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Vocal Jazz Ensemble Auditions

PLEASE NOTE: INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE HAS BEEN UPDATED AS OF WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16 AT 7:30 p.m. If you haven't visited since before that, make sure to read the dates for fall activities carefully, as some things have been added or changed.

Please note that the audition procedure has two steps required to perform a complete audition. Please also be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below, as most if not all of your questions can be answered there.

Instrumentalists interested in playing in the vocal jazz ensemble rhythm sections should both indicate that on their lab band audition forms AND contact Professor Barnes at Jennifer.Barnes@unt.edu to express that interest.

Two Steps to Completing the Vocal Jazz Ensemble Audition

1. Individual vocal auditions
Thursday, August 24 between 2 - 6 p.m.
Friday, August 21 between 11 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 22 between 1 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

2. Collective audition (*SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFO)
Monday, August 28 from 6:30 - 9 p.m.

* During this second phase of the audition, all auditionees will sing in various sizes and configurations with other singers, using brief excerpts from vocal jazz ensemble arrangements that will be made available online on this page on Saturday, August 26. A link to those excerpts (with recordings) will be posted here by Saturday at 9 p.m.

FAQ:

I'm not a Jazz Studies major, or even a music major - can I still audition for one of the vocal jazz ensembles?
Auditions for all vocal jazz ensembles are open to any currently enrolled UNT student regardless of major.

When and where can I sign up?
All audition information and the sign-up are ONLINE ONLY. Use the link below to access the online sign-up to secure an audition time. Auditions take place in Lab East (Room 263) in the Music Building.
http://tinyurl.com/UNTVJEnsembleAuditions

I work on Monday nights, so I won't be able to be there for the call-back audition time. Can you just put me in a group anyway?
No. We need to hear everyone sing in various combinations with other voices in order to form the best possible quality of ensembles. I reserve the right to make exceptions on an individual basis if necessary, but I will only consider such an exception in either an emergency or other immovable situation; job scheduling is NOT immovable, so you should make plans in advance to arrange to be there for that evening, just like you will have to do in order to accommodate other aspects of being a committed member of this (or any) ensemble in which you participate. If there is a legitimate reason why that's impossible for you, we will expect that you'll contact us well in advance to discuss your situation.

What will I have to do in my solo audition?
You will:
• Sing two contrasting tempo songs (any style is o.k., but jazz is preferred; one ballad and one medium or up-tempo). You will not likely get through more than one chorus (once through the form), unless you plan to improvise, so please plan to show us your very best singing and artistry right away!
• Sight-read a brief excerpt of a solo musical line that we'll give to you at the audition
• Improvise wordlessly ("scat") over chord changes (either in your faster prepared piece or 12-bar blues)
• Respond to a brief aural exam (no preparation required)
• Vocalize throughout your entire range (thus, it’s a good idea to be vocally warmed up. It's not useful for you to tell us that you "normally" have a strong high D or low C if we can't actually hear that during your audition!)

How many people will be listening to my "Part One" audition?
The two full-time jazz voice faculty members (Jennifer Barnes and Rosana Eckert) will be there, in addition our adjunct Jazz Voice faculty member (Anna Jalkéus) and anywhere from 2 - 4 of the jazz voice Graduate Teaching Fellows, so as many as 7 people.

Do I need to bring an accompanist?
You may bring an accompanist (piano, guitar or bass), accompany yourself, or you may bring lead sheets (transposed to your key) and someone on the audition panel will play piano for you.

How early should I get there before my scheduled audition time, and is there anything else I should bring with me?
Please plan to arrive at least FIFTEEN minutes before your audition time to give you time to fill out your audition form, and in case we’re running early. The only other thing to make sure you bring is your lead sheets and a copy of your class schedule (unless you have it memorized -- you need it to be able to indicate your availability for all the ensemble rehearsal times).

What happens in the "Collective Audition - Part Two"?
We will be assembling groups in various combinations to experiment with the very best "team chemistry" we can get in each level of group. This is an aspect that's impossible to gauge by simply hearing singers one at a time. We aim to get a better sense of how people work TOGETHER and enhance each other's vocal sound and style as a unit, making each of the four groups the best size and composition to accomplish the musical goals of each director.

When do the vocal jazz ensembles rehearse?
UNT Jazz Singers – M from 12 – 12:50 p.m., Tu/Th from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m., F from 1 - 1:50 p.m., (4 days)
Avenue C - M/W/F from 12:00 to 12:50 p.m. (3 days)
Third Street – M from 5 – 5:50 p.m. , Tu/Th from 2 - 2:50 p.m. (3 days)
West End – T/TH from 7:00 – 7:50 p.m., F from 1 to 1:50 p.m. (3 days)

What if I can only fit 2 of the groups' rehearsal times into my schedule, but not the other one or two?
You will have the opportunity to let us know that on your audition form, so don't worry about it - just fill out the form and if you are selected to be in an ensemble, we will place you with your schedule constraints in mind.

When will I find out if I made a group, and how do I get registered?
Results will be posted here on this page by midnight on August 28. As soon as you sign up for an audition time and know that you are hoping to sing in an ensemble, you should register (ask your advisor) for the “holding section” for vocal jazz ensembles, which guarantees that you have paid for the ensemble, then we will move you to the proper section or you will drop the class if necessary.

Do I have to be registered for this class in order to sing in an ensemble? Can't I just audit the class for no credit?
Sorry, but no auditing is allowed. Anyone who is placed in an ensemble MUST be registered for the class. No exceptions can be made.

When do the ensembles start rehearsals?
Ensembles will meet for the first time on Tuesday, August 29 or Wednesday, August 30, whichever day comes first for your ensemble’s rehearsal schedule.

I’m graduating in December – that’s o.k. since this is only an audition for the fall semester, right?
Anyone wishing to sing in Jazz Singers should plan to be available to make a commitment to ensemble for the entire academic year (two semesters). Again, exceptions may be made, but that’s not a guarantee, depending on the performance schedule of that ensemble. The other 3 ensembles will allow for the possibility of mid-year personnel changes. We hold auditions again in finals week in December and right before classes start again in January to fill open spaces for second semester or to add people to ensembles.

Are there any required dates during the fall semester that I can find out about in advance?
Yes. These are dates that are currently scheduled, with the possibility of additional dates being added at a later time.

Saturday, September 16, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.: Jazz Singers Fall Retreat
Tuesday, October 10, 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.: Jazz Singers & Avenue C concert at Robson Ranch
October 25 – 29: Possible Jazz Singers Tour (hold)
Monday, November 6, 8:00 p.m. (Kenton Hall): Avenue C Fall Concert
Thursday, November 9, 7:00 p.m. (Kenton Hall): Jazz Singers Dress Rehearsal
Friday, November 10, 8 p.m. (Voertman Hall): Jazz Singers Fall Concert
Monday, November 13, 5:00 p.m. (Kenton Hall): Third Street & West End Fall Concert
Saturday, December 2, 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.: Jazz Singers Recording Session #1
Friday, December 8 (Reading Day), 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Jazz Singers Recording Session #2
Wednesday, January 3 - Saturday, January 6, time t.b.d.: Jazz Education Network Annual Conference (Dallas); all vocal jazz ensemble members will have passes to attend the conference. Jazz Singers will be the demonstration vocal group during a clinic presented by Rosana Eckert and the other vocal ensembles will participate in the "JENerations Jazz Festival" that takes place concurrently with the Conference, giving a brief performance and receiving a clinic. Ensemble members should be able to plan to be available to participate at ANY TIME during the conference, although times will be determined before the end of the semester.