District Audition Scoring and Details

Electronic Devices Prohibited: The student use of all electronic and/or mechanical devices to include, but not limited to, metronomes, tuners, cell phones, and audio/video recording devices is prohibited in all IMEA audition rooms.

These audition procedures are provided to help ensure that the methods of evaluating Jazz Band Selectees are consistent throughout the State. These guidelines will be followed for both District and All-State Jazz auditions. It is important that the District Presidents, Jazz Division District Representatives, Audition Chairpersons, and all Adjudicators are familiar with these procedures.

The purpose of the audition is to determine proper seating order in the sections. If there is more than one Jazz Band to be selected, the highest scoring students will be placed in the top band or combo (if available per district). Subsequent scoring students will be place in 2nd, 3rd and 4th bands (if available per district).

All grade level students, 9-12 are eligible to participate in their District Jazz Band(s) however only Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are eligible to participate at the state level.

All senior-level auditions will be conducted in a blind environment so that the adjudicator cannot make verbal or visual contact with the student. Each student will only be identified by an audition number, not by name, age, school, or gender.

Please note the district and state senior-level auditions will include the following material, but there may be additional audition material in some districts. For example, several districts use an additional etude to supplement the audition requirements and they may also have different or additional improvisation requirements. Please check with your ILMEA District to see if there are any additional jazz audition procedures that are required by your district.

1) Required Selection(s) – Varies by district
2) Sight-reading
3) Improvisation – Varies by district
4) Overall Considerations - Stylistic Accuracy - Tone Quality - Intonation

The final score for each student is totaled within the RNS program. The adjudicator must confirm with the District Instrumental Jazz Representative for any ties in final scores.

 

TIE BREAKER

Should a tie occur between students, the Sight-reading score will be used to break the tie. Should a tie still exist, Tone Quality will be used as the second determining factor.

 

JAZZ AUDITION PROCEDURES - WINDS & BRASS

1) Required Selection (40 Points possible per category: part (note) accuracy; technical facility; rhythmic accuracy; interpretation and musicality)

  • The state required selection is published each year and the link to the full chart is available on the state website. It is the responsibility of the school director to purchase the entire chart and make parts available to his/her students as needed.
  • Unless otherwise specified on the state website, the parts used for auditions will be Alto Sax 1, Tenor Sax 1, Bari Sax, Trumpet 1, Trombone 1, Bass Trombone, Piano, Bass, Guitar, Vibes, and Drums.
  • If range is a factor, trumpet students auditioning at the district level may choose trumpet 2 parts for their audition. Students must inform the room monitor if a different part is used, and they will not be eligible to play the trumpet 1 part if selected for a district jazz band.
  • The district Instrumental Jazz Representative will choose one or more excerpts from the state require piece and post the measure numbers at the district audition site. Additional etudes in some districts will also be included in this category.

2. Sight-reading (10 Points possible)

  • A special sight-reading sheet will be given to each District President at the time of the auditions. This sheet will be provided by the Jazz Division President or his/her designee. In order not to compromise the sight-reading test, this material will be a controlled item and will not be distributed to Adjudicators until the time of the test. All copies must be taped to the music stands, and destroyed immediately after the audition.
  • 24 measures of Sight reading material will be provided for the following instruments: saxophone, trombone, bass trombone, trumpet, piano, bass, guitar/vibes, and drum set.

3. Improvisation (20 Points possible)

  • Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Inc., Vol 6, Track 1, Now’s The Time/Billie’s Bounce will be played during district auditions. Students will be asked to improvise along with the recording. Some districts have selected Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Inc., Vol. I, Track 8, Blues in F instead. Please check your district website audition tab to be certain.
  • Each student will play a minimum of two improvised choruses.
  • Because the opening choruses of Volume 6, Track 1 are in a “2” feel to accommodate playing the head, ILMEA will provide an audition track with two choruses in “4” feel to provide a more rhythmically suitable audition track.
  • At the All-State, students will have the opportunity to solo over Bb rhythm changes in an effort to pick the top soloists for the combo. For these rhythm changes we will use the Jamey Aebersold Book, # 47, Track # 13. This is an optional portion of the audition and left to the discretion of the student who will inform the room monitor at the state audition.
  • The Adjudicator will consider how well the improvisation fits harmonically with the blues progression, and the rhythmic accuracy and phrasing of the ideas presented.
  • Students are not allowed to prepare and bring music for a “written out solo” in advance of the audition. All improvisation must be done on the spot without any written music.

4. Overall Considerations (30 Points possible (10 per category: Stylistic Accuracy, Tone Quality, Intonation)

  • Scores for these categories will be considered by the adjudicator after hearing all parts of the audition.

 

JAZZ AUDITION PROCEDURES - RHYTHM

At the District level, all rhythm instruments will audition separately, not as a part of a small combo of rhythm instruments. For All-State auditions, all rhythm instruments will audition separately for the required selection and sight reading, and as a combo for improvisation, stylistic accuracy and rhythmic stability scoring. All of the audition procedures listed for Jazz Winds will also apply to Jazz Rhythm instruments, with the exceptions listed below.

PIANO & BASS

2. Sight-reading (10 Points possible)

  • Sight reading materials will Include both written out notes and chord symbols

3. Improvisation (20 Points possible)

Piano and bass players will be asked to improvise on their own without a recorded track. This will indicate the level of ability to follow the changes as both a soloist and as an accompanying member of the rhythm section.

4. Overall Considerations - Stylistic Accuracy (10 Points possible, to be judged on the total overall audition)

5. Rhythmic Stability (20 Points possible, to be judged on the total overall audition)

  • This category is included for rhythm section auditions to evaluate an ability to play with accurate tempo, pulse, syncopation and steadiness.

GUITAR & VIBES

2. Sight-reading (10 Points possible)

  • Sight reading materials will Include both written out notes and chord symbols

3. Improvisation (20 Points possible)

Guitar and Vibes should follow the same procedure as Jazz Winds using the pre-recorded sound track.

4. Overall Considerations - Stylistic Accuracy (10 Points possible, to be judged on the total overall audition)

5. Rhythmic Stability (20 Points possible, to be judged on the total overall audition)

  • This category is included for rhythm section auditions to evaluate an ability to play with accurate tempo, pulse, syncopation and steadiness.

 

DRUM SET

2. Sight-reading (10 Points possible)

Sight reading materials will Include indications to play in swing time, and rhythmic notations for “hits” and “fills."

3. Improvisation (20 Points possible)

Demonstrate improvisational ability by playing a medium fast, swing drum solo in a 12 bar blues format. The student should play four measures of swing followed by four measures of solo, going through at least two choruses.

4. Overall Considerations - Stylistic Accuracy (10 Points possible, to be judged on the total overall audition)

5. Rhythmic Stability (20 Points possible, to be judged on the total overall audition)

  • Demonstrate by playing time patterns for the following four styles:
    • Swing (fast or slow)
    • Latin (samba or bossa)
    • Brushes (medium swing or ballad tempos)
    • Funk

Retired Sight-Reading Examples

Directors and students are encouraged to download these materials for sight reading practice.  New material will be used for future auditions, composed by Adam Larson.


All-State Improvisation Materials

Auditions for the All-State Ensembles in January will utilize Billie's Bounce for all students, and Bb Rhythm Changes for those who choose to audition for the Honors Jazz Combo.

Purchase Jamey Aebersold "All Bird" Play-along

Purchase Jamey Aebersold "Now's The Time/Billie's Bounce" mp3

Billie's Bounce audition/rehearsal track w/piano

Billie's Bounce audition/rehearsal track without piano

Click here for the transposed lead sheets for Billie's Bounce. These are for study and rehearsal only - melody is not part of the audition assessment.

Purchase Jamie Aebersold “F Blues”

Purchase Jamie Aebersold “Bb Rhythm Changes” - Slow

Purchase Jamie Aeberold “Bb Rhythm Changes” - Fast