DJB Barklake 2018
Valencia, Spain
Cafe Mercedes
previous arrow
next arrow

Durham Jazz: Inspiring Durham’s next generation of jazz musicians.

DJ Beginner – Learn to Play

Durham Jazz is committed to following Federal, Provincial and Local Health Organization COVID protocols. Our primary concern is the health and safety of all our members. 

The Durham Jazz Beginner program is open to all instrumentalists grade 6 and .up who are new to their instrument.  We recognize that COVID-19 has changed school music instruction for the past 3 years and we would like to expand to include this Beginner program this year to help schools build strong young musicians. Successful applicants will be chosen based on their willingness to learn and positive attitude. Our goal with DJ Beginner is to build technical skills, fluency with their instrument, communication and leadership skills.


This year we will be hosting VIRTUAL AUDITIONS. Students will create a video of all the audition requirements and submit a link to BEFORE Thursday, October 6, 2022.

Audition Requirements

  1. Introduction.
    1. To ensure proper identification, hold up a piece of paper at the start of the video listing your name and the ensemble you are auditioning for. For example: Jack Thornton, Beginner Program.
    2. Introduce yourself! Please say:
      1. Your name
      2. Which level you are auditioning for (ex. Beginner program)
      3. Which school you attend
      4. What grade you are entering into in 2022
      5. What instrument you will be playing
      6. Your musical history: music activities or lessons you are or have been involved in at school or outside of school (e.g., Band, piano lessons, Cadets, other instruments you play, how long you’ve been playing, etc.)
      7. Some of your other (non-musical) hobbies
      8. Why you want to be a part of Durham Jazz
  2. **OPTIONAL: Playing (No playing is required at this level but if you do have experience and can play a small excerpt that would be great.)
    1. Choose a piece of your own that shows your current playing level.  Examples might be:
      1. Excerpt from a method book
      2. Excerpt from a song you have played in the past
      3. Excerpt from a song from your lessons
      4. If you are stuck you could look at the Junior suggested piece for guidance
    2. Playing Look fors:
      1. Range (highest & lowest notes)
      2. Tone
      3. Technical Ability
      4. Musicality
      5. Strong sense of time (beat)
      6. DRUMMERS: steady beat, rock & swing patterns with fills

Video guidelines

Please submit all audition requirements as a single video. You may be able to do the whole audition in one continuous video; you are also permitted to record each part of the audition separately and then combine the separate parts into a single video. Please contact us if you need assistance with this process.

Professional recordings are not required. Most smart phones will provide an adequate video.

Please test your lighting and sound. Make sure that:

  • The video includes a clear picture of your face, your hands, and the instrument
    • Tip: avoid filming with a window behind you. This makes it hard to see your face clearly.
  • The sound is clear, without distortion.
    • Tip: experiment to find the best room and ideal distance from the camera to get the clearest, warmest tone possible.

Submitting your audition video

Upload your audition video to YouTube as an unlisted video. How to upload an unlisted video in YouTube. After uploading, a private link will be created. The video is not public, and only those with the link can view the video.

When ready, send an email to (please use an email address that you check regularly!). Include the following details:

  • The subject line of your email should read as follows:


For example: Intermediate_JackThornton_15_Trombone

  • Paste the link to your audition video (from YouTube) into the body of the email
  • Include your name, age, instrument, school name, and grade
  • Include a contact phone number where we can reach you easily. This is in case we need to ask you further questions regarding your audition, or if we are unable to reach you by email.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 6, 2022. If you are intending to audition, but cannot meet this deadline, please contact us as soon as possible.

You will receive a confirmation email after you have submitted your video.

Audition results

We will contact you with the outcome of your audition by October 10th, 2022.

Get the latest news, events and information sent to your inbox.

Your information will never be shared or sold to third parties.