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Master of Music Performance: Jazz Studies

The Master of Music Performance in Jazz Studies is a 36 hour degree with a two year residency. It provides students the opportunity to develop performance skills while working with an internationally recognized faculty and excellent ensembles. Classes are scheduled to allow music educators, performers, and other music professionals in Northeast Florida to pursue the degree while maintaining full-time employment.


Audition Requirements 

Jazz Bass

  1. Scales: Know and be able to perform major and melodic minor scales in two to three octaves and in all keys.
  2. Walking Bass: Know and be able to perform Blues and Rhythm changes in all 12 keys.
  3. Know and be able to perform all of the following up-tempo compositions: Moment’s Notice, Giant Steps and Impressions.
  4. Repertoire: Know and be able to perform two pieces in contrasting styles, one of which is a Bebop tune. Demonstrate a personal interpretation of the melody, an improvised solo, one or more choruses of walking bass and the ability to also accompany in a “two beat” style, with appropriate fills and inflections. Suggestions for Bebop tunes include: Confirmation, Milestones (old version/Charlie Parker) Billie’s Donna Lee, Tricotism and Joy Spring. Suggestions for non-Bebop tunes include Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, Nefertiti, Beatrice and Dolphin Dance.

Jazz Drum Set

  1. A video sample of performance ability, preferably featuring an ensemble performance with a big band or combo. The video can be previously posted to YouTube.
  2. A demo video or audio recording featuring a swing beat at different tempos, a bossa nova, a samba, a rock or funk groove, a song or Latin feel and brushes in a jazz style. 
  3. A demo video or audio recording featuring a drum solo, preferably trading 4's or 8's in a jazz context, or a solo on a jazz song form. 
  4. Any other video or audio recording in any style that the student feels is relevant to their performance ability.

Jazz Guitar

All jazz guitar applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to receive an invitation to a live audition in Jacksonville. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Recordings may be mailed or uploaded to DropBox or an equivalent cloud sharing platform. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording but the sound quality must be good quality. Repertoire for the prescreening recording must demonstrate the ability to improvise and play with a rhythm section, using a live band or play-along recording.

  1. Required piece (must be first on the recording): the 12-Bar Blues piece, Billie’s Bounce in medium tempo (minimum of four improvised choruses).
  2. Perform three other selections (one must be a ballad) in different jazz styles, moods and tempos (minimum of two improvised choruses for each selection).
  3. Demonstrate “comping” on a standard song of your choice.
  4. Original compositions should not be included.

Applicants who pass the prescreening portion of the audition will be invited for a live audition in Jacksonville. All auditions are approximately 10 minutes in length. Each applicant chooses his/her first work and the faculty will choose a second and possibly third work from the audition repertoire list provided by the applicant. In addition to the audition tune list that applicants will submit to the panel (three tunes for undergraduates, ten tunes for graduates), all applicants must bring an additional typed list of their entire jazz repertoire to the panel (one copy is sufficient). Rhythm section and amplifiers will be provided. Applicants must provide music for the rhythm section. Play-along recordings are not acceptable for a live audition. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Demonstrate ability to improvise and play with a rhythm section at a graduate level of advancement.
  2. Ten selections (including two ballads) in different jazz styles, moods and tempos performed from memory.
  3. Sight reading.

Jazz Piano

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the following scales at a minimum of 220 = quarter note, (scales in eighth notes): Major, Minor (natural, harmonic, melodic) and Jazz (major and melodic minor modes, diminished scales, whole tone scales, blues scale), Bebop scales (major, minor, dominant, dominant b9b13).
  2. Improvise on a Blues (F,Bb), Rhythm Changes (Bb) and prepare three Jazz Standards (one Bebop, such as Confirmation, Oleo, etc, and two additional jazz standards, such as All the Things You Are, Dolphin Dance, etc.
  3. Demonstrate ability to use various chord voicings and comp. They will also be given a piece to sightread at their audition. They will be given written music as well as chord changes to comp and solo over.
 Jazz Saxophone
  1. Perform three contrasting tunes (standards or Jazz compositions) with one being a ballad - play melody and improvise showing a mastery of chord changes/vocabulary.
  2. Scales to be chosen from: Jazz melodic minor, diminished, augmented, tritone, pentatonics (maj, b6, min, min 6).
  3. Sight reading.

Jazz Trumpet

  1. Prepare major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes).
  2. Play the melody and improvise from memory on the chord changes of one tune from each of the following three lists:
    1. Bebop tunes: Confirmation, Joy Spring
    2. Standard tunes: Stella By Starlight, Have You Met Miss Jones
    3. Post-bop tunes: Moment's Notice, Dolphin Dance.  
  3. Charlier #2 Du Style from Theo Charlier, 36 Etudes Transcendantes for trumpet.
  4. Auditionees will be asked to sight read typical jazz ensembles parts and may be asked to sight-read chord changes.
  5. Lead trumpet auditionees will be asked 1, 3 and 4 above plus: Blues in Bb and F and Rhythm Changes in Bb and F.
  6. Lead Trumpet play excerpt for Time Check by Don Menza, from Buddy Rick Band.