Jazz Auditions (Autumn)



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

Any student interested in jazz ensembles or applied instruction must audition in the first week of autumn semester. Follow the 2-step Audition Procedures below.

  • Instrumentalists (brass, saxes/woodwinds, 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. See Preparations and Excerpts below.
  • Vocalists are expected to (i) demonstrate vocal range, (ii) sing an unaccompanied song of their choice and (iii) demonstrate ability to harmonize at audition.

Finally, be sure to read "After the Auditions" information at the end of this page

Audition Procedures

STEP 1: All students must complete the Jazz Audition Registration Form (required) at least one day prior to the scheduled date for your instrument or voice.

Jazz Audition Registration Form

STEP 2: Schedule your audition via SignUpGenius prior to audition week (required).

For inquiries after audition week, please contact the faculty member for your instrument/voice as noted below. We have openings for the following:


  • Trumpets in Jazz Lab band (Tues/Thurs 1:50-3:50, Mike Smith, director)
  • Trumpets and trombones in Jazz Workshop band (Mon 1:50-3:50, Kris Keith)
  • Vocalists for Gospel Choir (no audition) (Tues/Thurs 5:20-6:15, Milton V. Ruffin)
  • Vocalists for Show Band (Monday 5:20-7:45, Shawn Wallace)

Saxophones and Woodwinds (flute/clarinet) | Contact faculty:
Shawn Wallace and Robert Brooks

Voice and Bass | Contact faculty:
Lara Semetko-Brooks (voice) and Milton V. Ruffin (bass)

Drum Set | Contact faculty:
Jim Rupp and Mike Smith

Trumpet and Trombone | Contact faculty:
John Douglas (trumpet) and Chris Anderson (trombone)

Guitar and Piano | Contact faculty below:
Kevin Turner (guitar) and Dave Powers (piano)

Preparations and Excerpts

Bring your bass, cable and music. An amp and music stand will be provided.
You will be asked the following:

  • Play a walking bass line for a jazz blues in Bb or F and improvise over the blues
  • Sight read an intermediate-level arrangement
  • Walk a bass line to excerpt(s) below
  • Play prepared piece excerpt(s) below
  • Jazz bass excerpts "Frankly Speaking!" / "Without a Song" [pdf]

Bring your guitar, cable and music. An amp and music stand will be provided.
You will be asked the following:

  • Comp (play chords) and improvise to a blues in the key of Bb or F
  • Play chords (min 7, maj 7, sus4, min 11, min 9, maj 9, dom 7, dom 9, dom 7b9, dom 7#9, dom 7b5)
  • Read chord chart from fakebook
  • Sight read melody from fakebook
  • Improvise over and comp (play chords/accompaniment) to "Frankly Speaking!" / "Without a Song" [pdf] excerpts

You will be asked the play the piece(s) below, and possibly play grooves in a variety of styles as well as sight read a chart. You need only bring your stick bag, as a complete set will be provided.


SAXOPHONE ("Frankly Speaking!" / "Without a Song")




Contact the applied instructor for your instrument:

After the Auditions

Band personnel lists will be posted on the bulletin board across from the Weigel first floor elevator.

All students participating in jazz ensembles and lessons must attend a Jazz Studies area meeting to be held Sunday evening, August 28 from 6–7 p.m. in Timashev Recital Hall.

Rehearsals for all ensembles begin Monday, August 30.


Email Professor Shawn Wallace, area head of Jazz Studies, at wallace.376@osu.edu.

[pdf] — Some links above are to PDF files requiring Adobe Reader. If you need them in a more accessible format, please contact us.