The Department of Music and Theatre Arts offers a wide variety of ensembles to meet the musical and artistic needs of all students at UW - Eau Claire. The large performance ensembles, including our jazz ensembles and combos, are open to all university students, regardless of major. The jazz ensembles at UWEC will push your creative boundaries, facilitate collaboration with experts in your field and connect you with students who share your creative passion.
Jazz Audition Spring 2022
FEBRUARY 1st & 2nd
Audition Dates and Times:
Tuesday, February 1st (Room FA 139)
12:00-2:00pm – Trumpets
2:00-3:30pm – Rhythm Section
Wednesday, February 2nd. (Room FA 139)
12:00-2:00pm – Saxophones
2:00-3:30pm – Trombone
Part One: Required Audition Piece
- Go to the following Google Drive Link, download and listen to the two medium swing and up tempo charts in the file: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17A75aLn7Ud-ULi14JT0Z6T4gflyLhF8W?usp=sharing
- Choose any part (ie: Tpt. 1,2,3,4) for one of the two above to perform for your audition (You may also perform BOTH if you would like!)
Tip: The adjudicators are looking for 1. Solid Tone 2. Solid Rhythm in Swing style. Play the music at a tempo that has solid tone and swing rhythm. Do not play faster until these elements are there. This piece does not have to be up to the recorded tempo. Drums: play as if you are performing with the ensemble.
Part Two: Play a Prepared Piece (Optional)
- We want to hear you at your very best! This is not required but recommended that you play a prepared piece.
- The piece may be a jazz transcription or etude or improvisation solo played with recording or backing track of a jazz standard.
- Auditioning with woodwind Doubles for Saxophonists: Since there will be selections this fall that require saxophone doubles (Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Oboe) saxophonists are encouraged to play a short piece (8-16 bars) performing their doubles. This will be in addition to their saxophone audition.
Part Three: Improvisation (Optional)
- Improvisation: If you do improvise, you can solo with a pre-recorded play-a-long rhythm section A blues. A tune with rhythm changes is preferred. Expect to play a head and a few choruses.
Part Four: Audition Form
Please fill out this audition form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScG1UAgJWj5iLGjo8Ih17iBsgGTHUeBicpL1FmcAJvDUPJlRw/viewform?usp=sf_link
Sign up for the audition here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050848acab2aa4f94-jazz1
Jazz Ensemble I meets Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30-1:45pm, Friday from 1:00-1:50pm
Jazz Ensemble II meets Monday and Wednesday from 12:00-12:50pm
Jazz Ensemble III meets Monday and Wednesday from 1:00-1:50pm
Jazz Ensemble IV meets Monday and Wednesday from 11:00-11:50am
Meeting time is set by student members of the group and the instructor. See Kate Rosenberger (email@example.com) or Amber Scharenbroch (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up for combos.
Director of UW-Eau Claire Jazz Studies Area: Robert Baca
Co-Director of UW-Eau Claire Jazz Studies Area and director of Jazz Ensemble III: Dr. Jeffery Crowell
Director of Combos and Jazz Saxophone: Dr. Aaron Hedenstrom
Jazz Guitar: Felipe Vargas Magdaleno
Jazz Bass: Jeremy Boettcher
Jazz Drums: Brian Claxton
Auditioning For Combos
If you are interested in playing in a combo, please email Kate Rosenberger at email@example.com. Each group will meet at least one hour per week on their own, and and in addition have coachings with Aaron Hedenstrom or Jeremy Boettcher. Meeting times are set by student members of the group and instructors. Like any other ensemble at UWEC, attendance at rehearsals and coachings is mandatory. All groups will have opportunities to perform around town and at special events on and off campus following COVID protocols and procedures.
Get your minds thinking, Amber Scharenbroch, one of our two jazz studies assistants will be graduating at the end of the spring semester. It is a fact that in rehearsals, students see 5% of what goes on in the jazz studies area. If you are a business, music education major or want to learn more of the other 95% of the jazz area on the administrative side, this is a good opportunity for you! If you are a "get it done" person, love projects, work well with every personality, and can gain the trust of students, administrators, the community, and musicians nationally and internationally while maintaining good grades and practice, see Kate Rosenberger to apply to becoming a jazz studies assistant. Kate will tell you about the job and help you sign up for an interview.
Audition Questions and Answers
Will the Jazz Ensembles be wearing masks and using bell covers?
As on campus COVID-19 protocols evolve to insure your safety, all ensembles will adhere to current COVID-19 rules. Time will be taken in rehearsal to explain these safety regulations clearly. We will “Bloom Where We Are Planted."
What will UWEC jazz auditions look like this spring?
This Spring Jazz auditions will be held “in person”. Jazz auditions are very similar to any other audition. The student will prepare a solo repertoire piece and other given etudes along with the possibility of improvising during their video recorded audition.
1. Fill out the Google audition sign up.
2. Download the audition Music and listen to recordings
3. Work up a prepared piece and knock our socks off!
4. Practice with Tone and Solid Rhythmic Style as a first priority
5. Work up a piece to improvise on (optional)
6. **If a Rhythm Section player, practice Blues in several tempos as we will hear what you sound like in a combo setting along with playing you prepared audition music.
That’s it. Good luck or shall we say, good skill!
What are the adjudicators looking for?
Judges always look for sound and rhythm first! Having a good sound means having good tone, being in tune, and expressing dynamics well. They also look for good improvisation skills. You have worked hard on your audition preparation! Show them what you can do!
Do I need to be a music major or minor to play in a jazz ensemble?
No matter your commitment level to your musical instrument there is an ensemble for you. UW-Eau Claire has a large jazz studies area with lot of ensembles specifically so students coming from every commitment level can play in a jazz ensemble if they want to. So, if you had a ball playing in jazz ensemble in high school and have a been away from your instrument for a while, dust it off, bring the polish back out and join us. We have an ensemble for everyone!
If I play Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, can I audition for Saxophone?
Auditioning with woodwind doubles for Saxophonists: Since there will be selections this fall that require saxophone doubles (Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Oboe) saxophonists are encouraged to play a short piece (8-16 bars) performing their doubles. This will be in addition to their saxophone audition.
What makes the UWEC jazz program unique?
The jazz program at UWEC is built on a positive environment that encourages students to constantly strive for excellence, rehearsing together, participating in combos, or getting involved off campus and in the community. Furthermore, the jazz program focuses not only technique, but real-world applications that prepare students for every facet of life.
What does a week usually look like for a student in a jazz ensemble?
Those participating in a jazz ensemble or combo usually practices 1 or more hours a day and then has 2 full jazz ensemble rehearsals every week, each one 1-1 1/2 hours long. In this class, they not only rehearse, but discuss jazz techniques, pedagogy, performing, and frequently bring in guest artists like Carl Allen or Doc Severinsen!
Does the university supply instruments if I don’t have one?
Yes, the university supplies you with an instrument and locker if you don’t have one, free of charge. Checking out the instrument is a simple process.