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Jazz Studies Auditions

Jazz Audition Days

  • February 9
  • February 10
  • February 16
  • February 17

Application and Audition Registration

Please see Graduate Admission for School of Music application and audition registration information


No prescreening required

Preparation Requirements

Jazz area auditions will consist of the following:

  • Performance of a prepared jazz etude, transcription, or substantial big band chart (not preferred, but accepted) that is a minimum of 50 measures in length. The prepared piece may be in a style of the student’s choosing. If a transcription is chosen for this portion of the audition, the student will be required to perform the transcription along with the original recording. Please plan accordingly.
  • Prepare to perform the full melody (stylized in an individual way) and improvise over several choruses of three jazz standards of contrasting styles and tempi. The songs selected should be of medium difficulty and above, and no more than one of these standards may be a 12 or 16 bar blues. This portion of the audition should be prepared with the use of a backing track (Aebersold play-along, Band in a box, IRealB, etc). The use of sheet music for this portion of the audition is not encouraged, but permitted (if absolutely necessary).

Supplementary Materials Submission:

  • While not a firm requirement, you may choose to assemble and submit a short portfolio of 2-3 items that represent the breadth of your undergraduate work. This may include past transcriptions completed, original compositions/arrangements for large or small ensembles, a jazz-based research paper or professional recording project. Submission of supplementary materials is not required, but strongly encouraged.

Time Requirement

Audition materials should be thoroughly prepared and fit within the 30 minute audition slot.


Jazz standards should be accompanied by a backing track (listed above).

Technical Requirements

The audition will include sight-reading an excerpt written in either swing, bossa nova, funk, or Latin-based styles.

Suggested Repertoire

List of possible standards appropriate for a graduate audition>>

Rudimental Snare Solo from Charley Wilcoxon Modern Rudimental Swing Solos for The Advanced Drummer

Judging Criteria

  • Preparedness
  • Improvisational skills
  • Sight-reading and scales

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the audition and number of applicants, we will not be able to provide individual comments. All decisions made will be final.


  1. When am I considered for scholarship?
    1. You are considered for scholarship at the time of audition
  2. When will I hear about my results?
    1. You will be notified via formal letter about your audition results and music scholarship results in early March

Contact Information

Jazz Studies area head Dr. Damani Phillips

Allison Bierman, Admissions Counselor

                (319) 335-3994