Jazz Studies


2014-2015 Audition Dates

Friday, November 7, 2014
Friday, February 6, 2015
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015

Applicants to the Cali School of Music must first submit an application to the University prior to requesting an audition appointment for all programs.  Cali School online applications coming soon.

Important general notes:

  • Admission is competitive and applications are processed as soon as we receive them. Apply early, especially if you have scheduling requirements due to religious, medical or other issues. An effort will be made to accommodate special requirements but this cannot be guaranteed. 
  • All students must pass an audition (by audition CD/DVD and/or in person, as applicable), and meet the University's requirements for admission. Applicants may not audition more than three times.
  • For non-music majors: Only general education music courses are available to non-music majors who are admitted to the University but not to the School of Music.
  • Music minors are not currently offered; when offered, an audition is required. An audition for any of the minors is a modified version of the audition for the major.
  • International students, or those at a significant distance from Montclair, should ask about alternative application and audition procedures.
  • Applications or required materials such as CDs or DVDs will not be considered if they are received after specified deadlines or later than 2 weeks before a chosen audition date.
  • Musical Theatre auditions are not held at the Cali School: Apply here

Apply first to the University

All prospective students must complete the application to the University before applying to the Cali School. Use the appropriate link:


STEP TWO -- Apply to the Cali School

  1. Read about your specific audition process below
  2. Apply through Decision Desk (information and link coming soon.)

STEP THREE --Submit an Audition CD or DVD

Information coming soon

Audition Notes: Jazz Studies

All instrumentalists except drummers are required to demonstrate competency in basic scales.

1. On one track of the audition CD, play Major (Ionian) scales up to the 9th and back down in medium/slow tempo (60 BPM) 8th notes. Start in C concert and play all 12 keys around the circle of fourths (C, F, Bb, etc.). You may use a metronome.

2. On another track, do the same for Dorian minor; six keys will be sufficient.

3. On one more track, do the same for Dominant 7th (Mixolydian) for six keys. Vocalists do the same as above, but sing three keys each for Major, Dorian minor and Dominant 7.

Song Tracks for Jazz Guitar

1. Perform three contrasting jazz standards (for example, a medium blues, a Latin or Bossa or ECM style tune, and a medium-up or up tempo tune) in the following format.

a. You play the melody in.
b. You solo for one two choruses.
c. You comp while another player solos (or comp at a louder volume than the play- along CD).
d. You play the melody out.

2. Perform a solo version (chorded melody) of a ballad (either an arrangement or an original is acceptable).

Song Tracks for Jazz Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Bass, or Voice*

All tunes should be recorded with other musicians if possible, but may be recorded utilizing an Aebersold (or similar) play-along recording.

1. Perform a medium tempo blues in F or B-flat: head and three choruses. Bass players please note: After the melody, walk for two choruses before your solo (which may be only two choruses). Piano players please note: After the melody, comp for two choruses prior to your solo.

2. Perform a ballad. Melody should be interpreted in a personal way, along with one chorus of improvisation. Piano players please note: your ballad should be played without accompaniment.

3. Perform a medium or up-tempo standard or “modern” jazz tune (may be swing or even eighth). Melody should be fairly close to the lead sheet (exact if selecting an up-tempo jazz tune), along with 2-3 choruses of improvisation. Bass players: after the melody, walk or play the appropriate groove (bossa, Latin, etc) for two choruses prior to your solo.

* Scat singing is optional, not required. All melodies, including the blues, should be your own interpretation, but melody notes should be the correct pitches. If your blues head or up-tempo tune does not have lyrics, either compose something (vocalese) or use scat syllables to sing the head.

Jazz Drum Set Requirements:

1. Perform the following snare drum rudiments (state what each one is before playing it):

a. Single, double and triple paradiddles
b. Five, seven, and nine stroke rolls
c. Flam tap, flam accent
d. Single and double ratamacues
e. Press roll – soft (pp) to loud (ff), and back down to soft

2. Demonstrate three contrasting styles or grooves (for example, you might choose from swing, funk, bossa, songo, 6/8 Latin, ECM even eighth, etc) using three separate tunes. If you are sending in a recording featuring only yourself, please be sure to play time for 2 choruses of each selection. If you are utilizing a full group, standard jazz performance practice is acceptable, but any solos, including your own, should be limited to one chorus.

3. Ted Reed Syncopation book, page 32: Play a jazz (swing) ride pattern in the right hand, hi hat on two and four, while demonstrating various coordination skills between the left hand and right foot.

Contact Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel, kunkelj@mail.montclair.edu, if you have questions about the audition.


Contact Us

If you have any questions about the audition process, contact the Auditions Coordinator 973-655-7610 or musauditions@mail.montclair.edu


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