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Audition procedure for Standard Bank National Schools’ Big Band (This might change for 2022)

Regional auditions are held around the country in late May/early June for rhythm section and horns:

All students auditioning will be asked to play:

  • Sight reading
  • A piece of your own choice that indicates your technical ability (optional for bass and drums) – preferably a jazz piece.
  • Two jazz standards arranged for combo. There will be small group of rhythm section and horns and you will be expected to improvise over the solo section. You will also be assessed on your ensemble sensitivity and jazz inflection.

Final auditions are held in Makhanda at the start of the SBNYJF for those selected from the regional auditions.

Audition procedure for Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band

Anyone auditioning for the SBNYJB will be assessed by a single small audition panel throughout the day on the first day of the SBNYJF in Makhanda. The panel is looking for musical skills at an advanced level. Students auditioning for the NYJB are required to be able to read music.

Vocal auditions for Standard Bank National Schools Big Band and Youth Jazz Band

All auditions for the Standard Bank National Schools and Youth Jazz Bands will be done in Makhanda at the start of the NYJF.

If students want to audition for the Schools band, they need to be serious contenders with Big Band experience and good vocal technique.

If students want to audition for the Youth band they need to have genuine jazz chops, significant experience performing solo in a small ensemble, and be able to improvise comfortably.

If you are auditioning for the national band vocal spots you will need to prepare two contrasting pieces for the auditions. Bring a copy of the piano part or chord progression (in the correct key!) for the accompanist.