SECTION ONE: PRACTICAL
The panel will ask for your choice of one tune from List A) and one tine from List B) to demonstrate normal performing skills. Please follow the given form detailed below. This section is meant to recreate a jam session type performance, so these two tunes are played without rehearsal or discussion of the arrangement etc. These tunes should be played from memory and the accompanying musicians will know these tunes and the expected form.
(However, please see the special notes for vocal applicants and for the Organised Performance section of the audition.)
Note: Vocal applicants use the same repertoire list as front-line players and the expectations for improvisation are the same as with instrumentalists. Vocalists are welcome to play these two tunes in a different key that is more comfortable for them, but if so, they must provide their own concert parts for the rhythm section.
a) STANDARD TUNE – prepare one piece from this list.
Take the A Train (C) Airegin (Ab) I Mean You (F) Beautiful Love (D minor)
Standard form will be: Applicant plays the melody (“theme”) on the first chorus, take two choruses solo on the sequence and be prepared to play the theme out to finish.
PIANO or GUITAR/VIBES: We’d like to hear you play the theme on one of the tunes, and you will also play an additional chorus of comping behind a soloist.
VOCALISTS sing the theme and take two improvised choruses, just as the instrumentalists do.
BASS: As well as soloing and accompanying, we’d like to hear you play some of the theme on one of the pieces, but it doesn’t have to be for the whole tune.
DRUMS: Play behind front line and piano solos, plus an additional chorus of “trading”.
b) BALLAD – prepare one piece from this list.
Form: a free interpretation of the melody played rubato or in time, and a chorus (or half chorus) improvisation on the chords. Drummers are just expected to comp on this so may only play a section of the ballad.
Angels Eyes (C minor) I Should Care (C) Come Sunday (Bb) Chelsea Bridge (Db)
c) “COMPOSITION/ARRANGEMENT SECTION”
This section allows applicants to show your composition or arranging skills in a practical, workshop situation.
You should bring an original composition of your own, or an arrangement you have done, it should be for a single front-line instrument (this will be you if you play a front-line instrument) plus rhythm section. You should provide clear parts for all the instruments and will have a few minutes to talk through the piece before it is performed. Don’t worry, we are not expecting a perfect performance of the piece, it is just about the process of how direct your own tune, and a chance to hear the kinds of things you’re interested in writing.
PIANO, BASS & DRUM applicants will be provided with a student front-line player on a Bb instrument, ie Trumpet or Tenor/Soprano Sax. Parts must be provided in Bb.
GUITAR/VIBES applicants will be expected to take the front-line instrument role for their composition/arrangement as the accompanying ensemble will be piano/bass/drums, so applicants on guitar/vibes should be able to play their own lead melody line(s).
VOCALIST applicants will be expected to take the front-line instrument role for their composition/arrangement, so should be prepared to sing the lead line (whether or not it has lyrics).
d) SIGHT READING
This will be an item chosen by the panel. Rhythm Section applicants may be asked to play a rhythm-section part of a written arrangement; some melody lines, chord sequence and rhythmic hits. (We do not expect applicants to be perfect sight–readers, but it helps us get a feel for how much experience you have had with written music and how best to support this in the first year at the Academy.)
NOTES TO THE PRACTICAL SECTION
Front line candidates and vocalists play with accompanying student rhythm section of piano/bass/drums. Guitarists/Vibes will play also play with piano/bass/drums so should fulfil the front-line requirements in the practical section, including their own composition/arrangement.
Rhythm section candidates are given students to complete the rhythm section plus a single front line player on a Bb instrument.
“Definitive” lead sheets for tunes in a) and b) can be found in The New Real Book Volume One (Chuch Sher). Vocalists should either refer to The Real Book to obtain the lyrics when choosing a piece from each list or transcribe them from a recording.
SECTION TWO: INTERVIEW WITH THE PANEL
This is an opportunity during the audition for the panel to have a conversation with the applicant about what their musical journey has been leading up to the point of audition, plus any other aspects of the current jazz scene. It is also an opportunity for the applicant to ask any questions they have about the jazz department and programmes.
SECTION THREE: SHORT WRITTEN JAZZ THEORY PAPER
This is a quick written paper with some jazz harmony/theory questions, it helps us to ascertain how much of this kind of information you are familiar with at this point – and would help inform the kind of support and teaching given to you if you came to study. We regret we are unable to provide specimen papers.