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

DJ Junior Band

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. For further information, please see the Durham Jazz Rehearsal SAFETY AND PROCEDURE PROTOCOL.


The Durham Jazz Junior Band is open to students in grades 7 and 8.  Occasionally younger/older students may be accepted. Students in the Junior Band have typically been playing their instruments for one-two years. Our goal with the Junior Band is to help students develop their technical and musical skills, including playing common jazz rhythmic figures, extending their range, developing a more focused tone, developing an understanding of basic jazz theory, and an introduction to improvising.


This year we will be hosting VIRTUAL AUDITIONS. Students will create a video of all the audition requirements and submit a link to BEFORE Friday, October 30, 2020.

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, Intermediate Band.
    2. Introduce yourself! Please say:
      1. Your name
      2. Which ensemble you are auditioning for
      3. Which school you attend
      4. What grade you are entering into in 2020
      5. 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.)
      6. Some of your other (non-musical) hobbies
      7. Why you want to be a part of Durham Jazz
  1. Compulsory excerpt. Perform bars 1-48 of the part for your instrument for Sing Sing Sing by Victor Lopez. Parts and the audio track are provided below. You can use the audio track to help learn your  part, but do not play the audio track in the audition video (we want to hear just you playing!).
  2. Own choice. Perform a piece or section of a piece of your own choice. Choose a piece which showcases your playing. It does not have to be a jazz piece.
  3. Technical requirements.
    1. Brass and woodwind: Play a scale (1-2 octaves) to show fluency and your range on your instrument.
    2. Piano: play either scales or comping:
      1. Scales. Play the following scales over at least 2 octaves, hands together, similar motion: Bb major, Eb major, G harmonic minor; OR
      2. Comping. Play the chords for one verse of F Blues over a backing track (use the backing track below).
    3. Guitar: Play the chords for one verse of F Blues over a backing track (use the backing track below).
    4. Bass: play a bass line (ideally a walking bass if possible) for one verse of F Blues over a backing track (use the backing track below).
    5. Drums: play a short section (about 8-16 bars) of as many different styles as possible – e.g., rock, funk, Latin (e.g., samba), swing, jazz waltz. Include fills where appropriate.
  4. Improvisation (OPTIONAL). Improvise over a 12-bar Blues progression in Concert Bb or F. Use the backing tracks below to prepare. DO play the backing track for the audition video. One or two verses is sufficient.

If you are auditioning for more than one ensemble, you need to create a separate video for each ensemble you are auditioning for.

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. Note: each part of the audition should be a continuous ‘take’ – do not make edits in the middle of a piece.

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

Please test your lighting and sound (including the Blues backing track). 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.
  • The Blues backing track (if used) is audible but does not cover your sound at all.

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: IntermediateBand_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 Friday, October 30, 2020. 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 November 2nd, 2020.

Audition Music Links

Please download the part for your instrument.

If you are auditioning on two instruments, you will need to create two separate audition videos.

Sing, Sing, Sing – Alto Sax 1*

Sing, Sing, Sing – Bari Sax*

Sing, Sing, Sing – Bass

Sing, Sing, Sing – Drums

Sing, Sing, Sing – Guitar

Sing, Sing, Sing – Piano

Sing, Sing, Sing – Tenor Sax 1*

Sing, Sing, Sing – Trombone 1**

Sing, Sing, Sing – Trombone 2**

Sing, Sing, Sing – Trumpet 1**

Sing, Sing, Sing – Trumpet 2**

* Saxophone players may be asked if they are comfortable playing the other saxophones

** Two parts are provided for brass instruments to accommodate different ranges. You may use either part. Trumpet 1 and Trombone 1 parts are typically higher in range.

Audio Link for Sing Sing Sing

Use the audio link to hear your part and to see how it fits with the whole band.  Feel free to practice along with it, but do not use it in the audition video.

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