Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Join the Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music currently has two vocal jazz ensembles.  VJE I and IUnison (VJE II) is directed by Ly Wilder. Membership in the IU Vocal Jazz Ensembles is open to ANY IU student (by audition), regardless of major.   Auditions  take place in the fall, at the start of the school year.  The vocal jazz ensembles serve as the major choral ensemble and is required for jazz voice majors at IU (at both  the undergraduate and graduate levels).

Vocal jazz auditions for singers for this coming year (2014-15) are held in MA 161. Sign up for an audition slot at that time:

  • Wed. Aug 20, 3:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Thurs. Aug 21, 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Fri. Aug. 22, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Auditions will consist of:

  • Perform  1 or 2 songs of your choice. Please try to provide your own accompanist.
  • Sight reading
  • Aural retention

The 24 hour piece.  This is a piece of music that the auditionee picks up 24 hours before their audition and performs to the best of their ability at their audition. Pick up your 24 hour piece in MA 161, 24 hours before your audition.

Students do one audition for vocal jazz ensembles and  they will be placed in VJE I or II, if they are selected to participate in one of the ensembles.

Sign up for an audition online here >

Final results will be posted on the door of MA161 no later than Sunday, August 24 and rehearsals begin the first day of classes, Monday Aug. 25.


What happens in my IU vocal jazz ensemble audition?

Fill out the audition information form (which you can download from our web page, or pick up outside of MA 161) prior to your audition. Your audition will be painless (and hopefully fun!). Try to have two (contrasting) songs prepared, and bring a good chart for your accompanist. It would be great if you scatted on one of your selections, but if not, we will hear you scat separately.  It is unlikely that you will sing all of both of your selections, so show us your best singing right away! You will be asked to sight read a solo line. (You can’t prepare for this). You’ll be given a few seconds to look at the line, then given the first pitch and asked to sing straight through without stopping.  You will be asked to perform the 24 Hour Piece, a cappella. You may pick up this piece 24 hours PRIOR to your audition, and then do your best to learn the excerpt and perform it to the best of your ability at your audition. You will be given the first pitch of the 24 Hour Piece, and then asked to perform it a cappella. You will have the option of singing into a microphone, or not. All of this will happen in 10 minutes or less, and you will leave your audition smiling!!

Do I need to provide my own accompanist?

It is preferable for you to provide your own accompaniment  for your audition. You may bring an accompanist, accompany yourself (a piano will be provided, but you have to bring your own instrument if accompanying yourself on guitar, etc). You may also bring an iPod with your own pre-recorded accompaniment to sing to, or, as a last resort, you may bring sheet music (lead sheets) and we will provide an accompanist, though there will be no time for rehearsal.

Who can audition for the IU Vocal Jazz Ensembles?

Auditions for all vocal jazz ensembles are open to any currently enrolled IU student, regardless of major. Participation in our vocal jazz ensembles is REQUIRED for our jazz voice majors, and it fulfills your major ensemble requirement. All other members of the ensembles register as an elective course.

When and where can I sign up?

Sign up online now for your preferred audition time and date here >

What do I need to bring to my audition, and when should I arrive?

Please come to MA 404 at least ten minutes PRIOR to your audition time! This will allow you time to gather your thoughts and give you time to fill out your audition form (if you have not done so already!). Also, bring your sheet music for your accompanist, or your iPod, and  your best attitude!

When do the vocal jazz ensembles rehearse?

VJE I  Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 – 7 and Tuesday  and Thursday from 5-6

IUnison  Monday and Wednesday from 12:20 – 2:15

Is there a separate audition for each of the vocal jazz ensembles? 

No! You only audition once and we will place people in the ensembles. If you have any potential class or concert performance conflicts, we need to know at the time of your audition.

Do I have to register for the ensemble, if I am selected?  

Yes!  Our vocal jazz ensembles are a class at IU, and you are required to register. The good news is that this is a FREE credit!

When is the first day of rehearsals?

Ensembles will begin rehearsing either on Monday, August 25 or Tuesday, August 26, whichever day falls first in each ensemble’s rehearsal schedule.

Do I have to re-audition at the semester?  

NO!  If you are selected to be in our vocal jazz ensembles, it is expected that you are committed for two semesters (the entire academic year).  Participation in VJE I is required for two semesters.  If there are openings for IUnison at the semester, we will hold auditions to fill those positions

What are the concert dates for 2014-15?

At this point the confirmed (mandatory) performance dates are:

Wednesday Oct 15, 4:30 p.m.  Boys and Girls Club of Elletsville

Monday November 10, 8 p.m.  Auer Hall Fall Concert , VJE I and IUnison (with guest artist Janis Siegel from The Manhattan Transfer)

Saturday Dec 6, 2 and 7:30 p.m., IU Auditorium, Chimes of Christmas  (VJE I)

Monday, April 20, 2015 8:00 p.m.  Auer Hall,  Spring Concert (VJE I and IUnison)

There will most likely be other dates and performances for both ensembles that will be posted as soon as they are confirmed.