Jazz Band Auditions

Megan Sternberg, Writer

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This past week, Mr. Batiz held auditions for the Wayne Valley High School Jazz Band. Auditions took place on Tuesday, November 28th, Wednesday, November 29th, and Thursday, November 30th. Students signed up for time slots during their lunch periods or after school to audition.

The preparation for the audition is very lengthy for the student. There are four parts to the audition: solo, improv, blues scales, and sight reading. Each student has access to the “audition piece,” also known as the solo portion, prior to the audition, on the Wayne Valley Band’s website. The student must play the piece along with a recording of the background music for the audition. The improv portion is something new in the audition process this year. A track featuring drums, piano, and bass is played for about 40 seconds while the student plays an original rhythm of their own. The blues scales are given to the student prior to the audition for the student to rehearse. During the audition, students pick 3 scales out of a bucket and must play the ones they picked. Lastly, the student must perform a sight reading piece. This piece is given to the student at the audition and has 30 seconds to look over the piece without playing. After the 30 seconds is up, the student must play the piece at the given speed, or tempo.

Everyone who auditions for jazz band gets in, so the auditions determines the seating of the student and whether or not the student made the cut for the more advanced jazz ensemble, known as Jazz 1. The seat placement just gives the student an idea of what part they will be playing in the music. But the students who excel at their audition will be put into the more advanced ensemble. Jazz 1 plays more complex jazz pieces and some of the events our jazz band attends, only Jazz 1 will go.

Overall, the jazz program at Wayne Valley is very successful. If you’re interested in joining jazz band, you can visit Mr. Batiz in room 106.

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Jazz Band Auditions