Jazz Voice Audition

Prescreening Procedures

Graduate (non-doctoral) - The Jazz Voice major is offered for graduate applicants who wish to pursue a Master of Music degree.  Jazz Voice applicants interested in the doctoral Jazz Arts Advancement program can find more information on that program here.

All Jazz Voice applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded directly to your application. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording, but the sound quality must be as good as possible. 

Repertoire for the prescreening recording must demonstrate the ability to improvise and play with a rhythm section, using a live band or play-along recording. 

  • Three required scales (must be first on the tape). Scales may be sung in any key, and must be one octave, ascending and descending, and sung with letters, syllables or on la;
    • diatonic major scale
    • harmonic minor scale
    • whole tone scale
  • Standard ballad. First eight bars sung a cappella, then in a ballad tempo (accompanied).
  • Jazz standard (medium or up tempo). Perform two choruses, with the first 8 bars of the second chorus to be improvised, using either scat syllables or altering the melody by choosing notes that demonstrate an awareness of the harmony.
    NOTE: standards should be selected from the songbooks of composers such as Gershwin, Ellington, Arlen, Rodgers & Hart, Kern, Berlin, etc.
  • Two additional selections of contrasting nature.
  • Original compositions should not be included.

Audition Procedures

  • Applicants who pass the prescreening portion of the audition will be invited for a live audition in New York City.
  • All auditions are approximately 10 minutes in length. Each applicant chooses his/her first work, and the faculty will choose a second and possibly third work from the audition repertoire list provided by the applicant.
  • ·      In addition to the audition tune list  that applicants will submit to the panel (three tunes for undergraduates, ten tunes for graduates), all applicants must bring an additional typed list of  their entire jazz repertoire to the panel. One copy is sufficient.

  • Rhythm section will be provided. In addition, a microphone and vocal monitor will be provided. Applicants must provide music for the rhythm section. Auditioning students may provide their own rhythm section players if they choose.
  • Applicants with piano skills are encouraged to accompany themselves.
  • Play-along recordings are not acceptable for a live audition.

Audition Requirements

Graduate (non-doctoral)

All of the prescreening requirements PLUS:

  • Six additional works of contrasting nature, one of which must be another ballad (for a total of ten songs, two of which must be ballads) from memory.
  • Create an improvisation over rhythm changes.
  • Basic theory test given prior to scheduled audition time (will take approximately 15 minutes).
  • Sight-reading.

Doctoral Jazz Arts Advancement Program

Get information about this advanced degree program >