• violinist
  • Music banner featuring opera singers
  • Music banner featuring trombone players
  • university choir
  • Conductor
  • French horn player

Jazz Area Auditions

Jazz Area Auditions

A] Auditioning for the Jazz Major
B] Auditioning for Jazz Ensembles
Additional information can be found at the
CSU Northridge Jazz website at

A] Auditions For the Jazz Major

(winds, brass, piano, guitar, bass and voice – LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT PROVIDED)

A. Prepare 3 “standard” tunes:
  1. Medium Swing
  2. Ballad
  3. Straight eighth (bossa nova, samba)
  • Vocalists will provide 3 copies of all lead sheets in their key)
Be prepared to:
  1. Improvise on each tune
  2. Embellish the melody using jazz interpretation
  • Pianists and Guitarists may play one standard unacompanied
B. Play “Blues” in any key of your choice.
  • Be able to play a melody (head) and improvise.
C. Scales:
  • ALL Major Scales Half Note M.M.=120
  • ALL Natural, Melodic, and Harmonic Minor scales. Half Note M.M.=120
D. Sight-reading

The audition will also consist of sight reading different styles of music. Jazz, Latin, Straight 8th (Latin or rock).

Audition Requirements Drums and Percussion

Prepare a solo piece (2-5 minutes-sticks and brushes) demonstrating various styles including:

  • SWING: med. swing, fast swing, shuffle, funk (hip-hop)
  • STRAIGHT EIGHTHS: straight 8th (bossa nova, mambo, salsa, samba, songo etc.)
  • Sight-Reading
  • Be prepared to “trade 4′s” on all of the above styles-LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT PROVIDED



Tuesday January 21 @ 5:00 Room CY 159 (first day of classes)

  • Big Bands
  • Combos

Audition procedure

1. Required Tune  [Jazz Majors only] “On The Brink”

[Click to download part. Tempo is med/up swing. Half note = 110]

       ON THE BRINK bass 

       ON THE BRINK Bb

       ON THE BRINK Eb

       ON THE BRINK Treble

2. Perform a Jazz tune of your choice [all students]

     Perform a (jazz) selection of your choice that can best demonstrate your jazz experience both technically and musically.

  • Jazz Majors will perform this selection from memory.
  • Non – majors may select a jazz standard from the “Real Book” [or any other composition]  – it need not be memorized.

3. Woodwind players will demonstrate their experience with all doubles (it is not required that non-jazz majors double)

4. Sight Reading

5. Improvisation (required of Jazz Majors)

Questions? Contact CSU Northridge Jazz at:


Big Bands

The Flagship Large Jazz Ensemble of the CSU Northridge Jazz Studies Program.
Rehearsal Schedule: Mon-Wed from 5:00PM to 7:40PM
  • Awarded “Best Large Ensemble” by Downbeat Magazine 36th Annual Student Music Awards 2013
  • The 2012, 2010 and 2008 Monterey “Next Generation” Jazz Festival/First-Place Collegiate Division.
  • 2012, 2006 and 2005 Reno Jazz Festival/First-Place Collegiate Division.
  • 2012 California Alliance for Jazz (CAJ) State Championships/First-Place Collegiate Division Collegiate Division
  • First place Collegiate Big Band at the 2011 Super Jazz Festival
JAZZ “B” BAND – “Studio Jazz Ensemble”
Rehearsal Schedule: Tues-Thurs 5:30PM to 6:45PM
  • Rated among the top 5 Collegiate Big Bands at the 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 Reno Jazz Festivals
JAZZ “C” BAND – “Jazz Lab Big Band”
Rehearsal Schedule: Tues-Thurs 4:00PM to 5:15PM
  • Performs campus concerts and local jazz festivals
JAZZ “D” BAND – “Workshop”
Rehearsal Schedule: Monday evenings 7:30PM – 9:30PM

Small Bands and Combos

  • “JAZZ COMBOS” Class Schedule: Wednesdays 7:30PM. REQUIRED OF ALL JAZZ STUDIES MAJORS – 10  Ensembles
  • “LATIN ENSEMBLE”  - Rehearsal Schedule: Mondays 12:30PM – 2:30PM. (Auditions by appointment only)
  • “NuVeau Art Ensemble”.  Avant-garde improvisation Ensemble
 Rehearsal Schedule: Tuesdays 7:30PM (jazz majors only, by invitation)
  • “R&B” Band (by invitation)
Gary Pratt 
Jazz Studies and Improvisational Music
California State University, Northridge
Department of Music
CSU Northridge Jazz
"A School Within A School"