Jazz Performance | Jazz Composition

Jazz Performance

Prescreening recordings are required of all Jazz applicants and should consist of two uninterrupted, unedited performances, following the taped audition requirements as outlined below. The audition recording should be no longer than seven minutes in length and must be submitted as part of our online application for admission. The NEC application and prescreening recordings are due by December 1. Performances with prerecorded accompaniment, including studio overdubs, are not permitted. If it is not possible to record yourself playing with a full rhythm section (piano/guitar, bass and drums), come as close as you can to that form of accompaniment. After review of the application, supporting documents, and prescreening recording, qualified applicants will be asked to present a live audition. Please refer to the recording guidelines section of our general Audition Requirements page for information about uploading your prescreening files as part of your online application

 

Applicants are expected to exhibit a high degree of proficiency on the major instrument as well as an understanding of basic jazz improvisation concepts. The Jazz Studies Department welcomes applications from vocalists and players of any instrument.

 

NOTE: For Artist Diploma applicants, prescreening and audition requirements may be found in the Artist Diploma audition requirements page.

 

Jazz Instrumental prescreening recordings: Begin by choosing one of the following pieces: Hot House (Tadd Dameron), Confirmation (Charlie Parker), Donna Lee (Charlie Parker/Miles Davis), Anthropology (Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker), Groovin’ High (Dizzy Gillespie), Ornithology (Charlie Parker/Benny Harris), Moose the Mooche (Charlie Parker), or Four in One (Thelonious Monk). To demonstrate your sound, rhythmic precision, swing feel and technical facility, play the melody, unaccompanied, once through at a medium swing tempo without the aid of a metronome or click track. Drummers should communicate the rhythm and pitch contour of the melody on the drum set as clearly as possible. Pianists may play the melody in octaves or as a single line (without chordal accompaniment). For the remainder of the recording, perform one additional piece of your choice with live rhythm section. The additional piece should demonstrate your improvisational ability.

Jazz Voice prescreening recordings: Begin your recording with an unaccompanied performance of the melody of any jazz standard (not a twelve-bar blues) in a medium swing tempo. The melody should be performed without the aid of a metronome, click track, or other accompaniment. Sing one chorus of the melody only. Songs with lyrics should be sung in English; instrumental compositions may be sung using scat syllables. You are welcome to add your own melodic and rhythmic interpretation to the song. For the remainder of the recording, perform one piece of your choice with live rhythm section.

Optional (and encouraged for graduate applicants): Vocalists are also encouraged to record one of the pieces listed under the requirements for instrumentalists: Hot House (Tadd Dameron), Confirmation (Charlie Parker), Donna Lee (Charlie Parker/Miles Davis), Anthropology (Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker), Groovin’ High (Dizzy Gillespie), Ornithology (Charlie Parker/Benny Harris), Moose the Mooche (Charlie Parker), or Four in One (Thelonious Monk). Scat the melody, unaccompanied, once through at a medium swing tempo without the aid of a metronome or click track.

Live auditions at NEC are required of all Jazz applicants residing in North America.* Live auditionees should be prepared to perform from memory and improvise on at least two jazz standards contrasting in tempo, along with a third selection of your choice. Pieces performed for the in-person audition should differ from those included on the prescreening recording. A rhythm section including piano, bass, and drums will be provided for live auditions. Applicants should supply 3 lead sheets for the musicians, and will be asked to identify chords, to sing and play back melodic phrases, and to sight-read.

*Jazz applicants residing outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico may be considered for admission based on the submission of a final video audition recording. In addition to the live audition requirements, include a second piece of your choice, contrasting in tempo, with live rhythm section, for a total of four pieces. Please refer to the recording guidelines section of our general Audition Requirements page for information about uploading your video audition files to our online application. Recorded auditions are due on February 1.

 

 

Audition Dates

 

 

Jazz Composition


Applicants should submit their portfolio and accompanying recordings as a part of their online application. Portfolio scores can be uploaded in the form of PDF files. Recordings may be uploaded in several file formats.

Submit three or four scores, with accompanying audio recording if possible. While original compositions are preferred, one arrangement or recomposition may be included. In addition, applicants to the Jazz Composition major should submit a prescreening recording following the Jazz Performance guidelines above. While submission of portfolios and prescreening materials online is preferred, hard copy scores (bound copies of original manuscript) and CD recordings will be accepted.*

After review, qualified jazz composition applicants residing in North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) are required to attend an live interview/audition at NEC. In addition to reviewing scores and discussing goals for future study, jazz composition applicants should be prepared to play from memory and improvise on a jazz standard or original composition. The piece performed at the live audition should differ from those included on the prescreening recording. A rhythm section including piano, bass, and drums will be provided for live auditions. Applicants should supply 3 lead sheets for the musicians, and will be asked to identify chords, to sing and play back melodic phrases, and to sight-read.

* Hard copy scores submitted by applicants will be returned if accompanied by appropriate return packaging and postage. Applicants may pick up scores in person between July 1 and September 30. NEC will not be responsible for scores remaining in the Office of Admission after October 1.

 

Audition Dates

 

 

2014-09-12


THERE ARE NOTES BETWEEN NOTES, YOU KNOW. SARAH VAUGHAN