of a different genre that demonstrates your ability to play your instrument (knowing that one reason for being in jazz band is to learn to play jazz), that is OK. 

Question: Can you give a little more specificity regarding the rhythm section auditions for jazz band?
Answer: I'm going to put the rhythm section players together in different combinations so I can hear them play together.  For that, we will be using "It Could Happen To You."  What does that mean?  Well, they have to create their own parts to the best of their abilities.  If they can't read changes that will become apparent.  That's OK, but I want to know where they are.  They can write out a part that they can play or they can improvise their parts.  Melody instruments should most certainly learn the melody, which is hopefully, individually interpreted rather than playing the rhythms from the lead sheet.

Drummers - They will need to make up their own part.  They can do this by listening to recordings.  There is no written drum music for lead sheets.  That is kinda the point.  I want to hear what they can play in a real situation with other people.  Certainly, they all can play time.  Beyond that, knowing the form, the melody, breaks, etc. is good.  Beyond that, listening and responding to the other players is good.  Trading 4's, 8s, or soloing for a whole chorus will come up as well. 

Question: Do you want them (rhythm section) to also bring a "prepared piece"?
Answer: Yes, they should all prepare something to play on their own in addition to It Could Happen To You.