Prospective Students

If you are intersted in becoming a jazz major at the Fred Fox School of Music, visit the school’s website for more information.

Also, please email Dr. Angelo Versace ( as well as the major professor of your instrument area to inform them of your decision to audition at the U of A.


How to Audition for UA Jazz Ensembles

Please email Dr. Angelo Versace ( as soon as you know you would like to audition for either a big band or a small ensemble. You will get an email over the summer with all of the information you’ll need to sign up and prepare for the audition.

Here’s an example of what you can expect from the summer email:

The audition music, requirements, information, etc. for Fall 2020 UA Jazz Ensembles are attached to this email and will be posted outside of my office (rm 213) on August 1st.  To sign up – please write your name in a single 10-minute slot on the Sign Up List outside of my office.  Please sign up in the block according to what instrument you play (i.e. all saxes sign up in the “Saxophone Block,” trumpets in the “Trumpet Block,” etc.)

Wind instrument auditions will be held on Thursday, August 22nd from 9:00am to 6:00pm.  Rhythm Section and Vocalist auditions will be held on Friday, August 23rd from 12:00pm to 3:30pm.  All auditions will take place in the UA School of Music Room 106. Please read the instructions below carefully before signing up.

All musicians auditioning will need to fill out a personal info form (provided via the email).

All musicians auditioning for big band will be asked to sight read something at the audition.

All musicians auditioning for combos will need to prepare three memorized, contrasting jazz standards of their choice and be able to play the melody and improvise over them for the audition. Guitarists/Pianists will be asked to comp a few choruses. Bassists will be asked to walk a few choruses.

All instruments auditioning for big band (except for drums) should prepare the etude assigned to their instrument type:

  • Trumpet – Pent-Up House, Clifford Brown
  • Saxophones – Confirmation, Michael Brecker
  • Trombone – Pennies From Heaven, JJ Johnson
  • Guitar – Yardbird Suite, Joe Pass
  • Bass – Bye Bye Blackbird, Ray Brown
  • Piano – Introspectivo, Clare Fischer

Those parts will be attached to the email.

Guitar, piano, vibes and bass players should be prepared to play three memorized, contrasting jazz standards of your choice and be able to play/sing the melody and improvise. Pianists/guitarists/vibraphonists will be expected to demonstrate comping ability as well.

For the drumset auditions, a standard five-piece drumset will be supplied and you can bring your own accessories if you wish. (Sticks will NOT be provided.) You will be expected to demonstrate and perform in a variety of musical styles with Dr. Versace playing piano. You should also be prepared to play with brushes, “trade fours”, and read a standard big band chart.

I look forward to hearing you and hopefully working with you in the Fall. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone whom you feel may be interested.