Auditions are held every year for entry into the Gold Jazz, Jazz Orchestra and Choral Ensemble groups.
This page will provide you with a schedule of events as well as links to the audition material. The material has been arranged according to the group to which it relates.
What's New (Starting in 2008):
• Instrumentation for each group will be limited to 5 saxes (up to 7 in Bronze), 5 trombones, 5 trumpets, 1 drummer, 1 bass player, 1 piano player and 1 guitar player
• Bronze and Silver Jazz Bands will not go through the formal Audition process as in previous years. All musicians interested in playing at the Bronze or Silver Jazz levels will initially self-sort themselves into the groups they believe are best suited to their abilities. Groups will have 2 weeks to rehearse in order for Directors to establish a level of ensemble effectively and for membership to arrive - this could include some who move to this level following the Auditions for Gold/Jazz Orchestra
• During week 3, a placement will take place for all members of both groups (Bronze Jazz & Silver Jazz) in order to confirm that the self-placement resulted in members choosing the appropriate group. There may be recommendations for people to switch groups. Both ensembles are scheduled for the same evening (Bronze at William Aberhart, Silver at Dr. E.P. Scarlett on Wednesday nights), so night of the week is not a consideration. In the event there are too many of any given instrument who play at the appropriate level, the first criteria to be used in deciding who can remain in each ensemble will be whether the player has been with the organization in the past or not. If this does not resolve the issue, an audition will take place, with an independent evaluator, to decide who is most appropriate for the ensemble .
• Gold Jazz North, Gold Jazz South and Jazz Orchestra will still go through the audition process. The dates are below.
Auditions are held annually for all positions in senior Westwinds Jazz Ensembles. As an organization, great effort has been made to ensure the most fair and equitable system of positioning existing and new members within the organization and at the appropriate level. It is imperative that members be placed with other players of similar skill. It is not the intent of this process to change the levels of ensembles, particularly the intermediate ones, but rather to place all players appropriately. It is important to note that, assuming appropriateness to the level of group, existing Westwinds members are given priority in the event that there are more players than can be accommodated in each group. (5 saxes, 5 trombones, 5 trumpets, drummer, pianist, guitar player, bass player). It is our intent to create the best possible Jazz Ensembles each year.
All musicians are encouraged to choose wisely when deciding which level to audition at. Players who perform at the “top end” of the Intermediate level as well as players who are auditioning as Advanced musicians, but are finding the material to be challenging such that it might not be a confident performance, are encouraged to prepare the materials for both levels so that the evaluator can get a clear idea of how you really play. It is very difficult to evaluate a performance that is weak because the material is too challenging. Likewise, it is difficult to suggest a move up even after a stellar performance of the intermediate material without the evidence that the player can perform the advanced material as well.
Singers interested in joining the Choral Ensemble must attend a musical interview that will cover the following criteria:
- A vocalise that demonstrates quality of singing tone, flexibility, agility, range, and accuracy of pitch.
- A brief sight-singing example and rhythm to clap to demonstrate sight reading/rhythmic skills and basic theoretical knowledge
- A brief song or melody chosen by the singer that demonstrates musicality, expression, beauty of tone, and interpretive qualities. Examples: (from jwpepper.com : 12 Folk Songs for Singers “A Roving”, mm. 13-24 ; American Folk Songs for Solo Singers “How Can I keep From Singing?”, mm. 6-13. Other examples: Amazing Grace, Oh Shenandoah, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
Please complete the form below (when available) to indicate your choice for a CHORAL ENSEMBLE audition time. This information will be sent to our office and you will be contacted to confirm the time that is available. These slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Those groups which do not Audition may participate in a Placement process. The Placement process is designed to assess the member's musical ability, to assist in determining whether they are in the right group and to assess their place within that group.
Placements are conducted by professional Clinicians.