Jazz Performance applicants must submit a screening audition for review via the Audition and Screening Dropbox on your Applicant Portal.

Screening Recordings and Recorded Auditions must be audio/video recordings. Audio only recordings will not be accepted.

  • Screening deadline: December 4

General Audition Information

  • On campus auditions will be performed with a live accompaniment. Applicants should be prepared to perform the pieces required for screening, but may have the opportunity to perform other jazz standards during the audition.
  • Applicants who perform regional auditions should practice with the background recording in the manner outlined below. Regional auditions will be performed with a background recording provided by the Oberlin Conservatory admissions staff.
  • Recorded auditions must include a recording of the applicant playing with the background recording as instructed below. The applicant should check that the background recording is played at an appropriate volume. Submit recordings via the Audition and Screening Dropbox on your Applicant Portal.

Screening and Final Audition Requirements

Specific information for each required piece and the accompaniment music files, recorded by the Oberlin Jazz Faculty Quintet, can be found below. The recorded tuning note is concert A.

  1. Blues (F), four choruses. Play an appropriate blues head (Billie’s Bounce, Au Privave, Straight No Chaser, etc.), improvise two choruses, and then “comp” the last chorus to the ending.
    Music: Tuning note and F Blues 
  2. Body and Soul (D flat), two choruses. Play the entire melody on the first chorus. On the second chorus, improvise over the first two A sections and the bridge, and then play the melody on the last A section to the ending.
    Music: Body and Soul 
  3. Ladybird (C), four choruses. Play the melody one time, improvise two choruses, and then “comp” the last chorus to the ending.
    Music: Ladybird 
  4. Rhythm Changes (B flat), three choruses. Play an appropriate melody (Oleo, Anthropology, etc.), and then improvise two choruses to the ending.
    Music: Rhythm Changes 

The following chords are used for the blues and “rhythm changes”.

Blues:

// F7 / Bb7 / F7 / F7 / Bb7 / Bb7 / F7 / D7 / G-7 / C7 / F7 / (G-7 C7) //

Rhythm Changes:

// Bb G7 / C-7 F7 / Bb G7 / C-7 F7 / Bb Bb7 / Eb Edim / Bb G7 / C-7 F7 /

// Bb G7 / C-7 F7 / Bb G7 / C-7 F7 / Bb Bb7 / Eb Edim / Bb G7 / C-7 F7 /

/ D7 / D7 / G7 / G7 / C7 / C7 / F7 / F7 //

// Bb G7 / C-7 F7 / Bb G7 / C-7 F7 / Bb Bb7 / Eb Edim / Bb G7 / C-7 F7 /

If you are unable to download the accompaniment, contact the Office of Conservatory Admissions via e-mail at Conservatory.Admissions@oberlin.edu  or by calling (440) 775-8413  and a CD will be mailed to you. When requesting a CD, be sure to include a name, address, telephone number, the intended major, and the date and location of the audition.