School Term Jazz Auditions 2021
Auditions for the 2021-22 season have closed. For more information about future auditions, please email

Click Here for Online Registration

About Our Jazz Ensembles

There are four levels of jazz ensemble available through the Philharmonic Association during the school term:

  • The Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble is an award winning advanced group for predominantly high school players. The ensemble participates in the national Essentially Ellington competition through Jazz at Lincoln Center as well as the regional festival at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • The Triangle Youth Jazz Orchestra is also for predominantly high school players and participates in the regional Essentially Ellington festival.
  • The Triangle Youth Jazz Band is for players with less experience or who are in middle school.
  • The Triangle Youth Jazz Lab provides beginning jazz ensemble training for musicians 4th grade and above with the goal of eventual transition to the Triangle Youth Jazz Band or Triangle Youth Jazz Orchestra. This ensemble is non-auditioned.  Click here to read more about our non-auditioned ensembles.

Jazz Auditions General Requirements

Scales: Everyone plays one octave major scale of your choice. For more advanced players, be prepared to play any major scale in 2 or 3 octaves.  All  scales must  be  played  from  memory.image of jazz musicians performing
Excerpts: All students should prepare the basic excerpts. Students who want to be considered for TYJO and/or TYJE should also prepare the advanced excerpts. Trumpet and trombone players interested in being a lead player for TYJO and TYJE should prepare the lead player excerpts in addition to the basic and advanced excerpts.  You will only be considered for TYJB if you play only the basic excerpts.
Improvisation: To be considered for TYJE or TYJO, students must improvise to the pre-recorded backing track provided below. For the audition, the student will listen to the downloaded track in headphones and play along with it.
Sight-reading: There will be a short sight-reading piece for all applicants.

2021 Audition Materials

Basic Excerpts: Required for TYJB, TYJO, and TYJE auditions
ClarinetStudents may audition with clarinet as their secondary instrument, not as their primary instrument. In order to audition with clarinet as a secondary instrument for TYJB the student should prepare the Basic Clarinet Excerpt and if auditioning for TYJO and TYJE the Advanced Clarinet Excerpt. The student’s clarinet audition will take place during the same window of time as their primary instrument audition; a separate audition will not be scheduled. Note that auditioning with clarinet as a secondary instrument may boost a student’s overall audition score since the clarinet is very important in the Ellington repertoire and a clarinetist with good playing ability is highly valued. 
Drums: “Until I Met You” (play along with this recording and stop at measure 78) and Drum Rudiments
Vocals – All vocalists will be asked to sing one tune with live piano accompaniment. Please choose the tune that best fits your range from the following: “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got that Swing,” “Too Close for Comfort,” “Everyday I have the Blues,” or “If You Could See Me Now

Advanced Excerpts: Required for TYJO and TYJE auditions
Clarinet (Play from 1 measure before “K” to “M”)
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (Play Page 1 measures 42-73 and Page 2 measures 1-15)
Trombone (Play measures 1-31)
Piano (Play from “E” to end of page)
Bass (play along with this recording)
Guitar (play along with this recording)
Drums: “Down by the Riverside” (play along with this recording; we may stop you before the end)
Vibes (Play from “K” to “M”)

Lead Player Excerpts: Required for trumpets and trombones interested in being section leaders in TYJO and/or TYJE
Trumpet (play “optional” excerpt at bottom of page)
Trombone (play “optional” excerpt at bottom of page)

Improvisation: Play the melody (Tenor Madness) and improvise two choruses. Play with track

C Treble Instruments (Piano, Guitar, Vibes)
B-flat Instruments (Tenor, Trumpet, Clarinet)
E-flat instruments (Alto and Bari)
Bass clef instruments (Trombone and Bass)

*Drummers will not be asked to improvise to the background track.

Audition Fee

Except in cases of financial hardship, there is a $20 audition fee and auditions will not be scheduled until the fee has been received.  Call 919-645-8434 or email to request a waiver based on financial need.  Audition fees may be paid by check or using Paypal at the time of registration. Please make the audition fee check out to Philharmonic Association or PA, Inc.

Audition fees should be mailed to:
Auditions Coordinator
Philharmonic Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 782
Cary, North Carolina 27512-0782

Click Here for Online Registration

Registrations are open until the auditions for your instrument have taken place. You will be notified of your specific audition time prior to auditions. Placement into one of the Philharmonic Association jazz ensembles (TYJE, TYJO or TYJB) is at the discretion of the adjudicators. Their decisions are final and are not open for review.