Jazz Ensembles

Ensemble Update for Academic Year 2020–2021

The Ohio State University orchestras, choirs and bands are committed to providing meaningful educational and performance experiences amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether instruction is online, in person/socially distanced, or a hybrid, the conducting and studio faculty continue to creatively plan instruction following state and university guidelines for student safety, while simultaneously preparing students for their professional life in music.

We will post updates to the following content as it becomes available.

Audition information will be posted in mid-July, if possible.


University Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Studies area provides performance opportunities in two big bands, a show band and six combos. The jazz faculty are devoted to rehearsing, arranging and performing all styles of jazz literature. 

Big bands include the University Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Lab Ensemble.

Combos include the Art Blakey, Jam Session, Fusion, Hard Bop, New Orleans Traditional Swing and Latin Jazz.

The Ohio Show Band is a contemporary music ensemble that performs tour-quality shows with musical styles from R&B, gospel, and pop to neo soul, contemporary Christian and fusion, while incorporating vocalists, automated lighting, production sequences, dance, video sync and the latest computer-based production software.


Auditions are required for participation in any big band or combo and for applied instruction. Music majors and non-majors are welcome to join!

Autumn Auditions

Any student interested in jazz ensembles or applied instruction must audition in the first week of autumn semester every year. Complete details, including instructions and musical excerpts, will be posted a few weeks prior to classes. Excerpts will change every audition cycle.

All brass, saxophone and rhythm players will be asked to (1) prepare excerpts for their instrument/s, (2) sight-read jazz charts and (3) play short improvisations at their audition.

Opportunities for vocalists are available via the Ohio Show Band. Vocalists are expected to (1) demonstrate vocal range, (2) sing an unaccompanied song of their choice and (3) demonstrate ability to harmonize at their audition.

Contact the applied instructor for your instrument (see below) with any questions about auditions.

Spring Auditions

Any student can audition to join a jazz ensemble or change jazz ensembles in the spring semester.

Spring auditions are made by appointment with the applied instructors. If you would like to schedule an audition, please contact the applied instructor for your instrument before the end of autumn semester.


For further information please contact Professor Shawn Wallace, area head of Jazz Studies, at wallace.376@osu.edu, 614-292-2678, 407 Hughes Hall.