Audition materials

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for the UW-L jazz ensembles. This page contains everything you need to know about the audition process.

The audition dates for the UW-L Jazz Orchestra and UW-L Jazz Ensemble are listed below. (If you are interested in participating in a jazz combo, placement in a group will be also be determined by the big band auditions.) Also, this year each ensemble will have a vocalist. Vocalists are also encouraged to consider participating in a combo.

Audition Dates for Fall 2018

Tuesday, Sept. 4 - Room 67
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Vocals and Winds (sax, trumpets, trombones)
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, drums)
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Vocals and Winds
Wednesday, Sept. 5 - Room 67
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Vocals and Winds
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (reserved for students with prior time conflicts)


1.  Download the file for your instrument. (Vocalists - skip down to 7.)

The saxophone parts are from the chart "Count Bubba" by the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band (album: Swingin' for the Fences); the brass parts are from the chart "Real Loud First Note Blues" by arranger Tom Kubis; and the rhythm sections parts are from the chart "Too Close for Comfort," also by the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band (album: The Phat Pack). Recordings of the Gordon Goodwin tracks are on YouTube and the Tom Kubis recording can be found on

2.  Prepare the music to the best of your abilities. Performance tempos are marked in the part.

3. Play with a steady tempo in the appropriate style with good jazz articulations.

4. In addition to the excerpt:
a. Brass play a Bb concert scale in 16th notes to demonstrate range. (Begin on concert Bb, but play up to the top comfortable note of your range and then down to the bottom note of your range before ending on concert Bb again.)
b. Saxes play a Bb concert scale slurred in 16th notes. (Begin on concert Bb, play up to the top palm key note within the scale, down to the bottom note within the scale, and then end on concert Bb again.) Optional - if you play flute or clarinet and have access to an instrument, you are welcome to bring them to the audition.
c. Drums will be asked to play in other common styles (Samba, Bossa Nova, Funk,) as well as various swing tempos.
d. Bass, Piano, and Guitar: Optional - Demonstrate knowledge of other common playing styles (samba, bossa nova, funk) over a short four-chord progression that is provided at the audition.

5. Sight read a short example of Big Band music.

6. Improvisation is optional, but required for a jazz (solo) chair. Improvisors should play on one of the following: blues in F, G, or Bb; or Bb Rhythm Changes.

7. Vocalists: Prepare a medium tempo jazz standard of your choice. Bring a lead sheet of the song with you in the key you want to sing it. Scatting is optional; if you want to scat, it can be done on the chord changes of your prepared piece or a blues in the key of your choice. I will also have you sing back short phrases that I play on the piano to gauge your ear development.

Sign up for an audition time on Dr. Erickson's office door - Room 323 CFA. (This sign-up sheet will be posted on my door the week before classes start.) Also on my door will be an information sheet; please fill it out and bring it to the audition with you.
The audition will take about 10-12 minutes.

Click on your instrument below to download
a PDF file of the music.

Brass players select the part that is best for your range.

 Jazz Band Rehearsal Schedule

Jazz Ensemble meets Mon., Wed, and Fri. from 11:00 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.
Jazz Orchestra meets Tue and Thurs. 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ;  and Fri 3:20 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
Jazz Combos times will be arranged according to student schedules
For assistance with class conflicts, contact Dr. Erickson.

Rehearsals for both big bands will begin on Friday, September 7, 2017.

If you have questions or concerns, or just want to talk jazz, call anytime or stop by the week before classes.

Dr. Jeff Erickson
Center for the Arts, Room 323
Office: 608-785-8414