Admission & Auditions

The admissions requirements linked below are for admission to the Jazz Studies major.

The College of Music now requires video recordings that are transferred electronically instead of DVD or audio recordings. In the application interface there will be a space to enter one or more links to your video. Be sure that the audio and video quality are as high as you can make them. We consider this change to be something that will help students because they no longer have to add the DVD authoring step to their preparation of audition recordings. If you have questions about this requirement please feel free to contact John Murphy, Jazz Studies division chair.

Application deadline.

The pages linked below refer to our bachelor's and master's programs.

For information on admission at the doctoral level, please see the page on the local concentration in Jazz Studies within the DMA in Performance.

Admission to the Graduate Artist Certificate in Music Performance program is an option for jazz performers with exceptional qualifications. For more information, see music.unt.edu/graduate/application-and-degree-requirements.

Admission into the UNT Jazz Studies Program (Undergraduate and Graduate)

Admission to the UNT Jazz Studies Program is a three-step process:
1. Admission to UNT
2. Admission to the UNT College of Music
3. Admission to the UNT Jazz Studies Program

The process is different for undergraduates and graduates.

Scholarships and assistantships are available. Information on these is available here.

To be admitted to the undergraduate Jazz Studies degree program:
1. Apply to UNT as an undergraduate. For undergraduate admission to the University of North Texas, apply on line at www.applytexas.org. International students apply at admissions.unt.edu/international.
2. Apply for admission to the College of Music. Click on the following link music.unt.edu/admissions (information and application forms).
3. Admission into the undergraduate Jazz Studies major is by audition. You can do this on one of the audition days held at UNT, or with a video recording (please note: the jazz bass area requires both a video and an audition; see the bass auditions page). Admissions auditions for Jazz Studies are not done at the regional auditions in Chicago and Los Angeles. To submit a video recording, include a link to a video in your College of Music application. You may use any video site you like, provided that the link that you included in your application enables to view the video. Two examples: uploading it to YouTube and enable access only to those who have the URL; upload it to Vimeo, password-protect it, and include the URL and the password in your application. For further information, see the page in this section that deals with your instrument. If your questions aren't answered there, contact the teacher of your instrument by email using the address shown on the faculty page.

To be admitted to the graduate Jazz Studies degree program:
1. Apply to the University of North Texas Toulouse Graduate School at gradschool.unt.edu. For the Jazz Studies M.M., the GRE requirement is the Analytical Writing Portion of the GRE OR pass the jazz studies in-house writing exam. If you choose to take the GRE Analytical writing exam, the results must be submitted to the Toulouse Graduate School before your first semester of enrollment. If you choose the jazz studies in-house writing exam, you must take it during new graduate student orientation, before the start of classes in August. More information on this requirement.
2. Apply to the Jazz Studies graduate program in the College of Music; see music.unt.edu/admissions (information and application forms).
3. Admission into the graduate Jazz Studies major is by audition. You can do this on one of the audition days held at UNT, or with a video recording (please note that jazz bass requires a video and an audition). Admissions auditions for Jazz Studies are not done at the regional auditions in Chicago and Los Angeles. To submit a video recording, include a link to a video (not the video file) in your College of Music application. You may use any video site you like, provided that the link that you included in your application enables to view the video. Two examples: uploading it to YouTube and enable access only to those who have the URL; upload it to Vimeo, password-protect it, and include the URL and the password in your application. For further information, see the page in this section that refers to your instrument. If your questions aren't answered there, contact the teacher of your instrument by email using the address shown on the faculty page.

Second Bachelor's Status and IELI
If you are considering applying to the Jazz Studies program under second bachelor's status, which means you have earned a completed bachelor's degree and you wish to earn a second one, or you anticipate having to study in UNT's Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) in order to satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement, please read the Jazz Studies policy on second bachelor's status.

Auditions for Admission into the Jazz Studies Major and Jazz Scholarships
The University of North Texas College of Music audition dates are published here. On these dates, prospective students may audition for admission to the College of Music and for admission into the Jazz Studies major. This page includes general information on auditions; for instrument-specific requirements, see the links on the main page in this section.

Undergraduates will need to audition both for the jazz major and for your instrumental concentration (which is also referred to as the "classical" audition). Exceptions to this are jazz bass, guitar, and voice students, whose jazz audition will also serve as the concentration audition. See this page for information on the requirements for the concentration ("classical") audition.

Graduates will need to audition for admission to the Jazz Studies degree program.

Your audition for admission will also serve as the audition for scholarship consideration.

Bass Auditions for Admission

This page has information on admission at the bachelor's and master's level. For information on doctoral-level admission, please see our page on the local concentration in Jazz Studies within the DMA in Performance.

Undergraduate (Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance/Bass Concentration)

You are encouraged to audition live at UNT. Contact Lynn Seaton to schedule an appointment, or choose one of the scheduled Saturday audition dates at the College of Music. If you are an international student and cannot come for a live audition, or if it is a hardship to come in person to UNT for a live audition, email Professor Seaton in addition to marking that on your application. Email: lynn.seaton@unt.edu

Undergraduate Audition for Admission and Scholarships
We request that you do your audition in two parts: a video that shows what you can do with advance preparation, and a live audition,, which covers sight-reading, scales, etc., as explained below.
1. Submit video links Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, vimeo.com, or similar web service. Your recording (or set of recordings) should be no longer than 15 or 20 minutes. After you submit the online UNT College of Music application, you will be prompted to go to your student dashboard. Select the Screening/Audition tab and follow instructions to submit links to your videos. It will be necessary to combine two of the pieces into one video so the four (4) available links will contain all five of the required styles. 1) medium tempo standard, 2) jazz blues, 3) jazz ballad, 4) fusion, Latin or funk, and 5) up-tempo standard or rhythm changes. The medium tempo standard and jazz blues should include both a walking bass line and a solo. The others may also contain a solo. All selections should show your ability to function in a rhythm section. (For example, you could record yourself with a video camera while making an audio demo at home, school, a concert, in a studio, etc.) You can record something with a rhythm section, or record yourself playing with a Jamey Aebersold play-along recording or the equivalent. We have no expectations on the quality of the recording. In other words, it is not necessary to record in a professional studio. Make sure you can be seen and heard.

OPTIONAL: In addition to the video, you may also submit a supplemental publicly released audio CD or DVD recording in which you play.
Label your supplemental disk with your name, "jazz bass audition", and the song titles. Send your video to:
Prof. Lynn Seaton
Division of Jazz Studies
College of Music
1155 Union Circle #305040
Denton, TX 76203-5017

2. The Live audition for acceptance to the Jazz Bass program will contain some of the following:
One octave major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales at least two fingerings for each scale
Ability to read basic bass line charts with written lines in several different rhythmic styles (swing, bossa nova, rock, funk, etc.)
Ability to improvise a walking bass line on a chart of a basic jazz chord progression
Ability to improvise a walking bass line on a jazz version of 12-bar blues progressions in at least the keys of G, C, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab
Ability to sight read walking bass lines, notes (some melodies), and improvise bass lines and some soloing on big band and lead sheet charts.
Ability to play all pieces in audition with a good, even time feel (unaccompanied) and a minimum of hesitations when sight-reading (ability to keep going).
If a live audition is not possible, the admission decision may be made with the video only. You will need to pass a reading audition, which will happen as part of the lab band placement auditions that occur the weekend before school starts each semester.

If you are an international student and cannot come for a live audition, or if it is a hardship to come to come in person to UNT for a live audition, email Professor Seaton in addition to marking that on your application. lynn.seaton@unt.edu

New bass students at UNT desiring to become jazz majors may take many of the freshman jazz courses (including Bass Fundamentals and Bass Styles), with certain prerequisites, even before full acceptance into the jazz degree program. Full acceptance as a jazz studies major will occur after successful completion of MUJS 1131 Jazz Performance Fundamentals I for Bass, MUJS 1132 Jazz Performance Fundamentals II for Bass, and acceptance into a jazz lab band by live audition. Jazz lab auditions take place each semester the week prior to the start of classes. They consist of sight reading typical big band charts (reading notes, walking bass lines etc.)

Ability to play both acoustic and electric basses is not required for entrance into the bachelor's in jazz performance program but is part of the requisites for completing the degree. Placement into most lab bands does require ability to play upright and electric well. The greater the student's experience on both instruments upon entering the program, the easier the process will be. UNT is an upright oriented program with required classical and jazz bass lessons.
Even if you do a live audition for admission, submitting a video recording is still necessary.

Graduate (Master of Music in Jazz Performance/Bass Concentration)

You are encouraged to audition live at UNT. Contact Lynn Seaton to schedule an appointment, or choose one of the scheduled Saturday audition dates at the College of Music. If you are an international student and cannot come for a live audition, or if it is a hardship to come in person to UNT for a live audition, email Professor Seaton in addition to marking that on your application.

Graduate Audition Video for Admission and Scholarships
We request that you do your audition in two parts: a video that shows what you can do with advance preparation, and a live audition, which covers sight-reading, scales, etc., as explained below.
1. Submit video links Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, vimeo.com, or similar web service. Your recording (or set of recordings) should be no longer than 15 or 20 minutes. After you submit the online UNT College of Music application, you will be prompted to go to your student dashboard. Select the Screening/Audition tab and follow instructions to submit links to your videos. It will be necessary to combine two of the pieces into one video so the four (4) available links will contain all five of the required styles.: 1) medium tempo standard, 2) jazz blues, 3) jazz ballad, 4) fusion, Latin or funk, and 5) Play the melody, improvise a walking bass line, and solo on an up-tempo version of "Confirmation" from memory. The medium tempo standard and jazz blues should include both a walking bass line and a solo. The others may also contain a solo. Use the bow on one or more of the upright tunes. All selections should show your ability to function in a rhythm section. (For example, you could record yourself with a video camera while making an audio demo at home, school, a concert, in a studio, etc.) You can record something with a rhythm section, or record yourself playing with a Jamey Aebersold play-along recording or the equivalent. We have no expectations on the quality of the recording. In other words, it is not necessary to record in a professional studio. Make sure you can be seen and heard.

OPTIONAL: In addition to the video, you may also submit a supplemental publicly released audio CD or DVD recording in which you play.
Label your supplemental disk with your name, "jazz bass audition", and the song titles. Send your video to:
Prof. Lynn Seaton
Division of Jazz Studies
College of Music
1155 Union Circle #305040
Denton, TX 76203-5017

2. Play a live audition for admission into the College of Music that will contain some of the following:
All of the required skills at the undergraduate level
Ability to play the melody, improvise a walking bass line, and solo on "Confirmation" from memory
Ability to improvise a walking or appropriate style bass line on a chart of complex jazz harmony (e.g. Wayne Shorter or Thelonious Monk tunes, etc.)
Ability to improvise a walking bass line on common jazz variations on a 12 bar blues progressions in all 12 keys
Ability to improvise a walking bass line on the progression to "I Got Rhythm" (Rhythm Changes) in at least three keys including Bb
Ability to sight read walking bass lines, notes (some melodies), and improvise bass lines and solos on big band and lead sheet charts.
Some jazz soloing ability at least appropriate for second year improvisation classes at UNT (basic jazz standards and blues in several keys)
Ability to play: the melody, an improvised bass line, and solo on at least ten jazz standards from memory. Have a list with you.
Ability to play at least two contrasting pieces in the classical style is recommended. At least two years of college-level classical double bass lessons experience is highly recommended.
Attention will be paid to time feel, stylistic authenticity, technical proficiency, tone, musical background, overall musicianship, and potential for development.
Even if you do a live audition for admission, submitting a video is still necessary.

If you are an international student and cannot come for a live audition, or if it is a hardship to come to come in person to UNT for a live audition, email Professor Seaton in addition to marking that on your application. lynn.seaton@unt.edu

Ability to play both acoustic and electric basses is not required for entrance into the master's jazz performance program but is part of placement auditions into lab bands. Placement into most lab bands does require ability to play upright and electric well. The greater the student's experience on both instruments upon entering the program, the easier the process will be. UNT is an upright oriented program.
If your ability on the acoustic bass is limited, you may be required to pass the classical upper division exam. This may occur after some classical study at UNT. It will be considered a deficiency requirement until completed. The exam consists of playing a classical concerto on the level of the Dragonnetti for the classical faculty.

Doctoral - DMA in Performance with Local Concentration in Jazz Studies
For information on doctoral-level admission, please see our page on the local concentration in Jazz Studies within the DMA in Performance.

Drumset and Vibraphone Auditions for Admission

Undergraduate
Undergraduate Jazz Studies majors with a concentration in drumset must audition for admission to the College of Music in the following areas in addition to drumset:

Snare Drum: A rudimental and/or orchestral snare solo or etude; rolls, flams, and associated rudiments.

Marimba / Vibes: Scales and arpeggios: major, harmonic minor, and chromatic; an etude or jazz improvisation.

More detailed repertoire information is available from the percussion department. We prefer that you audition in person, especially for scholarship consideration. If that is not possible, a set of video recordings totaling 30 minutes of your drumset, mallet, and snare playing is acceptable. Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service.

Recorded auditions: Showcase your drumset skills as a rhythmic improvisor in a variety of styles (e.g., jazz, funk, fusion, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, etc.). Video yourself with a combo, big band, or with a play-along rhythm track of your choice. Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service.

Live audition: This audition on drumset consists of sight-reading a big band chart; playing a tune of your choice by playing the melody on the drumset and improvising at least four choruses on the tune form; playing along with various stylistic rhythm tracks.

Undergraduate students may audition for the concentration in jazz vibraphone. The curriculum:
Jazz vibraphone: three semesters
Jazz major marimba: two semesters. NOTE: These two semesters may be taken as jazz vibraphone if the student can test out of the marimba curriculum requirements.
Jazz major timpani: one semester
Jazz major snare drum: two semesters
Drum set: two semesters

Undergraduate audition requirements for jazz vibraphone:
1. Perform a published solo vibraphone etude or a standard jazz ballad chord solo.
2. Play melody and improvise at least two choruses on a medium tempo jazz standard (swing or bossa) performed to a pre-recorded track (Jamey Aebersold recording or the equivalent).
3. Sight read a jazz style melody.
4. Snare Drum: A rudimental and/or orchestral snare solo or etude; rolls, flams, and associated rudiments.

Master's
There are no audition requirements other than the principal instrument (drum set or vibraphone) for Master's candidates. A pre-audition screening recording is required. Applicants should submit a link as part of the College of Music application by the deadline of the first Monday in December to one or more videos that demonstrate how they meet the following expectation:
Master's candidates are expected to have fundamental triplet and duplet coordination skills and the ability to improvise in a variey of styles (e.g. jazz, Afro-Cuban, funk, Brazilian, etc.) melodically and rhythmically on music drawn from the Be-Bop/Jazz Standards canon.

Master's-level audition requirements for jazz vibraphone:
1. Perform a published solo vibraphone etude or a standard jazz ballad chord solo.
2. Play melody and improvise at least two choruses on a medium tempo jazz standard (swing or bossa) performed to a pre-recorded track (Jamey Aebersold recording or the equivalent).
3. Play melody and improvise at least two choruses on an up tempo standard (swing or samba) performed to a pre-recorded track (Jamey Aebersold recording or the equivalent).
4. Sight read a jazz style melody.

Doctoral
Information on doctoral auditions on drumset is found here.

Further information
For information on percussion auditions, see the Percussion audition page. Specific drumset questions should be directed to Ed Soph at (940) 369-7536.

GRE requirement for Jazz Studies Master's and DMA applicants

For applicants to the Master of Music in Jazz Studies program and the DMA in Performance with local concentration in Jazz Studies:

The GRE requirement can be met in one of two ways:

1. Submit score from the GRE (Analytical Writing Section only) . If you choose the GRE Analytical Writing Section option, the score must be submitted prior to the start of the first semester of enrollment. We contacted the ETS, the organization that administers the GRE, in September 2013 to ask whether a student can sign up for only the analytical writing portion. We received the following response:

The GRE® revised General Test consists of three test sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. The individual sections of the test are not offered as stand-alone exams. Examinees who register to take the GRE revised General Test will be presented with all three sections at the test center.

The GRE Program strongly recommends that examinees complete all three sections of the test. Examinees may if they wish, choose to skip a section or sections of the test. Any section in which the test taker answers no questions at all is reported as a No Score (NS).

2. Pass the Jazz Studies In-house Writing Exam administered by Jazz Studies during the required orientation for admitted graduate students, which is held at UNT during before the start of the fall semester. If the applicant chooses the in-house exam option, and does not pass it during the required new graduate student orientation, then a maximum of two re-takes are possible. The exam must be passed before the end of the fall semester. If the exam is not passed, the student is not permitted to register for spring semester graduate classes, and progress towards the degree will end.

Completing the application: If any of the application pages require you to enter a GRE date, and you have decided to use the in-house exam option, choose a GRE date and enter it anyway in order to be able to proceed with the application.

Jazz Guitar Auditions for Admission

NOTE: This page has been updated as of Aug. 20, 2013.

Preliminary Screening Video
Along with the on-line application to the College of Music, all jazz guitar applicants must submit a screening video recording. The reason for this is to be able to assess your progress in jazz. Recordings will be reviewed by the faculty to determine your advancement in the audition process. You will be notified no later than one month before your requested audition date regarding the results of this pre-screening. The deadline to do this is the first Monday in December.

Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a link to a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, vimeo.com, or similar web service. Please see the musical criteria for the live audition below and use that for the preliminary video.

Repertoire for audition
Prepare three jazz standards of varying tempos and styles, of which one should be a ballad chord solo without accompaniment. The other two choices could be a blues, medium tempo standard, up tempo standard, bebop, bossa nova, or samba performed with a pre-recorded track (Jamey Aebersold recordings or the equivalent). An example of possible tune choices might be: Billie's Bounce, Oleo, Round Midnight, Yesterdays, You Stepped Out of a Dream, How Deep is the Ocean?, All the Things You Are, etc. Please bring your accompaniment tracks with you to the audition.

As it could be confusing if you read the audition information on the College of Music web page, classical guitar is not a requirement for Jazz Studies Majors, and you do not need to play an audition on classical guitar for acceptance.

If you are unable to attend the scheduled auditions, you may submit a final audition recording. Follow the repertoire requirements above. To be considered for a graduate teaching fellowship you must audition in person at UNT. Live auditions are given preference in scholarship consideration, however if distance or another problem makes this impossible contact Fred Hamilton at frederick.hamilton@unt.edu.

Jazz Piano Auditions for Admission (Undergraduate and Graduate levels)

On-campus and recorded auditions are accepted. For those who choose an on-campus audition, choose one of the scheduled Saturday audition dates at the College of Music. Your audition should not exceed 20 minutes. Please prepare the following:
1. One solo piano selection (preferably a ballad from the standard jazz repertoire)
2. One blues (medium swing tempo)
3. One selection from the standard jazz repertoire of your choice in the style of bossa nova, samba, or straight eight feel
4. One uptempo selection (quarter note=220 for undergraduate and quarter note=264 for graduate)
Graduate applicants must perform their repertoire by memory. Undergraduate applicants may use lead-sheets, however, we do encourage all applicants to memorize their selected pieces. If you are doing an on-campus audition, please bring your play-along tracks.

For the recorded audition, the recordings can show you playing with play-along tracks or with a live rhythm section. Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service.

Classical audition (for undergraduate applicants only)
All undergraduate applicants must also pass the classical piano audition at the concentration level - http://music.unt.edu/admissions/undergraduate-repertoire - click on piano and refer to the "Piano Concentration" paragraph. If scheduled to audition on campus, each applicant will play two auditions - one classical and one jazz. If auditioning by recording, each applicant must submit both classical and jazz recordings using the College of Music admission website.
Jazz piano majors take classical lessons the first year (plus a two-semester jazz piano fundamentals class); jazz and classical lessons in years two and three; and jazz lessons in year four.

Ensemble auditions
Each semester, a live audition will take place the week prior to classes. This is a placement audition for the various jazz lab ensembles and master-classes. For further information, go to: http://jazz.unt.edu/node/164

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Pat Coil at patrick.coil@unt.edu.

Jazz Voice Auditions for Admission to a degree program

See the Vocal Jazz at UNT page for more information about Jazz Voice Studies at UNT.

NOTE: This page has been updated as of November 10, 2016. If you read information prior to that date, some minor information may have changed, so make sure to read everything carefully for the most up-to-date requirements and other information.

Steps to apply for admission into our program can be found here: http://music.unt.edu/admissions

Topics covered on this page:

Scholarships
Applicants who complete the audition process to be a Jazz Studies major are automatically under consideration to receive a scholarship. More information on scholarships can be found here:
http://music.unt.edu/admissions/scholarships

Undergraduate Auditions

For acceptance into the College of Music as a vocal Jazz Studies major, undergraduate students must:
1. Complete the application to the University of North Texas and the application to the College of Music.
2. Within the online College of Music application, upload a video screening recording comprising two jazz song selections (one slow, one medium or fast). See the FAQ section below for more details on the pre-screening recordings. NOTE: If you do not wish to perform a live audition, but only submit recorded videos, then your pre-screening videos also serve as your final audition. In that case, please skip to the information below about recorded auditions.
3. Based on your pre-screening video, you may be invited to perform a live audition.

If you receive an invitation to perform a live undergraduate audition (DENTON CAMPUS ONLY), you should be prepared to do the following:
• Sing one medium swing tempo song (preferably from the standard jazz repertoire -- use this for ideas:)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_Songbook
• Sing one ballad (or other slow tempo style, like slow bossa nova, very slow swing feel, etc.)
• Sight read short rhythmic and melodic examples
• Respond to aural testing (tonal memory, chord tone recognition, etc.)
• Vocalize through your full vocal range and demonstrate proficient vocal technique

Recorded Auditions
Undergraduate applicants who do not plan to visit campus for a live audition may submit final audition video recordings containing the selections described above, instead of pre-screening videos, and must indicate that the videos are being submitted as their FINAL AUDITION. If your recordings pass the vocal performance portion of the audition for admission, you will then be contacted to arrange a video (Skype) audition for the interview, sight-reading and aural testing portions of the audition. Audition recordings (links to your videos) must be received on or before the last live audition date in order to be considered for admission, however, we highly recommend submitting by December 1 in order to receive preference, get scheduled for a Skype interview and be considered for scholarships.

Graduate Auditions and Teaching Assistantships

Information on applying for the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree and it’s application requirements can be found here:http://jazz.unt.edu/dma-performance-jazz-studies

For acceptance into the College of Music to pursue a Master of Music (MM) degree, applicants must:
1. Complete the application to the University of North Texas and the application to the College of Music.
2. Within the online College of Music application, submit video screening recordings of a live accompanied performance (with accompanying instruments visible) that includes the following 3 selections:
a. A medium or up-tempo swing tune (including a minimum of one chorus of wordless improvisation)
b. A jazz ballad
c. A song in an alternate jazz style (afro-cuban, samba, ECM, etc.).
3. Based on your pre-screening video, you may be invited to perform a live audition. Graduate students currently living in the U.S. must perform a live audition for consideration for acceptance to the jazz studies program at UNT; no recorded auditions will be permitted for U.S. residents.

For those candidates living outside the U.S. who do not plan to visit campus for a live audition, you will NOT submit separate pre-screening videos, just one set of final audition recordings, following the requirements for live auditions listed below. Your video recordings should be made live, with no editing to the audio (no pitch-correction or "punching in") other than mixing of levels as needed, with the other musicians also visible in the video, preferably with a standard rhythm section. No auditions performed with accompaniment tracks will be accepted. If your recordings pass the vocal performance portions of the audition for admission, you will then be contacted to arrange a video (Skype) audition for the interview, sight-reading and aural testing portion of the audition. For more information regarding graduate admissions visit page 1 and page 2.

Requirements for live (and international student recorded) auditions
If you are invited to perform a live audition on campus, then you will be expected to perform the following (using different song selections than you used for your pre-screening recording, since we will have already heard those!):
1. One medium swing selection (120-160 bpm)
2. One up-tempo swing selection (220 bpm or faster)
NOTE: You will be required to demonstrate at least one chorus of improvisation on your medium and up-tempo swing selections.
3. One jazz ballad
4. One song in an alternate jazz style (bossa nova, samba, afro-cuban, funk, etc.)
5. At the piano, play the chord changes with a swing feel for one of the following songs: All of Me, Bye Bye Blackbird, Satin Doll, or Take the A Train (Singing while playing is optional but encouraged)
6. Sight read several musical examples in different tempi and styles to demonstrate a competent level of sight-reading proficiency. For international students who are auditioning by video recording, the sight reading will be done via a Skype conference call, to be arranged at a time arranged by the prospective student and faculty member.
NOTE: The live audition will be performed with piano accompaniment only, so please bring two copies of lead sheets for your material (one for the pianist, one for the auditioners to view).

Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships
The vocal jazz area has four positions for graduate students who are interested in teaching. Due to the rotating nature of our enrollment, the number of available teaching assignments changes from year to year. If you would like to express your interest in being considered for one of those teaching positions, please e-mail Professor Barnes (jennifer.barnes@unt.edu) once you’ve been invited to perform a live audition and let her know so that she can give a longer time allotment for the audition and interview. In addition to the material you prepare for your vocal audition, you should also be prepared to bring and/or discuss the following:

1. A resume of all music teaching experience
2. Recommendation letters from people who've worked with you or observed your work as a professional musician and/or educator (please keep these recent -- from people within the past 3 years)
3. Vocal arrangements you've written (if you have any), with recordings if available
4. Recordings of any groups you have directed (audio or video)
5. Play piano as if accompanying a student from a basic lead sheet (we'd like to see you able to play in a medium swing feel, ballad and bossa, perhaps on the same song). You may do that on one of your vocal audition pieces or something different. Note: Not being able to do that on an expert level does NOT automatically mean that you won't be considered, but we just need to know your ability level in that area.
6. Discuss the music that is inspiring you at this time, and perhaps a few vocal artists who've been influential in your formation artistically.
7. Discuss your background and understanding of vocal pedagogy as it pertains to singing jazz, and the ways that may be similar to or distinct from classical voice pedagogy.
8. Any non-performance-related skills or expertise that you possess, i.e. sound reinforcement, office software, computer music notation, graphic design, social media.
9. Discuss your materials, strengths and weaknesses, goals and philosophy of music & teaching.

NOTE: Please put your supporting materials in an online location (Dropbox or another cloud-based site) with a document that includes an index and description of the materials, and send us a link to its location no less than one week prior to your audition date. Hard copies (CD, DVD, printed pages) will be not be accepted.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) About the Application & Audition Process:

What is the deadline for submitting my application?
Preference will be given to applications received by the first Monday in December. We will continue to receive and evaluate applications until we reach our capacity. This often happens in early March, and admission is competitive, so it's definitely to your advantage to complete and submit your application as soon as possible.

There’s no way I could afford to attend college without a scholarship; can I do anything extra in my application to stand out, or sing extra songs?
No need to do anything “extra”; as was stated above, every applicants is automatically under consideration to receive a scholarship, both for academic and musical merit. Follow this link to read about the affordability of UNT and options that may be helpful as you consider paying for your education: http://music.unt.edu/future-students/paying-college

Someone told me that for my pre-screening recordings, I had to prepare classical songs to sing in addition to jazz songs; is that true?
No! That used to be true, but now, no classical repertoire is required at any stage of our audition process.

For my pre-screening recordings, can I just send audio from a live concert?
No. We absolutely require a video recording, and your application may be delayed while we contact you to submit video, so please don’t submit audio recordings!

Can you help advise me on what songs should I sing on the pre-screening video?
No, we don’t give advice on what songs to sing! The requirement is that you have two pieces of contrasting tempo, one slow and one medium to fast, and we would prefer to hear standard jazz song selections, for example: a jazz ballad and a medium swing selection. Again, this link is helpful for many people who are unsure about song choice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_Songbook
You should choose a song you really love, since we’re looking to see your style and your personality in your delivery, which usually happens most naturally on a song that you really enjoy singing and with which you’re very comfortable.

Can I just send the video (or links) directly to Professor Barnes to watch, since I already have a lot of videos uploaded on YouTube?
No! Please follow the directions online WITHIN the College of Music application to submit your links to a high quality recorded video audition on either YouTube or Vimeo (making sure that the video is NOT set to “Private”, but are viewable with a shared link or public). You cannot see where to upload the videos UNTIL you are at that point within the actual College of Music application online.

Can I sing with pre-recorded (karaoke) tracks for my pre-screening video or does it have to be a live accompanist?
Yes, you may use pre-recorded tracks, and if you do, please try to cut the track (using software like Transcribe or Audacity) to eliminate any long spaces where you DON’T sing, such as where there might be space for a saxophone solo or a “dance break”.

Can I sing the same songs at the live audition that I sang on the pre-screening video?
Yes you may, however, we recommended that you perform different selections at the live audition from the selections you submit on your screening recording.

Do I need to bring my own accompanist for my live audition?
Our recommendation is that you bring lead sheets for your songs, and we will have an accompanist who can play for you in the audition room. However, if you wish, you may bring an accompanist or digital recorded accompaniment (on iPod or other digital player that can be plugged in to an external speaker system).

Do I need to be an great “scatter” to get into your program?
No. Vocal improvisation is part of our curriculum, but is not something that we use exclusively to determine admission status. At the live audition, you may either prepare to improvise within one of your songs or we’ll ask you to do so over a 12-bar blues chord progression. If you plan to submit only recorded video for your final audition, improvisation is strongly encouraged.

How much does it cost to attend UNT?
Click here for current year tuition and fee information. Make sure you also read this webpage: http://music.unt.edu/future-students/paying-college for even more helpful information as you consider the cost of attending UNT compared to other schools you might be considering.

Can I apply to begin in the second (spring) semester instead of fall?
No. New students may ONLY begin their degree program in the Fall semester (not Spring or Summer) each year, due to the curricular and private lesson assignment flow from one semester to the next.

What kinds of teaching does the Gradate Teaching Assistanships include?
Graduate teaching assistants will all teach private lessons to anywhere from 1 – 6 private students, including freshmen, sophomores and non-jazz majors. They will either direct or assistant direct one of the four vocal jazz ensembles. There are also several classes that utilize teaching assistants, including Songwriting Class, Fundamentals of Jazz Performance class and Vocal Arranging Class. In addition, there are administrative and sound reinforcement-related tasks that need ongoing support from the teaching assistants.

If I send you links to my YouTube videos, can you please watch them and tell me what you think? Would I be likely to be admitted to your program?
Due to the number of students who apply to our program each year, we cannot provide evaluations of audition materials outside of the yearly audition process.

How many people apply and how many do you admit?
We usually have approximately 75 applicants every year for our program (all levels), and we admit an average of 6 - 8 undergraduate and 3 - 5 graduate students each year. Our program is obviously highly competitive for admissions, and we consider many different factors in order to determine whether our program is a good fit for each applicant and whether we can foresee their success in our program.

Do you only accept a certain number of [sopranos], [altos], etc.?
We do not have any kind of a "quota" for admittance on any particular vocal range.

I’ve heard that you have a lot of vocal jazz ensembles at UNT. I’m really a solo jazz singer, and not really interested in singing in vocal groups, so I think your program may not be a good fit for me. Is it true that I have to sing in a vocal group if I’m a jazz voice major, and is that the main way that I get performance opportunities at UNT?
Great question! The jazz voice majors at UNT are being trained to function as soloists in a variety of settings and with a variety of methods. We get asked about this ensemble requirement a lot, so here are the answers that I hope help make it clearer as to what, when and how those settings & methods work:
1. Everyone is enrolled in individual private jazz voice lessons every semester -- 8 semesters. No classical voice lessons are required, as vocal technique is taught in the jazz voice lessons.
2. Students enroll in five semesters of exclusively vocal classes that have solo singing techniques and learning at the core of the content: Fundamentals of Jazz Performance (2 semesters), Vocal Jazz Techniques (2 semesters), and Vocal Jazz Styles (1 semester), prior to the "capstone" recital semester.
3. Starting in the sophomore year, individual vocalists choose and prepare their own material (anything they choose, in consultation with their private teacher) with their own band for a performance each semester in the Friday Vocal Forum (every Friday from 3 - 4 p.m.). They may perform with any combination of instrumentalists they'd like (solo self-accompanied, duo, trio, etc., adding a horn section, string quartet, background vocalists --- whatever!).
4. Starting in the junior year, students enroll in Small Group Forum, which is student-led, student-run combos that get faculty coaching and feedback on material chosen and arranged by students. Sometimes vocalists lead their own combo as individuals, sometimes vocalists pair up to be leaders together --- it's up to them entirely. They work on their music all semester and also go into the studio to record with their combo.
5. Most of our students form their own small groups to pursue gigging opportunities off-campus, since gig opportunities are abundant in Denton and the whole greater Dallas area. Some singers pursue opportunities for more money-making things like "casuals" or party bands, while others perform with duos or larger groups at local wine bars or restaurants. Either way, that's a vital aspect of the learning process and is a regular way that our students grow and develop their sound, style, repertoire and gain experience.
6. Lastly, yes, everyone sings also in what's called a "large ensemble" every semester -- one of our four vocal jazz ensembles, which range in size from 8 – 12 singers (and full rhythm sections). So they are not really "large" ensembles by most definitions. There are LOTS of solo opportunities within that ensemble setting, particularly improvisationally. This experience is just one of the many things that our students do to perform as vocalists, but does play a vital role in developing a higher level of musicianship, which is why we require it every semester. Singers who excel in these ensembles are challenged to improve their sight-singing, pitch accuracy, vocal control, stylistic flexibility, improvisation, microphone technique and sound system understanding (everyone participates in learning about the sound gear). In addition, everyone learns how to communicate better with rhythm section players, improve their "we make music TOGETHER" mentality, have performing opportunities, and learn by observing how to lead a group of singers/instrumentalists to work together towards musical goals.

For additional questions not addressed here, you may e-mail Professor Barnes at

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Required admission materials for Jazz Composition track of the Jazz Studies M.M.

The aesthetic for admission into the jazz composition track at UNT is built around a demonstration of competence in writing for and orchestrating for modern jazz, including a strong understanding of the modern large jazz ensemble, as well as various small group formats. It is also our belief that the strongest composers in jazz are performing instrumentalists and/or vocalists. Admitted students are expected to audition for a Lab Band or Jazz Singers when the fall semester begins. All students in the jazz composition track will be required to be enrolled in a Lab Band or Jazz Singers ensemble during every long semester during their graduate work at UNT.

The required application materials for prospective students in the Jazz Composition track of the Jazz Studies M.M. are:

1. Jazz Composition Portfolio
All representative work must be prepared in computer notation format (Finale or Sibelius, exported to PDF to avoid problems with software versions), accompanied by a recording (audio of live performance in mp3, wav, or aiff format, filesize limited to 8MB; or a link to a video on youtube or another public site) submitted in electronic format via the UNT College of Music application website or sent as an email attachment to Prof. Richard DeRosa at richard.derosa@unt.edu. If you need to submit a MIDI file of your work, please send that as an email attachment to Prof. DeRosa.
a. two compositions for modern jazz big band in two different styles
b. two compositions for rhythm section and at least three horns.
c. one composition for rhythm section and more than three horns/voice, vocal ensemble, or orchestral writing (strings, orch winds, etc.)

2. Performance audition on your respective instrument at one of the three yearly on-campus audition days or via recording. Check the audition requirements for your instrument. If you choose to submit a recording, follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service.

Saxophone Auditions for Admission

Undergraduate students

The University of North Texas College of Music jazz saxophone entrance and scholarship auditions must be performed with play-along CDs that are furnished by the student. The audition should include improvised solo examples of three jazz standards of varying tempos and styles. Undergraduate students are required to perform an improvised solo on "There Will Never Be Another You" (Warren/Gordon). Students are required to select and perform one selection from the Charlie Parker Omnibook.

Please note: Undergraduates must also play a classical audition. The repertoire requirements for the classical audition are published here on the College of Music web site. For questions about classical audition repertoire, please contact Dr. Eric Nestler.

Graduate students
Graduate students are required to perform an improvised solo on Charlie Parker's "Confirmation," and two additional selections you choose to be presented with prerecorded tracks. Styles should be selected from the following; ballad, blues, medium tempo standard, up-tempo standard, bebop, fusion or funk. Students are required to select and perform one selection from the Charlie Parker Omnibook.

Additional notes
Saxophonists who cannot perform a scholarship/entrance audition at the University of North Texas College of Music must follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service. Live performances and video performances are judged on an equal basis. Scholarship/entrance audition deadlines are published on the College of Music website. Undergraduate jazz saxophone majors are required to study classical and jazz saxophone in private lessons and must have appropriate equipment (mouthpiece and reed setups for each).

Trombone Auditions for Admission

Undergraduate students
Undergraduates must play both a classical and a jazz audition. The requirements for the classical audition are published here on the College of Music web site.

The live jazz audition shall consist of two parts:
Part 1 - Prepared Jazz Etude:
All applicants will demonstrate instrumental expertise and knowledge of jazz style by performing one prepared etude to be selected from the following:

Part 2 - Improvisation:
Applicants will demonstrate improvisation skill by performing one chorus of melody and two improvised choruses on three tunes selected from the following list (There Will Never Be Another You is required). All performances will be with the play-along tracks as specified.

Title and Suggested Play-Along Track
Required: There Will Never Be Another You, Aebersold Volume 15, Track 2

Two other tunes from the following:

Note: Play along tracks will be provided for the above tunes. Students may improvise on one additional tune of their choosing. Students are responsible to provide the playalong tracks (CD) for the additional tune.

Graduate students
Graduate students are required to perform an improvised solo on Charlie Parker's "Confirmation," and to prepare an additional two selections to be presented with prerecorded tracks. Styles should be selected from the following: ballad, blues, medium tempo standard, up-tempo standard, bebop, fusion or funk.

Additional material: Students who audition live may present additional material (audio CD, DVD, or VHS) which demonstrates expertise in jazz performance. These recordings may be of live or studio performances. It is suggested that recordings be edited to no more than 30 minutes total length. They should be shared with the auditioning professor in the form of web links.

Guidelines for Recorded Auditions:
Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service. The recorded audition must include the three parts of the live audition. Read carefully the description of the live audition requirements. The method we recommend is YouTube, with the video set to Private so that only those who receive the URL can view it.

Preparing the video of Parts 1 and 2 (prepared jazz etude and improvisation).
Do not edit the individual performances but feel free to use "takes" that demonstrate your best work. Make sure that the camera is 10 to 12 feet from you and that the balance between your instrument and the play-along track is appropriate. When recording the prepared jazz etude, use a metronome set at the tempo indicated. Make sure the metronome is audible on the recording.

Trumpet Auditions for Graduate Admission

UNT Jazz Studies: Auditions Guidelines for Trumpet (Graduate)
The live audition shall consist of three parts.
Part 1 - Prepared Jazz Etude:
All applicants will demonstrate instrumental expertise and knowledge of jazz style by performing one prepared etude to be selected from the following:

Lead trumpeters will perform an additional lead trumpet part from the following:

Note: These lead trumpet parts can be found in the Basie-Nestico Lead Trumpet Book, Kendor Music, Inc.
Part 2 - Improvisation:
Applicants must demonstrate improvisation skill by performing one chorus of melody and two improvised choruses on three tunes selected from the following list
(Confirmation is required). All performances will be with the play-only tracks as specified.
Title Suggested Play-Along Track
Required:
Confirmation Aebersold Volume 6, Track 4
Two other tunes from the following:

Note: Play along tracks will be provided for the above tunes. Students may improvise on one additional tune of their choosing. Students are responsible to provide the playalong tracks (CD) for the additional tune.
Part 3 - Sightreading:
Applicants will demonstrate sight reading skill by performing one written jazz etude(s) at sight. Lead trumpeters will perform a lead trumpet part.
Additional material:
Students who audition live may submit additional recordings that demonstrate expertise in jazz performance by including links to the videos in the College of Music online application. These recordings may be of live or studio performances.

Guidelines for Recorded Auditions:
Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service. The recorded audition must include the first two parts of the live audition. Sightreading is not required for recorded auditions. Read carefully the description of the live audition requirements.

Preparing the video of Parts 1 and 2 (prepared jazz etude and improvisation).
Do not edit the individual performances but feel free to use "takes" that demonstrate your best work. Make sure that the camera is 10 to 12 feet from you and that the balance between your instrument and the play-along track is appropriate. When recording the prepared jazz etude use a metronome set at the tempo indicated. Make sure the metronome is audible on the recording.

Additional material: Students who audition by recording may submit additional recordings that demonstrate expertise in jazz performance by including links to the videos in the College of Music online application. These recordings may be of live or studio performances.

Trumpet Auditions for Undergraduate Admission

UNT Jazz Studies: Audition Guidelines for Trumpet (Undergraduate)  

Please note: The following guidelines describe the jazz audition. Undergraduates must also perform a classical audition; classical repertoire information. The live audition shall consist of three parts.

 

Part 1 - Prepared Jazz Etude:  All applicants will demonstrate instrumental expertise and knowledge of jazz style by performing one prepared etude to be selected from the following:

Lead trumpeters will perform an additional lead trumpet part from the following:

Note: These lead trumpet parts can be found in the Basie-Nestico Lead Trumpet Book, Kendor Music, Inc.

Part 2 - Improvisation:  Applicants will demonstrate improvisation skill by performing one chorus of melody and two improvised choruses on three tunes selected from the following list (There Will Never Be Another You is required). All performances will be with the play-only tracks as specified.

Title Suggested Play-Along Track Required: There Will Never Be Another You (Another Yew) Aebersold Volume 15, Track 2 Two other tunes from the following:

Note: Play along tracks will be provided for the above tunes. Students may improvise on one additional tune of their choosing. Students are responsible to provide the playalong tracks (CD) for the additional tune.

Part 3 - Sightreading: Applicants will demonstrate sight reading skill by performing one written jazz etude(s) at sight. Lead trumpeters will perform a lead trumpet part.

Additional material:Students who audition live may submit additional recordings that demonstrate expertise in jazz performance by including links to the videos in the College of Music online application. These recordings may be of live or studio performances.

Guidelines for Recorded Auditions:Follow the directions on the College of Music application to submit a high quality recorded video audition by using youtube.com, yousendit.com, or similar web service. The recorded audition must include the first two parts of the live audition. Sightreading is not required for recorded auditions. Read carefully the description of the live audition requirements.

Preparing the video of Parts 1 and 2 (prepared jazz etude and improvisation). Do not edit the individual performances but feel free to use "takes" that demonstrate your best work. Make sure that the camera is 10 to 12 feet from you and that the balance between your instrument and the play-along track is appropriate. When recording the prepared jazz etude use a metronome set at the tempo indicated. Make sure the metronome is audible on the recording.

Additional material:Students who audition by recording may submit additional recordings that demonstrate expertise in jazz performance by including links to the videos in the College of Music online application. These recordings may be of live or studio performances.