Roosevelt Jazz Auditions

Auditions for the 2019-2020 School Year

All auditioning students (instrumentalists and vocalists; incoming freshmen and returning students) must complete the online audition registration OR bring a completed printed copy of the downloadable audition registration form to their audition. Showing up without completing the online form or providing the printed copy will not make a good impression! The information collected will be used to create our jazz program rosters when placements are decided, so it is important that everything is correct and readable. Thank you!

Please read the additional audition instructions found below. Note that there are separate instructions for instrumentalists and for vocalists. Everyone will perform this year’s selected tune, “It Could Happen to You, ” written by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke. The required sheet music for this tune is posted here on this webpage or can be found in the band hall at Roosevelt High School. You must use these versions!

There is also some general information about the jazz program at Roosevelt down at the very bottom of this page.

Instructions for Instrumentalists Auditioning for Jazz Bands

Note for incoming 9th graders who play sax and brass: The main entrances of the school will likely be locked on your audition day. Please enter the school via the orchestra room door on the east side of the school (down the stairs from 15th Ave NE).

The following information is tentative and subject to change. Please check back here regularly.

Mon June 3, 4pmReturning Roosevelt students, saxophones
Tue June 4, 4pmReturning Roosevelt students, brass
Sun June 9, 10amIncoming 9th graders, saxophones
Sun June 9, 12pmIncoming 9th graders, brass
Mon June 10, 4pmALL rhythm section players (piano, vibes, guitar, bass, drums)

Audition music and requirements are detailed below. Students may also be asked to sight read. Students audition in front of their peers as well as the band directors, and sessions typically last several hours. Rhythm players audition by playing in small combos with other auditioning rhythm students.

  1. Required piece: “It Could Happen to You, ” written by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke. Note that the required version is in the key of E flat! You can download the required piece here (links listed below for each version) or you can get a printed copy in the hall outside the Roosevelt Band Room. It is important that you use the correct version, in the correct key, for your instrument. 
    It Could Happen To You (for B♭ instruments)
    It Could Happen To You (for E♭ instruments)
    It Could Happen To You (for Bass clef instruments)
    It Could Happen To You (Concert C)
  2. Prepared piece. Play an excerpt, standard, or transcription of your choosing, not more than one minute long. Choose something that demonstrates your strengths as a player. It should also contrast in style and/or tempo with “It Could Happen To You.” If you’re playing an exercise from a jazz instruction book, be sure you know what tune it is based upon. You may plug in your phone if you have a back-up track.
  3. You will be asked to play scales or arpeggios to demonstrate your range, knowledge, and tone. We’re looking for strong players with a big warm sound and command of your instrument.
  4. Be sure to arrive early for the audition to check in. There may be paperwork to complete. Much of this can be done in advance by completing the online audition registration OR completing a copy of the downloadable audition registration form and bringing it with you. 

We look forward to hearing each of you for Roosevelt Jazz Auditions!

Instructions for Vocalists Auditioning for the Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Auditions for all vocalists interested in joining the Vocal Jazz ensemble will take place in the Roosevelt High School choir/orchestra room on Thursday, June 6th, starting after school at 4:15pm.

At the audition, you will:

  1. Sing “It Could Happen to You” in E Flat with the rhythm section.
    • Count in the rhythm section at the tempo that you want.
    • The rhythm section will play the last 4 measures as an intro.
    • Form:
      • Sing through the song once.
      • Then improvise/scat through the first A (“Hide your heart” to “down you tumble”).
      • Then sing with words (“Keep an eye on spring…) to the end.
      • Make the song your own – change up rhythms or melody!
  2. Improvise over twelve-bar blues.
  3. Sing a jazz song of your choice. You can use a backtrack or have a chord sheet for the rhythm section.
  4. Sing your part in the 4-part excerpt of Smile.

We want to build a premiere vocal ensemble at Roosevelt that is part of a strong jazz tradition. Students in Roosevelt jazz are required to enroll in a concert ensemble class. For most Vocal Jazz students, this means enrolling in Concert Choir or auditioning for Advanced Treble Choir. 

Please download the required audition tunes “It Could Happen To You” and “Smile,” along with compete audition instructions here:

Vocal Jazz Audition Packet

Make sure you read through the entire packet! Any questions? Contact Dr. Kent at Thank you, and best of luck!

General Information

Wondering what to expect for a typical Roosevelt Jazz student and family?
Read more about it in our Jazz Program Overview.

Even with four jazz bands and a vocal jazz ensemble, not everyone will be placed in a Roosevelt Jazz group. These are special opportunities for those who are truly interested in performing jazz music. You don’t have to be a super-star; just a motivated young musician who really wants to swing!

Participation in summer jazz camps in addition to private lessons is highly recommended.
Information about summer jazz camps and workshops can be found here.

We are tremendously excited about what is happening with JAZZ at Roosevelt and look forward to hearing many young musicians at auditions!

Scott Brown
Jean-Marie Kent