JAZZ AUDITIONSAuditioning in any context is difficult and emotional. The requirements are vague at times because the selection of pieces is part of the audition process. It is HIGHLY recommended to prepare your audition with a good private teacher.
One mistake is to spend too much time preparing for the next audition or performance and ignore “the big picture.” Spend most of your practice time with long term goals in mind. Where do you want to be in ten years? One of the gifts of being a musician is: cramming for a test or audition doesn’t get us anywhere. Too much of music analysis (and life) is thought of vertically rather than horizontally. None of us go through this life hitting all the right notes, but it IS possible to go through life with style and RHYTHM. Winston Churchill said: “Success is moving from failure to failure with enthusiasm.” Now that’s having your groove. The point is, don’t put too much into any one audition--practice what will make you better in the long run. The road to success is a process NOT an event.
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”
Master of Music – Jazz Studies
1. Contact Melinda Wildman, Academic Advisor for Graduate Programs, for graduate school requirements and appropriate application materials.
2. Visit the GRADUATE AUDITION page to schedule a live audition.
3. Submit a CD of five (5) tunes in contrasting styles: Blues, Bop, Fusion, Cool, Swing, Early Jazz, Latin, etc., resume, a list of all of the tunes you can play (will be used at your live audition), two (2) letters of recommendation and the graduate application. Submit these materials to:
CVPA Graduate Admissions, MSN 1H4
The "live" audition will consist of two (2) prepared tunes in contrasting styles e.g. Blues/Bop; Swing/Early Jazz etc., one (1) solo transcription and sight-reading. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate knowledge of scales used in jazz; (Listed at the bottom of this page). You may use a recorded accompaniment of play-a-long such as Jamey Aebersold. Rhythm section instruments will demonstrate techniques idiomatic to your instrument e.g. comping, walking, various grooves.
Bachelor of Music – Jazz Studies
Visit the UNDERGRADUATE AUDITION page to schedule a live audition.
Jazz Studies "Live" Audition Requirements (Instrumentalists and Vocalists)
Prepare two (2) tunes in contrasting styles e.g. Blues/Bop; Fusion/Cool; Swing/Early Jazz etc., one (1) jazz piece, etude or solo transcription; all major scales; improvisation over a blues; sight reading and pitch matching. You may use a recorded accompaniment or play-a-long such as Jamey Aebersold. Rhythm section instruments will demonstrate techniques idiomatic to your instrument e.g. comping, walking, various grooves. Drummers may audition on set only or a combination of set and mallets.
Minor - Jazz Studies
You need not have prior experience in jazz to enter the Minor. If you have been accepted as a Music Major you may declare the Jazz Minor at any time. If you are not a Music Major the audition requirements are either the same as the BM in Jazz or the traditional audition. (See School of Music Website)
The Jazz Ensembles are open to all George Mason University students (instrumentalists & vocalists) regardless of degree.
Auditions for placement occur the first week of every EVERY semester. The audition includes jazz scales, improvisation, a prepared piece and sight reading.
ENSEMBLES THAT REQUIRE AN AUDITION
Mason Jazz Ensemble (Carroll)
Jazz Workshop Ensemble (Parrell)
Jazz Combos (Beach)
Jazz Vocal Ensemble (Purcell)
Afro-Cuban Ensemble (McCarthy)
Traditional Jazz Ensemble (Robinson)
FALL 2014 JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS
Auditions will take place MONDAY, August 25th - 9:00am - 6:00pm in PAB 336.
The audition piece is "On Green Dolphin Street."
INSTRUMENTALISTS: "On Green Dolphin Street" (E-flat Major)
VOCALISTS: "On Green Dolphin Street (E-flat Major [sing 8vb] or C Major)
"INSTRUMENTALISTS & VOCALISTS: The above links will provide you with appropriate chord charts and play-a-long recordings. You are responsible for finding/figuring out the melody (lyrics). Be prepared to perform three choruses: melody for chorus one, improvise one chorus and finish with one chorus of melody. Sight-reading and scales will also be part of your audition. E-mail Dr. Purcell at firstname.lastname@example.org with any audition questions."
Scales Typically Used in Auditions
- Pentatonic (Major and Minor)
- Blues (Major and Minor)
- Bebop (Major and Dominant)
- Aeolian (Natural Minor)
- Harmonic Minor
- Melodic Minor
- Jazz Minor (Real Minor, Ascending Melodic Minor)
- Lydian Augmented
- Lydian Dominant
- Locrian #2
- Diminished Whole-tone (Altered Scale, Super Locrian)
The Symetric Scales
- Whole Tone
- Dimished (We are a half-step school)
- Augmented (1, b3, 3, 5, #5, 7)