2014-2015 Jazz Band Auditions

All auditions this year will occur via SmartMusic. This post will provide you with a wealth of resources to prepare for the audition. Use everything at your disposal to make sure you submit the best possible material. Materials are due by Friday, October 17. Make sure you sign up on the Interest Sheet posted at either Centennial or Northview.

To complete the audition you will need to be “enrolled” at Ankeny Centennial High School, Ankeny in the course Jazz Collective. To do this:

  1. Login to SmartMusic using your StudentID@students.ankenyschools.org e-mail address. If you’ve forgotten your password, a band director can help you.
  2. If Jazz Collective does not show up under your courses, click My Account.
  3. Under My School, make sure Ankeny Centennial High School, Ankeny is displayed. You can have multiple schools displayed here. SmartMusic appears to have created two different schools named Ankeny Centennial High School, Ankeny. You may need both added.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Click My Home in the upper left-hand corner.
  6. Click Enroll.
  7. Click the Enroll button next to Jazz Collective.

You should now see the audition assignments listed. If you are having troubles, contact Mr. Hable immediately.

There are three components to the audition:

  • Excerpt from Sammy Nestico’s Switch in Time (Beginning through 1st Measure of Letter D)
  • Concert Bb, Eb, and F Major 9 Scales
  • Improvisation over 2 choruses of Concert Bb or F Blues (optional)

To be considered for Jazz Collective, you must submit recordings for the Melody and 3 Major 9 Scales. Improvisation is optional and can only help your audition, not hurt it. You may adjust the tempo of any of the components, but this will be taken into consideration.

We are looking for the following instrumentation:

Jazz Collective – Hable Jazz Studio – Hook
4-5 Trumpets (1 Flute*) Trumpets (Flute*)
4-5 Trombones Trombones
2 Alto Saxes Alto Saxes
2 Tenor Saxes Tenor Saxes
1-2 Bari Saxes Bari Saxes
1 Bass Bass
1 Piano Piano
1 Guitar* Guitar
1 Drum Set Drum Set
1 Vibes/Aux Perc* Vibes/Aux Perc*
*at Director’s discretion
Jazz Collective will take the top 5-6 saxes regardless of auditioned instrument.

You will be evaluated on:

  • Tone Quality & Intonation
  • Style
  • Articulation
  • Rhythm
  • Expression
  • Improvisation (can only help your audition, not hurt it)


  • Jazz Collective: Monday & Thursday 7a-8a, Tuesday 7p-9p
  • Jazz Studio: Tuesday & Friday 7a-8a

Both Jazz Bands will perform at a variety of events including:

  • Friday, December 5 – Pep Band vs. DM East, 5:30p-9:30p
  • Friday, January 16 – Pep Band vs. Marshalltown, 5:30p-9:30p
  • Friday, January 23 – Pep Band vs. Ankeny, 5:30p-9:30p
  • Friday, January 30 – Pep Band vs. SE Polk, 5:30p-9:30p
  • Saturday, January 31 – Jazz-O-Rama @ ACHS, ALL DAY
  • Friday, February 6 – Pep Band vs. Waukee, 5:30p-9:30p
  • Saturday, February 7 – Urbandale Jazz Colloquium, ALL DAY
  • Saturday, March 7 – Hoover Jazz Festival, ALL DAY
  • Saturday, March 28 – Centennial Swings @ ACHS, 6:00p-9:00p
  • Tuesday, April 13 – Jazz Residency @ ACHS, 7:00p-9:00p

Jazz Collective will also perform at the following events:

  • Thursday, December 11 – 7th Grade Band Concert @ PR, 6:30p-7:00p
  • Monday, January 26 – Des Moines Big Band @ El Palaccio, 6:00p-9:30p
  • Friday, March 6 – Spring Show Choir Show @ ACHS, 7:00p-8:00p
  • Friday, April 17 – Senior Prom @ NV, 4:30p-6:30p
  • Possible Performance for Swing Club TBD


Audio Recording Switch in Time
by Count Basie and His Orchestra
from Straight Ahead
Improvisation Concert Bb Blues Concert F Blues
Alto Sax 1 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Alto Sax 2 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Tenor Sax 1 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Tenor Sax 2 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Bari Sax Excerpt Scales & Improv
Flute Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trumpet 1 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trumpet 2 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trumpet 3 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trumpet 4 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trombone 1 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trombone 2 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trombone 3 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Trombone 4 Excerpt Scales & Improv
Guitar Excerpt Scales & Improv
Piano Excerpt Scales & Improv
Bass Excerpt Scales & Improv
Drums Excerpt Scales & Improv

Switch in Time is a very popular tune. There are likely many other recordings, YouTube videos and other resources that can help you mimic the style of the Basie band for your audition. Go digging!

This entry was posted in ACHS News. Bookmark the permalink.