FALL 2023 AUDITIONS

REGISTRATION - Please do not register for Jazz Vocal Ensemble (JVE) or Jazz Vocal Repertory Ensemble (JVRE) until auditions have been completed and membership determined.

ABOUT THE GROUPS. All Ithaca College students regardless of major are eligible to audition for placement into one of the Jazz Vocal Ensembles. Please note that everyone who is interested (even those who have previously been in the group) must audition each year.

NOTE PLAN FOR 2023-2024. Due to necessary cutbacks in faculty load, only the Jazz Vocal Ensemble (JVE) will be offered this coming academic year. As of this writing, JVRE is still suspended for 2023-2024.

Ensemble goals and activities—JVE will perform numerous charts of varying levels (III–V+) throughout the coming year. Weekly meetings will involve rehearsal of this material, of course, but also devote time to cultivating improvisation skills (scales, solfege, scat syllables, strategies, exercises, application, and so forth).

GROUP DESIGN and FOCUS
Jazz Vocal Ensemble (JVE) will be limited to 14-18 select singers and specialize primarily in advanced repertoire (levels III-V). Rehearsals occur TR 6:00–7:50pm for a total of 4 hours per week. Attendance at every rehearsal is expected.

(suspended for 2023–2024) Jazz Vocal Repertory Ensemble (JVRE) will focus on more foundational jazz choir repertoire (levels I-III, higher as appropriate) and be open to any student who can qualify by audition. Membership is flexible, not limited to a set number. Rehearsals occur MW 6:00–6:50 for a total of 2 hours per week. Attendance at every rehearsal is expected.

JVRE is a great fit for singers new to Vocal Jazz Ensemble singing; we’ll cover the basics of jazz ensemble singing (e.g., how to swing, how to shape vowels and consonants, etc.) along with beginning stages of vocal improvisation (scales, syllables, strategies).

JVE requires previous experience in group singing (ideally jazz, but not necessarily) such that activities of a more advanced level will not present great challenge; thus, audition standards for JVE are higher than for JVRE; if you’re unsure if you’re ready or not, please contact the Director.

AUDITION PROCESS
The Ithaca College Jazz Vocal Ensembles are looking for singers! Auditions for both ensembles will be held on the following days/times:
First-year students only may request a 15-minute time during the orientation period on Friday 8/18. Please contact Director John White directly: jwhite@ithaca.edu

Both Returning students and First-year students: Monday 8/21 & Tuesday 8/22, 10:00am—3:00pm.
- If necessary, additional times may be added 
later in the week at the discretion of the Director.)

FIRST, complete an audition card:  . https://ithaca.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Fxub6VYoDGviB0. The link to sign-up for a time will be emailed to you after you have completed the card.

SECOND, read carefully ALL the information below and then download all the appropriate audition materials, including (1) prepared excerpts and (2) the Audition Data Sheet (print to hardcopy, fill out completely, and bring to your audition).   See DOCUMENTS FOR AUDITION along the lefthand margin of this page for access to all materials. 
 -- Also, if I will be the accompanist for your solo song, so be sure to bring a copy of the music I must read.

THIRD, on the day of your audition you will need to pick up the short sight-reading excerpt from Dr. White within the hour immediately before your scheduled audition time.

Please contact Dr. White if you have any additional questions about what is required or any other aspect about the two ensembles. Email: jwhite@ithaca.edu. 

AT THE AUDITION. The audition will last no longer than 15 minutes. Please be warmed up & ready before your audition time. You should be prepared to do the following at the audition:

1. SOLO SONG. Sing a song of your choosing that you know well (a jazz standard preferred but not required).  PLEASE bring music for your song!  Prof. White will accompany you on the piano, or you may accompany yourself, or bring an accompanist.  If you have nothing to sing, be prepared to sing "America, the Beautiful" and experiment in different styles (e.g., swing, bossa, etc.). If you have trouble choosing a song, you may choose one from these PDF's (see also DOCUMENTS FOR AUDITION on the left margin of this page)

2. Sing a one octave chromatic scale up & down, starting note of your choice. Use of solfege is highly encouraged (but not necessary). Being able to sing half-step lines is crucial for this type of music. Don't underestimate the necessity to demonstrate this skill!.

3. Sing a few call-and response patterns (actually, call-and-repeat or call-and mimic) with Prof. White.

4. PREPARED EXCERPTS. Using the voice part of your choice (for which you're auditioning), sing the assigned To-Prepare excerpts. (See DOCUMENTS FOR AUDITION on the left margin of this page.)

5. SIGHT READING---read this carefully!
   a.  No more than one hour prior to your rehearsal, outside of Whalen 3202 (Prof. White’s studio) pick up the "sight 
reading" excerpt.
   b.  You will have at most one hour to prepare YOUR chosen voice part. Prepare as much of the excerpt as you can in the time allotted, giving precedence to quality of preparation (that is, mastery) rather than quantity of preparation (that is, number of measures). If you don't master the entire excerpt (which is fine), you may be asked to sightread the portion not mastered.
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► RESULTS. Membership (audition results) will be announced by 2:00pm Thursday August 24, outside Dr. White's studio. Our first rehearsal will occur that evening beginning at 6:00 in Presser. (Be sure to give me your email address.) You may also contact Dr. White directly at jwhite@ithaca.edu to obtain audition results

RHYTHM SECTION
Rhythm section players interested in playing in the group should discuss their interest with Prof. John White AND Jazz Studies Director Michael Titlebaum (and Tristen Jarvis re bass; TBA re drums).

CREDIT
Jazz Vocal Ensemble (JVE) is 1.0 credit.

If you have questions please email me at jwhite@ithaca.edu.
I look forward to hearing (from) you!


Sincerely,
Dr. John White

https://www.ithaca.edu/faculty/jwhite