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RIT Jazz Ensemble

Overview: 

This ensemble consists of trumpets, trombones, saxes, piano, drums, bass, and guitar. The repertoire typically includes traditional big band music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Woody Herman, as well as contemporary music of such groups as Spyro Gyra. Music by local composers, such as Matt Harris, are also performed.

Audition Information: 

Please pay attention to the specific requirements for each instrument given below. Generally speaking if you performed in a jazz band in high school you will be successful in performing the music performed by the RIT Jazz Lab Ensemble.

Please prepare this excerpt for saxophone (PDF). In addition, be prepared for sight-reading and, if you are capable, improvising on a concert Bb blues.

Please prepare this excerpt for trumpet (PDF). In addition, be prepared for sight-reading and, if you are capable, improvising on a concert Bb blues. In addition you will be asked to arpeggiate through open tones, starting on low C, as high as you can play. In other words, please be in shape.

Please prepare this excerpt for trombone (PDF). In addition, be prepared for sight-reading and, if you are capable, improvising on a concert Bb blues. Historically speaking, trombone is the most sought after instrument in the ensembles. In other words, if you are breathing, you’ll probably get a chance to play in one of the two big bands.

Please prepare this excerpt for guitar (PDF). In addition, be prepared for sight-reading and, if you are capable, improvising on a concert Bb blues. Also, please be aware that the audition for Guitar is based primarily on your ability to read printed music. Sight-reading will be a crucial part of your audition requirement.

Please prepare this excerpt for piano (PDF). In addition, be prepared for sight-reading and, if you are capable, improvising on a concert Bb blues. Also, please be aware that the audition for Piano is based primarily on your ability to read printed music. Sight-reading will be a crucial part of your audition requirement. Realizing chord symbols into appropriate piano voicings will also be a crucial part of the audition. If you cannot read chord symbols, but are still a strong reader, than please audition. Training in chord symbol realization is part of the RIT Jazz Ensemble experience.

Please prepare this excerpt for bass (PDF). In addition, be prepared for sight-reading and, if you are capable, improvising on a concert Bb blues. Also, please be aware that the audition for Bass is based primarily on your ability to read printed music. Sight-reading will be a crucial part of your audition requirement. In addition, realizing chord symbols into appropriate bass figures will also be a crucial part of the audition. If you cannot read chord symbols, but are still a strong reader, than please audition. Training in chord symbol realization is part of the RIT Jazz Ensemble experience.

Please prepare this excerpt for drums (PDF). In addition, be prepared for sight-reading and, if you are capable, improvising on a 12 bar Bb blues format for at least two choruses. Also, please be aware that the audition for Drums is based primarily on your ability to read printed music and know how to kick the band based on the printed music. Sight-reading will be a crucial part of your audition requirement.

Those who pass the initial audition will be asked to audition with the band on the first rehearsal, Tuesday, September 5th at 6:30 PM in the music room.

Works Recently Performed: 

Below is a list of works that have been performed by the RIT Jazz Ensembles over the past five years.

  • Bill Liston - The Longest Hour
  • David Berger - Business As Usual
  • Duke Ellington - The Mooche
  • Earl Hagen - Harlem Nocturne
  • Frank Mantooth - I Know What I’m Here For
  • Frank Mantooth - That Old Black Magic
  • Frank Mantooth - The Louis Shuffle
  • Gene Thorne - Layover In San Juan
  • Jeff Beal - Blues-It is
  • Jeff Jarvis - Honk
  • Jeff Jarvis - Old School
  • Jeff Jarvis - Pure & Simple
  • Jon Kruger - Big Dave
  • Jon Kruger - Bossa Contrapunctus
  • Jon Kruger - Simone Sez
  • Jon Kruger - The Quarter-Mile Blues
  • Kenny Dorham - Hill’s Edge
  • Mike Lewis - One More For The Count
  • Mike Steinel - Weaselwalk
  • Mike Tomaro - One For Oliver
  • Richard Saucedo - Mosaic
  • Rick Lawn - Small Wonders
  • Sammy Nestico - Wind Machine
Ensemble Rehearsals: 

4:00 - 4:50PM Mondays; Wednesdays (Jazz Ensemble) SAU Music Room (A130)

Ensemble Membership: 

Contact the director, Mr. Mark Collins, (mcgla@rit.edu) for more information.

Ensemble Credit: 

Students can register for this 1 credit course.

RIT Jazz Ensemble Concerts

No concerts are currently scheduled! Please check back again soon.