Note: If you have any questions about the auditions process or the SYJO itself, please email SYJO Director Nick Fanner at email@example.com.
Scheduled SYJO auditions will take place by appointment on Thursday, October 5, 2023 through Saturday, October 7, 2023.
All those auditioning will be contacted by email to confirm their audition time and date, as well as regarding whether or not their audition was successful in securing a spot in this season’s group.
Weekly rehearsals will begin on Saturday, October 14, at the Saskatoon Concert Band Hall, 238 Avenue V North. Demonstrated commitment to weekly rehearsals from 9:45 a.m. to noon from October 14 until the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Summer 2024 is an expectation. Those with attendance problems may be asked to withdraw from the group. We’re looking for students who will demonstrate commitment to rehearsals and performances and “shedding” (practicing parts outside of rehearsal) in order to make this experience as musically rewarding as it can be.
Those auditioning for the SYJO must be between the ages of 14 and 22.
It must also be stated that while not all schools offer jazz band opportunities for students, it is an expectation that in order to be a member of the SYJO, members of this ensemble must be contributing members of their school’s jazz program, should such a program exist in their school.
In short, if you’re a strong musician with a great attitude, both groups can benefit from your participation.
Note that while there is no charge for auditioning, successful candidates will be asked to pay a registration fee of $350.00 for the full season.
Don’t let the idea of an audition scare you; we just want to hear you play and get a sense of where you’re at. To that end, the audition will involve the following:
A chromatic scale legato tongued over your playing range, ascending and descending. Pick a tempo that allows you to showcase your technique.
Perform a prepared jazz study or one of your parts that you have performed in the past (at least 16, but no more than 32 bars in length). Try to select a passage which highlights your abilities.
All players will be asked to perform the repertoire excerpt (a.k.a. part of a piece of music!) both with and without the demo recording.
You can take a listen to/practice along with the repertoire excerpt here:
Please View/Download the Required Excerpt sheet music below, simply by clicking on the name of the instrument:
For All Players (except drums)
You can take a listen to/practice along with the improv/jam backing track here:
You may wish to solo/improvise along with this jam track using only a concert Bb blues scale OR you can use the chord sheet to show your ability to make the changes, if you are at that level in your understanding/ability.
Pianists, Guitarists, and Vibraphonists:
In addition to the above, can you create an accompaniment or “comp” for a chorus or two, demonstrating voicings for the chord symbols/progression in the repertoire excerpt above?
In addition to the above, can you demonstrate a chorus or two of walking bass lines over the repertoire excerpt that show your ability to create a bass line from chord symbols?
Can you perform the Basic Swing Pattern exercises found here (PDF) repeating each line before going on to the next one? Can you do this at a medium tempo? Can you also play this at a faster/upbeat tempo? Lastly, please be prepared to play those rhythms on the snare drum and the bass drum.
Demonstrate any/all of the following time keeping styles: medium swing beat, up tempo swing beat, [opt. slow swing using brushes], shuffle, Bossa Nova, any other Latin style(s) with which you are familiar.
Finally, there will be a sight reading excerpt for all players in medium swing style.