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SwHS Jazz Big Bands

Zero Hour (7:00am - 8:00am)

Jazz I requires an audition for all chairs. Jazz II requires an audition for Rhythm section only. Big Bands meet Tuesday and Thursday for ensemble rehearsal. Additional sectional rehearsals will take place as needed. The Jazz I Big Band will be directed by Mr. Greg Lewis with assistance from Mr. Needleman. Jazz II is directed by Mr. Needleman. Rehearsals begin in early September. Students are expected to be prepared and on time to all rehearsals. Students are expected to communicate an absence prior to class. A pattern of attendance problems may result in removal from ensemble. Class will start at 7:00.


All chairs require an audition for Jazz I. All chairs are open. Students must sign-up for an audition  (sign-up sheet will be posted near Mr. Wixson’s office).  Results will be posted on the jazz website.

Audition Details

Auditions will be made of 4 parts and scored on attached rubric.

  1. Scales, 2. Prepared Material, 3. Sight Reading, 4. Improvisation.

Scales: Major, Chromatic, Modes and Altered

  • Be prepared to perform several Major Scales from memory.

  • Play a Chromatic scale the range of your instrument.

Improvisation: Improvise 2 chorus over the F Blues. Recording is provided.

Sight Reading: a short excerpt in a big band jazz style. You’ll be given one minute to look it over before you’re asked to perform.


Prepared Material:


Rhythm Section:

Guitar & Piano - Play the chart as written. You will also be asked to improvise voicings and comping pattern.

Bass - will be asked to demonstrate an ability to read the written line as well as “walk” chord changes.

Drums - demonstrate rhythmic and “groove” competency in the following musical styles: Swing, Brushes, Funk, Rock, Bossa Nova, Samba, 12/8 Afro-Cuban, Mambo.