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

DJ Senior

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 SAFETY AND PROCEDURE PROTOCOL


The Durham Jazz Senior Program is open to students in grades 10, 11 and 12.  Occasionally younger/older students may be accepted. Students in the Senior Band have typically been playing their instruments for many years. Our goal with the DJ Senior is to help students further develop their technical and musical skills, including playing increasingly complex rhythmic figures, extending their range, developing a more focused tone, continuing their understanding of jazz theory, and improvising with confidence.


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 7, 2021.

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.
      2. Introduce yourself! Please say:
        1. Your name
        2. Which level you are auditioning for (ex. Senior program)
        3. Which school you attend
        4. What grade you are entering into in 2021
        5. What instrument(s) 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. Playing 
      1. Prepare a scale of your choice (multi-octave if possible)
      2. OPTIONAL: Blues scale of your choice
      3. Range: Show us your range (lowest to highest note)
      4. Piece of your choice (choose a song that best demonstrates your musical ability) If you aren’t sure what to choose you can use “Now’s the Time” which is posted below. Make sure you download to correct key for your instrument
      5. OPTIONAL: Using “Now’s the Time” or a Blues backing track share with us your improv skills.
      6. DRUMMERS: Show us a rock and/or swing beat with fills using a steady rhythm

Audition Look Fors

    1. Range
    2. Tone
    3. Technical Ability
    4. Musicality
    5. Positive Attitude

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: 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 7, 2021. 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, 2021.

Audition Music Links (Optional Piece)

Please download the part for your instrument. (Bb = Trumpet, Tenor Sax, C = Trombone, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Eb = Alto & Bari Sax)

Bb Version C Version Eb Version

Now’s the Time Backing Track – Audio

Vocal Version with words – Audio

Lyrics – Now’s the Time

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