Jazz Studies (Undergraduate)

Note: Applicants apply for the Open Studies degree option.

The following requirements are in addition to completing the University application and the School of Music application.

Undergraduate applicants must also complete:

  • All wind and string players auditioning for Jazz Studies must also audition on his/her primary instrument and/or voice with the classical applied faculty. For requirements specific to one's proposed major, see specialized areas: Bassoon, Clarinet, Cello, Double Bass, Euphonium, Flute, Harp, Harpsichord, Horn, Oboe, Organ, Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola, Violin, Voice
  • A jazz instrumental audition consists of the following:
    • Be prepared to play at least two blues heads and improvise on the changes
    • Be prepared to play the melody to one jazz standard ballad and improvise at least one chorus
    • Be prepared to play the melody to the jazz standard "All The Things You Are" and improvise at least one chorus
    • Be prepared to play the melody to the jazz standard "Oleo" and improvise at least one chorus
  • Jazz Piano applicants should be prepared to play a twenty-minute audition consisting of three or more contrasting jazz pieces. Additionally, the applicant should be prepared to play two or more contrasting classical pieces. The jazz piano audition is combined with the classical piano audition and both are required for admittance to the Jazz Studies degree programs. Music should be memorized and include a work by J.S. Bach and a movement of a classical sonata. Students should pick pieces that they can play most confidently, musically and that demonstrate stylistic understanding in the areas listed below.
    • Ballad: I Can’t Get Started, In A Sentimental Mood, Misty, What’s New, When Sunny Gets Blue
    • 12 Bar-Blues: Au Privave, Billies Bounce, Now’s The Time, Straight No Chaser
    • Medium-Up Tempo Swing: All The Things You Are, Autumn Leaves, How High The Moon, Just In Time, My Romance, Stella By Starlight.
    • Jazz Standards: Confirmation, Donna Lee, Oleo, Ornithology.
    • Latin: Black Orpheus, Blue Bossa, The Girl From Ipanema, Wave, Green Dolphin Street.
    • Tunes in ¾: Bluesette, Someday My Prince Will Come, Tenderly, Valse Hot, Alice in Wonderland.
  • Music typical of undergraduate auditions includes selections from any of the following, as well as many other works of the standard piano repertoire from the Baroque through the contemporary era:
    • Bach: French Suites or Well-Tempered Clavier
    • Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven: first movement of a sonata
    • Chopin: Nocturnes or Etudes
    • Brahms: Intermezzi
    • Debussy: Preludes
    • Bartok: Suite, Op. 14
    • George Crumb: A Little Suite for Christmas
  • Jazz Drumset auditions consist of the applicant being able to demonstrate their ability to play in the following musical styles:
    • 4/4 swing at a variety of tempos
    • Funk and rock styles at a variety of tempos
    • Samba and bossa nova
    • Mambo
    • Afro-Cuban 6/8
    • Additional skills assessed during the Jazz Drumset audition:
      • Brush technique
      • Waltz and odd meter performance
      • Repertoire knowledge
      • The prospective student should be prepared to discuss previous performance experience, teachers, and method books used in study.
      • If available, the prospective student will have an opportunity to demonstrate the above skills in a performance situation with either a large or small jazz ensemble.
  • Arranger/composer applicants must complete additional requirements that consist of:
    • Show a portfolio of your arrangements/compositions at your audition as well as recordings of those works
    • Demonstrate the ability to harmonize a lead-line using 4-part closed position voicings and 4-way drop-two voicings
    • Demonstrate a working knowledge of transpositions and ranges of instruments found in a contemporary jazz setting

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