Jazz Information

Junior Jazz Audition Requirements

Jazz Solo Auditions:

  • “Quabbin Blues”** (Available on the audition list page.)
  • Students do not need to play with the recording.  Drummers be sure to prepare the transcription, not the lead sheet.  Students may transpose any portion of the melody either up or down one octave to accommodate range.
  • NOTE: Students will not be required to play with the recording, only while doing the improvisation.
Quabbin Blues Rhythm Section

Quabbin Blues at Tempo

Jazz Improvisation:

  • Students will be asked to improvise over changes in Solo audition piece. ¬†IMPROVISATION IS NOT REQUIRED FOR AUDITION. Students will be assessed and given feedback in this area, however it will not be added into the final tabulation.¬†Improvisation scores may be used to assist the manager in assigning parts within the ensemble.

Guitar/bass/piano & vibes:

  • In addition to the written solo, students will comp changes from assigned solo.   Be prepared to comp a standard blues progression and a ii-V-I  progression in keys up  to and including 3 sharps and 3 flats.  Comping is described as performing in appropriate rhythmic style to the chord progressions, using a variety of jazz voicings of chords in the progression.

Jazz Drums:

  • Students are required to bring their own drumsets.  In addition to the listed performance solo, drummers should prepare to play in a funk style, a swing style, and a bossa nova style.  These styles should be demonstrated in the format of four bars of time followed immediately by a four bar solo.  These pieces should demonstrate technical and musical control of the drum set.


  • All students will play two major scales in keeping with the required list for their instrument, a two octave chromatic scale, and a Bb or F concert Blues Scale. Rhythm section instruments do not have to play a chromatic scale.
  • Brass players may be asked to demonstrate their range capabilities to help with part assignments.

All Jazz Players:

  • Sight Reading will be required

Other considerations

Students will audition on the same day as Band, Orchestra, and Chorus try-outs. Jazz students may audition for jazz and one other ensemble, but must agree that the jazz ensemble will be their preference if accepted.

**QUABBIN BLUES – This piece has been commissioned by the MMEA Central District for the exclusive use of district schools participating in the 2012 junior jazz auditions. Teachers of auditioning schools may print and copy these parts as needed to accommodate those students interested in auditioning from their school. It may not be used by any ensemble not participating in this years district audition process. This includes the copying or sharing of written music and accompanying audio files that extend beyond student preparation for Central District auditions.

When this years auditions are over, all rights to this song return to Jeff Bolduc, and permission would be needed for this piece to be copied after that date. Teachers may retain a master set of this piece (or this digital file) with the understanding that this piece may be reused by the MMEA Central District as part of a three year cycle of original pieces specifically composed for this purpose.

This piece is not intended for public performance, and may not be used without the express written consent of Jeff Bolduc (jabolduc@aol.com; 978 766-7638).