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Jazz Ensemble

Gary Fienberg, Director

Auditions for the Fall 2021 semester begin with an OPEN REHEARSAL on Tuesday, August 31, 3:30-4:50pm, Music Building room 019 (basement). Bring your instrument(s) and be ready to play – this will be a full rehearsal with all students participating.

Jazz Ensemble is an inclusive ensemble for all qualified students. However,  when there is an overabundance of candidates for a particular instrument or section, competitive auditions are necessary. You will be notified on September 1 if you must participate in this audition.


Click here for details of the audition to be held on September 3, beginning at 3:30pm

Trumpet, Trombone and Saxophone

  • Choose and prepare a 1-2 minute piece that best demonstrates your abilities – preferably but not exclusively a jazz piece. If you don’t have a piece in mind, you can use a section from a piece you performed with one of your former high school groups.
  • A short piece distributed ahead of time (2 days), for you to prepare
  • A short piece of sight reading
  • Optional: play 2 choruses of The Blues in concert F or Bb
  • Saxophonists may audition on the instrument of their choice (although you may ultimately be assigned to a different instrument, in which case there will be an instrument for you to use)

Piano, Bass, Guitar, Vibraphone

  • Choose and prepare a 1-3 minute piece that best demonstrates your abilities – I recommend picking a tune that you know well, play the melody and 1-3 choruses of improvisation or simple accompaniment.
  • You will be asked to create an accompaniment from a lead-sheet which will be provided at the audition (nothing too complicated or too fast).

Drums (percussion)

You will be asked to play a series of alternating sequences of the following rhythms:

  • Swing: medium, fast
  • Shuffle
  • Latin: Bossa Nova, Samba and/or Afro-Cuban
  • Contemporary: Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz Fusion, Jazz Rock.

MUS 144
Tuesday and Friday
3:30-4:50 pm

Gary Fienberg

Jazz Ensemble is a performance-oriented ensemble designed to study and perform the traditions of Big band music. It is a laboratory for the study of standard and contemporary jazz repertoire and performance practice, and for learning such skills as improvisation, sight-reading and the special techniques germane to jazz music. Audition is required for students joining the group for the first time.