1970's Performance

KU JAZZ STUDIES

2020-21 ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS

AUDITIONS OVERVIEW

The KU Jazz Studies Program has three Jazz Ensembles (big bands) and six Jazz Combos. All KU Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Combos are open to ALL students, regardless of major!

Auditions are held at the beginning of fall semester for placement in Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Combos. Students must audition to be placed in a Jazz Ensemble and/or Jazz Combo. En-semble placements are for the entire academic year; if any ensemble members need to change to a different ensemble or drop out between semester, a separate ensemble audition procedure will be announced in November to fill these spots for spring semester.

Jazz Ensembles (big bands) meet as follows:

  • Jazz Ensemble I (Dan Gailey, director)—T/Th, 11:00 AM-12:40 PM—Murphy 114
  • Jazz Ensemble II (Alex Frank, director)—M/W/F, 11:00-11:45 AM—Murphy 114
  • Jazz Ensemble III (Dan Gailey, director)—M/W/F, 10:00-10:45 AM—Murphy 114

Jazz Combos meet at times determined by their directors based on participant’s schedules. Jazz Combo directors are Matt Otto, Brandon Draper, and Brian Ward.

Audition results/ensemble rosters will be sent via email no later than Saturday, August 29 at 5:00 PM CDT. Rehearsals begin the week of Monday, August 31.

Everyone must enroll in the appropriate class for the ensemble they are placed in. You have the option of enrolling for 1 credit hour or 0 credit hour per ensemble:

  • Jazz Ensembles—enroll in JAZZ 408 (undergrads) or JAZZ 708 (grad students)
  • Jazz Combos—enroll in JAZZ 409 (undergrads) or JAZZ 709 (grad students)

You may enroll before auditions, and after results are posted you may make a switch to the correct section during the online drop/add period. No permission codes are necessary for ensemble or combo enrollment.

AUDITION PROCEDURE

All KU Jazz auditions this fall will be done via video recording submitted by auditionees—there will be no in-person auditions taking place (if you are auditioning for a concert band, orchestra, etc.—please check with those areas, as their audition procedures will be different).

may use your phone, tablet or computer; audio quality will not be a factor in the evaluation of your audition!

Due to the need for video recordings, this year’s auditions will NOT be anonymous/“behind the screen”.

Auditions will consist of:

There will be NO SIGHT-READING for this year’s auditions.

Once you complete your audition video, please upload it to one of the following:

  • iCloud
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • YouTube (we suggest that you leave it unlisted)

Share and/or send a link to your video to dgailey@ku.edu before 5:00 PM CDT on Thursday, August 27.

If you have questions about the audition procedure or any of its components, or have any problems completing or submitting your audition materials, please contact Professor Dan Gailey.

Saxophone/Trumpet/Trombone/Other Wind Instruments/Violin/Viola/Cello:

  • Complete the online 2020-21 KU Jazz Audition Information Form.
  • Submit a VIDEO recording of you performing the prepared piece (download the prepared piece for your instrument from the prepared piece section of this page) for your instrument. The melody of the prepared piece must be performed without a metronome or any backing tracks, and you must not wear headphones, earbuds, etc. This is so we can assess your ability to play in time.
  • If you are auditioning for a Jazz Combo and/or consideration as a soloist in a Jazz Ensemble, then on the same VIDEO recording perform the prepared piece again with the backing track for your instrument. You should play three choruses of improvised solo with the backing track, followed by the melody (same as the prepared piece) as the fourth chorus. If you only want to play a section part in a Jazz Ensemble, you do NOT need to do this portion of the audition.
  • If you play an instrument other than saxophone, trumpet or trombone, you may either play the prepared piece (melody) for one of these instruments, or substitute another short piece/excerpt of your choice (1-2 minutes maximum) that showcases your playing. You should also complete the improvised solo portion of the audition as noted above.
  • Please state your NAME at the beginning of your video audition. You may include both components of the audition in the same video/file—please try to keep dead space to a minimum to keep files sizes smaller.

Piano/Guitar:

  • Complete the online 2020-21 KU Jazz Audition Information Form.
  • Submit a VIDEO recording of you performing the prepared piece for your instrument. For this portion of the audition, please play the melody only with no comping. The melody of the prepared piece must be performed without a metronome or any backing tracks, and you must not wear headphones, earbuds, etc. This is so we can assess your ability to play in time.
  • On the same VIDEO recording of, perform the prepared piece again with the backing track for your instrument. You should play one chorus of “comping” the chords with the backing track, followed by two choruses of improvised solo, and then the melody (same as the prepared piece) as the fourth chorus.
  • Please state your NAME at the beginning of your video audition. You may include both components of the audition in the same video/file—please try to keep dead space to a minimum to keep files sizes smaller.

Bass:

  • Complete the online 2020-21 KU Jazz Audition Information Form.
  • Submit a VIDEO recording of you performing the prepared piece for your instrument. For this portion of the audition, please play the melody only. The melody of the prepared piece must be performed without a metronome or any backing tracks, and you must not wear headphones, earbuds, etc. This is so we can assess your ability to play in time.
  • On the same VIDEO recording, perform the prepared piece again with the backing track for your instrument. You should play one chorus of walking bass with the backing track (the track will only have piano and drums on it), followed by two choruses of improvised solo, and then the melody (same as the prepared piece) as the fourth chorus.
  • Please state your NAME at the beginning of your video audition. You may include both components of the audition in the same video/file—please try to keep dead space to a minimum to keep files sizes smaller.

Drums:

  • Complete the online 2020-21 KU Jazz Audition Information Form.
  • Submit a VIDEO recording of you performing the prepared piece for your instrument. The prepared piece must be performed without a metronome or any backing tracks, and you must not wear headphones, earbuds, etc. This is so we can assess your ability to play in time.
  • On the same VIDEO recording, perform the following styles in order as instructed:
    • Medium swing (140 bpm)—play 4 bars of time followed by 4 bars of solo; repeat this 3 times as a loop.
    • Fast swing (260 bpm)—play 8 bars of time followed by 8 bars of solo; repeat this 2 times as a loop.
    • Bossa Nova (108 bpm)—play 8 bars of time.
    • Samba (200 bpm)—play 16 bars of time.
    • Ballad (60 bpm)—on BRUSHES, play 8 bars of time.
    • Funk/Fusion Groove—play 8 bars of your favorite beat
  • Please state your NAME at the beginning of your video audition. You may include both components of the audition in the same video/file—please try to keep dead space to a minimum to keep files sizes smaller.

FALL 2020 INFORMATION RELATED TO COVID-19

We are planning to facilitate physically-distanced, in-person ensemble rehearsals this fall, with likely hybrid/remote components as well. The default mode of instruction for Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo rehearsals is in-person. If you need to request participation as online only, please email Professor Dan Gailey as soon as possible, and definitely before Thursday, August 27 at 5:00 PM CDT.

114 Murphy Hall (The Jazz Studio) is the rehearsal space for all Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Combos. The studio’s room capacity has been adjusted to 21 participants to enable 6- and 9-foot social distancing, which will allow all groups to rehearse in person. HEPA filters, along with sanitizing/disinfecting supplies, are being provided in the studio.

More information regarding safety procedures, student responsibilities and concert protocols/plans will be posted here before August 24.

Prepared Pieces & Backing Tracks:

Prepared Pieces

Backing Tracks

  • Drums Piano (Backing track for BASS only.)
  • Drums Bass (Backing track for PIANO AND GUITAR only.)
  • Drums Bass Piano (Backing track for ALL SAXOPHONES, TRUMPETS, TROMBONES, and OTHER INSTRUMENTS—VIOLIN, etc.)

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
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