WIU Jazz

Jazz Ensemble Auditions

All Jazz Auditions will be in an online format.  Students should prepare the audition as per the elements listed below for your instrument.  Create a Google Drive Folder and give access to that folder for the following faculty:

Dr. Whitney Ashe - WE-Ashe@wiu.edu
Dr. Kevin Nichols - KA-Nichols1@wiu.edu
Mr. Matthew Hughes - MT-Hughes@wiu.edu
Dr. George Turner - GM-Turner@wiu.edu
Dr. Charlie Chadwell - C-Chadwell@wiu.edu
Mr. John Mindeman - JS-Mindeman@wiu.edu.

All Jazz Auditions must be uploaded and accessible to all faculty by August 22, 2022. 

Auditions elements for horns (trumpet, saxophones, and trombones are as follows: - Other "non-traditional" jazz instruments are welcome.

Theory: Students will be asked to demonstrate simple theory concepts on their instruments:

  • Major Scales - Keys: C Maj; Eb Maj; Gb Maj; A Maj.
  • Arpeggios up to the 9th for the following Chord types in all keys:
    • Major 9 - Arps:  D Maj9; F Maj9; Ab Maj9; B Maj9
    • Dominant 9 - Arps: Db9; E9; G9; Bb9
    • Minor 9 - Arps: C-9; E-9; Ab-9; F#-9
    • Minor 9 b5 Arps: D-9b5; F-9b5; Ab-9b5
    • Diminished (between the octave) - Arps: Bdim; Ddim; Gdim; Adim
    • Augmented (between the octave) - Arps: G Aug; Bb Aug; F Aug; Ab Aug.

Improvisation:  Students will be asked to improvise on a blues in Concert F at a medium swing tempo. 

Backing Track is Here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvBMWVznyaI

Reading:  Students will be given an etude to read for the audition.

Trumpet Etude

Saxophone Etude

Trombone Etude

Range:  Trumpet and trombone players may be asked to play simple scales in the upper octave so that faculty can ascertain the extent of each student's upper limits.

Special considerations for Rhythm Section Players

In addition to the audition requirements for Horns in the Theory and Improvisation categories the following outline describes activities that will be required of Rhythm Section Players.

  • Piano
    • Comping:  Students will demonstrate comping on F Blues Changes
  • Guitar
    • Comping:  Students will demonstrate comping on F Blues Changes
  • Bass
    • Walking:  Students will be asked to walk bass lines in a swing style over F Blues Changes



To Download


  • Styles
    • Students will be asked to demonstrate knowledge of different styles of drumming
      • Swing
      • Bossa
      • Samba
      • Afro-Cuban
      • Rock
  • Etudes
    • Students will prepare etudes for the audition.  Please contact Kevin Nichols, Professor of Percussion for etude requirements
  • Sight-Reading:  Students will be asked to sight-read an appropriate piece of music.


  •  Please submit a recording of a jazz standard of your choice with or without accompaniment in addition to the technique and theory requirements listed above. 

Audition Results:

Results from the auditions are posted on Tuesday evening by Sallee 212.