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Jazz Instrumental

If you participated in last year's program and were selected to be a Merit, Semifinalist or Honorable Mention awardee in January 2020, you will bypass the Preliminary 1 video audition and advance to Preliminary 2 to schedule your live audition. 

What’s required of me for my Jazz Instrumental Preliminary 1 video audition

All students begin with a Preliminary 1 video audition. Those scoring highest will advance to Preliminary 2 live or digital auditions in December 2020. If selected to advance to Preliminary 2, you will play 2 songs for your live audition. Those scoring highest after Preliminary 2 will advance to the Semifinals.

Please memorize and play one song from the required list below

  • Song must be limited to 3 minutes
  • You MUST include improvisation in your performance
  • The instrument to be judged should predominate
  • Song form should consist of: Melody, 2 choruses of improvised solo, Melody
  • Drummers should play 1-2 choruses of trading as well as 1-2 choruses of unaccompanied solo over the form of the tune

Jazz required list: (Please choose one song to play for your video submission)

  • All The Things You Are
  • Body & Soul
  • I Got Rhythm (or contrafact)
  • I’ll Remember April (for Bass - 4 total choruses: melody, solo, walking, melody)
  • Straight, No Chaser (Monk) (three or four choruses on this piece, blues)
  • Nica’s Dream (Silver)
  • Con Alma (Gillespie)
  • Stablemates (Golson)

Accompaniment Requirements

  • A back-up accompanist or accompanists are required.
  • Backing tracks, such as the Aebersold tracks, are permitted, as are recorded tracks.
  • All rhythm section instrumentalists should demonstrate at least 1 chorus of accompaniment/walking.

Guidelines for Recording Your Audition

  • Your recording device can be a cell phone, tablet, camera, etc. You do NOT have to rent fancy recording equipment. We will refer to the recording devices as "cameras".
  • Before you begin to play, please say: "My name is ______, and I'll be playing ______."
  • Your introduction may be uploaded separately
  • Use a fixed point of view for your camera with you being the main focus. Shoot straight on, leaving the camera in one location. Do not pan or move the camera. Camera should be no closer than waist up.
  • Hands and fingers must be visible
  • Ensure recording captures good quality image
  • Ensure recording equipment has the ability to capture good sound quality. Check for good balance and blend.
  • Make sure there is 1-3 seconds of silence before the beginning of the piece
  • No sound enhancements are allowed
  • When recording with a tablet or cellphone, use the landscape/horizontal mode for best results.

How To Submit Your Audition Video

  • After you have recorded your piece, watch it in playback to make sure you can be seen and the music heard.
  •  Save and name your file and upload into application
  • When uploading, be sure to upload to your computer first and verify that image is upright (not sideways) and plays smoothly.

Please do not do any of the following as it may disqualify you:

Do not edit within a piece; no effects or post performance alterations
Do not use special effects, dissolves, fades or wipes
Do not submit pre-recorded live performances, such as recitals, concerts, or competitions

What The Judges Are looking for

Improvisation - the improvisation ability to create new motifs, melodies, and rhythms that are suggested by the harmonic structure (chord progression) of the composition.
Tone Production - the ability to achieve a quality of sound appropriate to the instrument and to the style of the music
Technique - the degree to which the performer has acquired control of the instrument
Rhythm - the ability to establish, maintain, and project rhythms with a wide range of complexity
Intonation - proper tuning of the instrument and in tune playing
Interpretation - the ability to project a convincing conception of the selection
Phrasing - sensitivity to the need for phrasing and the ability to execute it


Please be sure you follow all requirements related to your application. Failure to comply with any of the requirements listed below may result in disqualification during the review process and/or make your application ineligible for an award.

Click here to open the Guidelines in another tab where a printable version is available.

For guideline or requirement questions, email us at

For technical issues please contact the Acceptd Help Desk at

Click here to start or complete your application

If your application is already open, simply click on the Acceptd tab on your computer to return to it.

Contact Us


Window & Phone Hours:

Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Window Hours:

Tuesday - Saturday 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Phone Hours:
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Phone Hours:
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