Auditions

Audition Requirements: Classical Saxophone
Audition Requirements: Jazz Studies
For those that play both classical and jazz
Applicants for Music ED (Bachelor degree)
Video auditions
Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Admission to a degree program or to private saxophone instruction in the School of Music is by audition. The number of open slots for new saxophone students is limited, and competition is traditionally very high to get into the program. Auditions are held shortly after the new year. For up to date information about audition dates and times please see the UW School of Music Audition information page.

Auditions last 15 minutes per student. This is not a very long time for our faculty to evaluate all aspects of a person’s playing abilities, musicianship and personality. You are therefore encouraged to submit to Professor Brockman (for classical saxophone auditions) a CD recording or 2-3 MP3 files demonstrating other aspects of your musicianship. For jazz auditions, you may submit a CD or digital files to Professor Sinibaldi. You may submit recordings you have made with special ensembles, pieces you have written, musical genres that aren’t being included in your audition (such as rock or folk), or performances on other members of the saxophone family.

Scholarships are awarded yearly following the January and February auditions. Students who are pursuing degrees in performance will automatically be considered for scholarship at the time of their audition.

Audition Requirements: Classical Saxophone

It is recommended that you contact Professor Brockman by email during the fall term, one full year prior to the term you wish to begin study at the UW, to inform him of your intent to apply, and to confer about audition pieces you will play.

All applicants are encouraged to provide Professor Brockman with a resume (REQUIRED for all graduate applicants) listing your musical activities, professional accomplishments, recordings, and significant performances.   Be sure to include any non-saxophone related activities, such as compositions you have written, conducting activities, travels, and any other things you feel make you an interesting person.

If you are an auditioning high school saxophonist, you must prepare the chromatic scale and all 12 major scales and 12 melodic minor scales (extended through the ENTIRE range of your instrument) plus 3-4 movements selected from a solo sonata or concerto written for saxophone (with piano accompaniment). Excellent examples of literature appropriate for undergraduate auditions include the Creston Sonata, the Bernard Heiden Sonata, the Villa Lobos Fantasia, the Tcherepnine Sonata Sportive, the Maurice Tableaux de Provence, and the piano/sax reductions of the Ibert Concertino da Camera, the Glazounov Concerto, and the Dubois Concerto. You may also be asked to sight read some music that tests your ability to read arpeggios, rhythms and accidentals.

If you are an auditioning for entrance as a graduate student, you must prepare 2 or more complete sonatas or concertos, plus a contrasting work showing added versatility. You must also submit a complete repertoire list of all works performed in concert. Standard pieces that are played by underclassmen (such as the Ibert, Creston and Glazounov) can be acceptable for auditions into a graduate performance program, but it is recommended that you choose pieces that are more challenging and show advanced training in technique and phrasing, as well as some extended techniques (such as altissimo, multi-phonics, micro-tones, mixed meters, etc.).

Audition Requirements: Jazz Studies

Undergraduate applicants to the Jazz Studies program should come prepared to perform the following:

  • Scales: Chro­matic scale, full range of the horn and 12 Major and 12 Melodic Minor scales, full range of the horn.
  • Play and impro­vise over 3 jazz stan­dards in con­trast­ing styles. You should play the melody, and then improvise a solo for 3-4 choruses over the chord changes. One must be a blues and one must be from the list below. The third is up to you (orig­i­nal music is encour­aged!) A CD player and stereo system will be available during your audition. Of course, you may bring a rhythm section with you (drums, amps and a piano will be available) to accompany you, This may help you play a better audition.Tunes: There Will Never be Another You, All the Things You Are, All of Me, I Love You, Con­fir­ma­tion, Stella By Starlight, Indiana (Donna Lee), Green Dolphin Street, Just Friends.
  • Sight-reading — Mate­r­ial selected by Professor Sinibaldi

Graduate applicants to the Jazz Studies program should come prepared to perform the following:

  • Scales: Chro­matic scale, full range of the horn and 12 Major and 12 Melodic, Harmonic and Natural Minor scales, full range of the horn.
  • Per­form a writ­ten jazz sax­o­phone solo tran­scrip­tion. Preferably a transcription done by the applicant, though other transcriptions are acceptable.
  • Play and impro­vise over 2 jazz stan­dards in con­trast­ing styles. You should play the melody, and then improvise a solo for 3-4 choruses over the chord changes. The tunes you choose are up to you. A CD player and stereo system will be available during your audition. Of course, you may bring a rhythm section with you (drums, amps and a piano will be available) to accompany you, This may help you play a better audition.
  • Perform a unaccompanied solo. This may be a jazz standard of your choosing (and one of the two pieces for the above requirement), an original composition, or an improvised piece.
  • Sight-reading — Mate­r­ial selected by Professor Sinibaldi

Please contact Professor Sinibaldi with any questions or concerns about your Jazz saxophone audition.

For those that play both classical and jazz

Applicants can audition on saxophone for entrance into both the jazz studies program and the classical performance program. This requires two separate auditions. If you gain admission into both programs, you will have to choose one as your main area of focus. You cannot officially remain a candidate in both degree programs, however, you can switch between them in a later year. Regardless of which degree you are earning, you are always free to audition for, and participate in any ensemble within the school, and you are encouraged to study both jazz and classical techniques on the saxophone throughout your degree program.

Admission into either the jazz or classical saxophone program is highly competitive–neither one is easier to get into than the other. Therefore you should initially focus your attention on playing your very best audition in the style that represents your best skills. Only if you feel you are equally accomplished in both jazz and classical should you sign up to audition for both areas.

A recommended path for the person with skills in both areas is to play a live audition in your STRONGEST style, and then leave a recording with Professor Brockman or Sinibaldi showing your skills in the other area. This may give you the advantage of having your broader skills considered in your admissions evaluation.

Applicants for Music ED (Bachelor degree)

If you are a saxophonist and want to pursue a Bachelor of Music Education, or any of the other non-performance degrees at the UW School of Music, then your entrance audition will normally be in the area of classical saxophone.

If your strongest skills are in jazz music, you should play two separate auditions: one for jazz and one for classical. The reason for this is that there are an equal number the spots for jazz saxophone students and classical saxophone students, but the Jazz Studies Division tries only to admit students who will be Jazz Studies Majors (that is, students pursuing an actual jazz studies degree). In the classical woodwinds division, they admit a student for any of the degree programs (performance, music ed, ethnomusicology, composition) based on how well the student auditions. However, you must have advanced skills in classical saxophone in order to compete for one of those spots.

Video Auditions

While in-person auditions are highly encouraged, if you live more than 1,000 miles from Seattle, Washington, you will be eligible to audition via video. To submit your audition video in lieu of a live audition, please see the information on the UW Audition Information Page

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The UW does not currently have any graduate teaching assistantships in the applied saxophone program, though some do exist in the Jazz Studies program, and inquiries regarding this should be made directly to the department chair of Jazz Studies, Cuong Vu.