FALL 2021

Info for 2021-2022 auditions into Jazz Vocal Ensemble


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.

NEW PLAN FOR FALL 2021. 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 has been suspended for 2021-2022.

Ensemble goals and activities—JVE will perform numerous charts of varying levels (III–VI) 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).

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

(suspended for 2021–2022) Jazz Vocal Repertory Ensemble (JVRE) will focus on more foundational jazz choir repertoire (levels I-IV, 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 vocal jazz singing 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.

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:  Thursday 8/19 & Friday 8/20, 1–4 pm; also the days listed below
Both Returning students and First-year students: Monday 8/123 & Tuesday 8/24, 6–8:30 pm;
- If necessary, additional times may be added 
later in the week at the discretion of the Director.)

► FIRST, all students wishing to audition should sign up online via the School of Music Ensemble sigh-up page.

► SECOND, to obtain the required audition materials and other information about the audition process, read carefully the page below and download the appropriate document(s). The DATA SHEET link is found at the bottom of this page. Musical examples (lead sheets and prepared excerpts) can be found on Dr. White's profile page here:

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. 

► THIRD, be sure to complete the audition data sheet before your audition time (hand it to Dr. White before you begin singing). See the PDF link at the bottom of this page.

► 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 on the left margin of this page).

"Almost Like Being in Love" by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe
"Blue Skies" by Irving Berlin

"Time After Time" by Sammy Kahn and Jule Styne;


2. PREPARED EXCERPT. Using the voice part of your choice (for which you're auditioning), sing the assigned To-Prepare excerpt from the chart "New Day" (arr. Jennifer Barnes). Begin at letter L and sing to the end of the chart. The groove is relaxed-Samba at BPM = 90.

3. 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!

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

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 Wednesday evening, August 25, outside Dr. White's studio, or Thursday noon, August 26, at the latest. (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 players interested in playing in the group should discuss their interest with Prof. John White AND Jazz Studies Director Michael Titlebaum, Greg Evans, or Nicholas Walker.

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!

Dr. John White


file-outline JVE Audition Data Sheet - jve-audition-data-sheet-2021.pdf (83.55 KB)

The JVE Audition data sheet that should be completed prior to your audition. Hand to Dr. White when you arrive.

file-outline Prepared Excerpt: New Day - jve-new-day-excerpt_0.pdf (7.72 MB)

Excerpt from "New Day" to prepare (begin at letter L and sing to the end).