WIU Jazz

Jazz Ensemble Auditions

All Jazz Auditions will be in person this semester.  Students should prepare the audition as per the elements listed below for your instrument.  Because of the weather we will host auditions in Sallee 212 from 9-4 on Tuesday, January 16th. Saxophone auditions will be from 9-11, and both trombone and trumpet auditions will be from 11-4. Rhythm section rehearsals will intersperse with brass auditions from 12-4. A sign up sheet has been posted. All saxophone and brass players will prepare the excerpt given in the etude link below. For other instumentalists, the audition materials can be found on this page below.

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 


To Download SP24 Jazz Audition Excerpt (for saxophones)

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

Alto Saxophone Etude

Tenor Saxophone Etude

Baritone Saxophone Etude

Trombone Etude

RangeTrumpet 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. Trumpet players wishing to audition for lead trumpet will prepare C-D, all other trumpets will prepare B-C.

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
  • Sight-Reading:  Students will be asked to sight-read an appropriate piece of music.


  •  Please prepare a jazz standard of your choice with or with a lead sheet in the key the song is to be performed, in addition to the technique and theory requirements listed above. 

Audition Results:

Results from the auditions are posted on Tuesday evening January 16th on the bulletin board by Sallee 212.