Audition materials will be made available through this website in mid June. Anyone interested in jazz band should sign up with their guidance counselor.
In order to participate in jazz band, students must successfully complete the jazz band audition and rank high enough in the audition group to be selected. Typically, the VHS jazz band will consist of 5-6 saxophones, 4-5 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1-2 drummers, 1-2 guitarists, 1-2 bassists, and 1-2 pianists.
Students may sign up for an audition at a brief meeting held on Thursday, August 30th from 2:30-3:00. Auditions will be held during the first few weeks of school and the first official rehearsal for the selected jazz band members will be held on September 24th.
audition materials for new members:
PART I: RHYTHMS
DOWNLOAD the rhythm sheet, read the directions, and prepare all rhythms.
PART II: BLUES SCALES
If you have never been in VHS Jazz Band, DOWNLOAD the blues scale sheet.
PART III: JAZZ EXCERPTS
DOWNLOAD the excerpts and print and practice the pages for your instrument. Each instrument has two or three excerpts (some have more than one page, so check carefully).
PART IV: SIGHT READING
This material will be presented at the audition in September. You will be asked to sight read and excerpt from a moderately easy high school jazz piece.
PART V: SONG OF YOUR CHOICE
Play a piece of music that you are very confident about. It does not have to be long, but it should be something that you enjoy playing and shows off your abilities on your instrument.
audition materials for returning members:
PART I: BLUES SCALES
Choose three different blues scales – one each to showcase the following:
1. Choose one scale for technique and flexibility. This scale should be performed with swing 8th notes, two octaves, slurred, at a minimum of 132 bpm.
2. Choose one scale for range. This scale should be performed as quarter notes, two octaves (or more), slurred, and performed at 112 bpm.
3. Choose a third scale for articulation. This scale should performed as swing 8th notes. On the way up, the downbeat is tenuto and the the upbeat is staccato. On the way down, the downbeat is staccato and the upbeat is tenuto.
PART II: JAZZ EXCERPTS
Search through Smartmusic for a medium-easy to medium-advanced Jazz Band piece (see Mr. G if you need help with the search). Find a piece that is a good showcase for your instrument and learn a 16-32 measure section that helps to show off your technique, tone, musicality, and range. Saxophones can choose to learn the Alto 1 or Tenor 1 part. Trumpets & Trombone should learn Part 1.
PART III: NEW TECHNIQUE
Using online resources, learn a new musical technique this summer and then demonstrate your improvement at audition. This part of the audition is being designed to show that you want to stay in the ensemble and want to grow as a musician.
Some ideas… perhaps improvisation is an unknown to you, do some research about improvising, practice with online tutorials (youtube has some great stuff), and perform an improv at the audition. Perhaps your range is not where you would like it to be, read up about embouchure, breathing, range extending exercises, etc and then practice, practice, practice – keep track of your range from week to week and then show off your improvement at the audition.
If you have an idea that you are unsure of, email Mr. Giannelli and start a discussion.