Winter 2020 Jazz Auditions

Auditions for Winter and Spring 2020

All auditions take place in the Davidson Music Center (No. 45), Room 121

  • Cal Poly Jazz Ensemble
  • Cal Poly Jazz Band
  • Cal Poly Vocal Jazz
  • Combos

Arthur White, Director of Jazz Studies:, 805-756-5792

Date Time
Wednesday, Dec. 4

11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 5 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 6 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sign up for an audition time through SignUpGenius.
  • If you cannot make one of the audition times above, email Arthur White for an alternate time.
  • Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your audition, and complete BOTH an information form and a schedule form, which will be provided. Results will be announced via email.
  • Successful auditionees will be placed into either UJB 1 or UJB 2. Whether you are placed into a band or not, you might take a look at How to Look at Not Passing an Audition.
  • Students currently performing in combos are NOT required to audition. In order to perform in a combo, however, students must play in a big band or vocal jazz ensemble, if selected.
  • You must commit to performing both quarters. Exceptions will be made on an individual basis, and must first be discussed with Dr. White.

Keeping your schedule available for both ensembles will increase your chances of being able to participate in one of them. 


  • Cal Poly Jazz Ensemble (UJBI) - MTWF 11:10 a.m. to noon
  • Cal Poly Jazz Band (UJBII) - MW 3:10 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Combos and Vocal Jazz are arranged according to the availability of each combo's members.


Your instrument, except

  • drummers: bring sticks only
  • vibes players: bring mallets

Electric bassists and guitarists: an amplifier and instrument cord will be provided for you to use


Everyone will be asked to do the following:

  • Sight-reading (three excerpts)
  • Improvisation (on a blues in F, Bb, or Eb) - not required for drummers

In addition, the musicians below will be asked to do the following:

  • Bassists:
    • Walk a bass line to a blues tune and/or an easy II-V-I tune.
  • Pianists, Guitarists, and Vibes Players:
    • Play chords in jazz comping fashion to a blues tune and/or an easy II-V-I tune.
  • Vocalists:
    • Prepare one 16-measure ballad and one 32-measure medium up swing piece. Improvisation (blues in F, Bb, or Eb) is strongly recommended. Please provide your own accompaniment. 
  • Drummers:
    • Demonstrations of styles/tempos (to include medium swing, fast swing, bossa nova, samba, funk, ballad) 


Please check your schedule to ensure that you will be available for the following performances.

All times include set-up, sound check, performance, tear-down, and travel time.

  • Friday, Nov. 22, 3 to 11 p.m. - Fall Jazz Concert, Spanos Theatre (on campus)
  • Saturday, Feb. 29, 3 to 11 p.m. - Winter Jazz Concert, Miossi Hall (on campus)
  • Friday, June 5, 3 to 11 p.m. - Spring Jazz Concert, Spanos Theatre (on campus)

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