Spring 2020 Auditions - Jazz Ensembles


Mizzou jazz ensembles are open to all students regardless of major. Students may audition for placement in big band or combo. The Concert and Studio Jazz Bands perform 2-3x a semester, on and off campus. Jazz Combos perform multiple times a semester (1-4x), on and off campus. If you have any questions about the jazz audition process, please reach out to Dr. Sam Griffith at GriffithSV@missouri.edu

Auditions for big bands will include 1-3 sight-reading examples selected from classic jazz charts. Students are also encouraged to learn one (or two) of the posted jazz etudes. Improvisation is also encouraged, but optional for students comfortable with soloing. Chord changes for the etudes are provided and can used to improvise over.

Auditions for combos will include improvisation on 1-2 tunes of the student’s choice. Students should select tunes that they are comfortable with and demonstrate their abilities.

Auditions will take place Tuesday, January 21, 4:00-8:00 PM in Sinquefield Music Center, Room 182. The audition process will take approximately 10 minutes. Audition sign-ups are available at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0B4BAFA823A0FF2-jazz2.

Rosters will be posted by Wednesday, January 22 at 10 AM. Adjustments to registration will need to be made immediately after audition results are posted. Rehearsals will begin Wednesday, January 22 for Concert Jazz Band; Thursday, January 23 for Combos; and Friday, January 24 for Studio Jazz Band.

Audition Requirements


  • Sight-reading (big band only)
  • Improvisation (required for combo, optional for big band)
    • Players select a tune of their choice. Performers newer to improvisation are encouraged to improvise over a blues. More advanced improvisers are encouraged to select a more challenging tune.

Prepared etudes can be used to help determine chair and/or band placement. They are encouraged but not a required part of the audition process.


  • Various grooves at a variety of tempos (swing, shuffle, bossa nova, funk, ballad with brushes, etc.)
  • Sight-reading (big band only)
  • Soloing (optional – if demonstrating solo ability, be prepared to solo over the form of a song, as well as trade 4 or 8 bar phrases).


  • Two pieces, memorized (one medium-up tempo swing, 32 bars maximum; one ballad, 16 bars maximum)
  • Improvisation is optional
  • If you have selected a tune that falls outside the Great American Songbook, please have your own accompaniment prepared.