Auditions for the Ankeneyy MS Jazz Band usually take place in mid- to late-November. Audition materials and information will be announced in class and emailed home when it is time. Below are some commonly asked questions about jazz band but feel free to ask your band teacher if you have other questions!

Jazz Band Audition FAQ

What is the Jazz Band and how many people are in it?

The Ankeney Jazz Band performs music in a variety of styles including swing, latin, rock, and funk. This group focus on jazz standards as well as modern hits and helps students learn the basics of jazz improvisation. The jazz band performs at school concerts and additional community events. The instrumentation is slightly flexible but is generally made up of 5-7 saxophones, 5-7 trombones (or baritones/tubas), and 5-7 trumpets as well as a rhythm section made up of 1-2 piano players, and 1-2 drumset players. Additionally, if students audition who are proficient on guitar or bass guitar, those instruments can be included in the ensemble. Students must audition to earn a spot in jazz band and demonstrate a certain level of skill on their instrument to be accepted (i.e. if only 1 guitar player tries out, that does not guarantee them a spot).

When does Jazz Band rehearse and when will rehearsals starts?

The Ankeney Jazz Band rehearse before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30am to 8:30am. Rehearsals will begin at the end of November/beginning of December.

What instrument should I audition on for jazz band?

All students (except those wanting to play piano, bass, guitar, or drumset) should try out on their primary instrument. Flute, clarinet, and double reed players that make it into jazz band will be asked to learn alto, tenor, or bari sax. Baritone or tuba players that make it into jazz band may be asked to learn trombone.

Can I audition for more than one instrument?

Students interested in piano, bass, guitar, or drumset may try out for more than one instrument, but they must sign up for two separate audition times. You will not be able to do two auditions in a single time slot.

Can I be switched to piano, bass, guitar, or drumset if I try out on a different instrument?

No. Only students that try out specifically on piano, bass, guitar, or drumset will be considered for those respective instruments.

How does the audition process work?

Students will sign up for an audition time online through a link provided on www.ankeneyband.org. On the day of the audition, students should arrive at least five minutes before their scheduled audition time. Auditions will be taking place in the band area during these times, so no students should be walking in or out of the band room during scheduled audition times. Students should have prepared the music following the guidelines listed on their sheet. Most of the audition materials are available in SmartMusic - it is highly recommended you practice with SmartMusic to get a feel for the style. Additionally, SmartMusic is a good tool for practicing an improv solo (you aren't required to improv but it is definitely recommended). Music should be performed exactly as it is written on the page. All students should arrive with their own music and a completed "Jazz Band Audition Form" that is signed by a parent or guardian. If you have questions about the audition excerpts, please ask BEFORE your audition so you can prepare appropriately.

Can Jazz Band auditions be done through SmartMusic instead of a live audition?

No. There is no SmartMusic or recorded audition option for Jazz Band auditions.

What can I do now to prepare for my audition in November?

One of the best things to do to get a feel for jazz music is practice in SmartMusic! The SmartMusic library has thousands of jazz band songs you can play and many of them include parts for all instruments (i.e. flute, clarinet, etc.). Additionally, there are jazz method books that are like the jazz band version of our normal band book. Finally, go to YouTube, Spotify, etc. and listen to some jazz! The students who are most successful in their audition are those who understand the style (i.e. how to swing your 8th notes) and a lot of that comes from just listening!