WIU JazzJazz Ensemble Auditions

Students audition for both large and small group jazz in the same audition.  Auditions are usually held in the first two days of each semester and a schedule of audition times is posted on the Jazz bulletin board at 212 Sallee Hall and the Bands bulletin board in the Browne Hall Lobby. 

Auditions 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
  • Arpeggios up to the 9th for the following Chord types in all keys:
    • Major 9
    • Dominant 9
    • Minor 9
    • Minor 9 b5
    • Diminished (between the octave)
    • Augmented (between the octave)

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

Sight Reading:  Students will be given an appropriate piece of music to sight-read in the audition.

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


  • 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.

Audition Results:

Results from the auditions are posted in the evening of the last day of auditions in the Browne Lobby.