All-State Jazz Ensemble

Audition Workshop


Presented by 

Charleston Jazz Academy

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022

9:00am-12 noon

$25.00 per student


The All-State Jazz Audition Workshop is designed to prepare students for the coming All-State Jazz band auditions in January. Many deserving students, when faced with the challenging format of the audition process, underperform when they know they could do much better. Our audition experts will help prepare all students by providing strategies for audition success!


Our workshop is designed to prepare all students at every level of jazz experience. For students who are auditioning for the first time or have auditioned in the past and didn’t do well, the All-State Jazz Audition workshop will improve their performance. If a student has earned a seat in the All State Jazz Ensemble in the past and want to make sure they get back in, this workshop will make a difference!


This intensive, three-hour workshop will cover topics, such as:

  • Understanding the audition format and how to mentally prepare for each requirement
  • Proper breathing (even drummers need this!) and how it makes a difference
  • How to prepare and perform the required scales as well as the chromatic
  • Performing the solo is more than notes and rhythms. Style counts! Learn how to rise above the pack!
  • SIGHT READING! How to overcome your fear and boost your score (see below)
  • IMPROVISATION! Build confidence while learning tips and tricks to improve your improv!

A major portion of the workshop is about how to prepare for sight reading and improvisation.  There is a misconception about how to “practice” sight reading.  We will show students proven strategies on how to prepare to have a better sight-reading score and a less stressful experience in this important part of the audition. 

For the improvisation clinic, you will learn easy tips and tricks to avoid “getting stuck” while doing your improv solo. We will also show you how to “transcribe” (or borrow ideas from) an artist’s solo for you to use when constructing your own improv.


The workshop schedule is as follows:

9:00—Introduction to the audition process- “How to Play the Game”

  • Mental preparation is important!
  • You directly control most of the audition result. How?
  • Sight Reading should not be the enemy. 
  • Forgive yourself!

10:00- Instrument-specific sessions—

  • Trumpets/trombones
  • Saxes  
  • Bass/guitar/piano /vibes
  • Drum set 

These sessions will cover strategies specific to your instrument and your level!


11:00- Sight Reading and Improvisation Strategies for Success!

  • Common errors when approaching this part of the audition
  • Mental preparation
  • “Practice before playing”- how to do it
  • Ideas to start your improvisation solo
  • Sight reading examples and YouTube links for improvisation will be shared for you to practice with
  • “You Be the Judge!” - Mock audition to review the format


What to bring: Your instrument, audition solo and any related audition materials you may have.

What you will receive: Students attending the workshop will receive practice materials, a copy of the audition scoresheets, and more!  There will be an optional practice audition weekend before the official audition so you can get ready for the real thing!