Department of Woodwinds

Saxophone Area

Saxophone Audition Requirements

Note: a screening recording is required for all auditioning saxophonists. See below for details.

Bachelor of Music in Performance
Bachelor of Music Education
Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field
Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (Jazz Studies Emphasis)
Master of Music in Jazz Studies
Master of Music in Performance
Performer Diploma
Doctor of Music in Performance
Multiple Woodwinds (BM/MM/DM)

Along with the application to the Jacobs School of Music, all applicants in saxophone must submit a screening recording to the Office of Music Admissions. Screening recordings must be received no later than December 1, 2010.  We encourage you to apply as early as possible and cannot guarantee that recordings which arrive after the December 1 deadline will be heard by committee or considered for advancement in the admission process.

All recordings must be CD (the preferred format) or DVD. Label the recording clearly with your name and the degree you are seeking All saxophonists must label their recording “screening” if they wish to be considered for an on-campus audition.  Be certain that the recording is of high quality, and check to see that it is playable before sending it.  Your recording should be produced without any artificial enhancement such as echo or electronic reverb.  If you are unable to come to campus for any of our audition weekends, please label your recording “final audition.”

Applicants may audition on soprano, alto, tenor or baritone saxophone.

Repertoire/Scales: Applicants should prepare the repertoire listed below for the screening or final recording. Repertoire for invited on-campus auditions is the same. Scales: on the recording, please include a representative sampling of the scales requested.

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Bachelor of Music in Performance (screening recording due December 1)

  • Two etudes (one lyrical, one technical) and one complete work from the standard repertoire (such as a work by Creston, Glazounov, Heiden, Ibert, Maurice, etc.).
  • Scales full range: chromatic scale, all major and minor (harmonic, melodic) scales, and triad arpeggios (major and minor) full range. 

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Bachelor of Music Education
Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field
(screening recording due December 1)

  • Two contrasting movements (lyrical and technical) from standard works. An etude may be substituted for one of the movements.
  • Full range scales: chromatic scale, all major and minor (harmonic, melodic) scales, and triad arpeggios (major and minor) full range.

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Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (Jazz Studies Emphasis) (screening recording due December 1)

  • Classical repertoire: Two contrasting movements (lyrical and technical) from standard works (such as Creston, Glazounov, Heiden, Ibert, Maurice, etc.). An etude may be substituted for one of the movements.
  • Jazz repertoire: Play the melody and improvise on three tunes from memory: a blues, a tune selected from the list below, and one additional tune that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad.

Required audition repertoire (select one):

All Things You Are                           Joy Spring
Groovin' High                                  Confirmation
Half Nelson                                    On Green Dolphin Street
Stella by Starlight                           Have You Met Miss Jones?
What Is This Thing Called Love?         There Will Never Be Another You 

  • Scales full range: major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes).
  • Note: If invited to audition in person, auditionees will play two audition events, one for the saxophone faculty (all material--classical and jazz) and one for members of the Jazz Studies faculty (jazz material only).
  • Auditionees may be asked to sight-read chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts.

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Master of Music in Jazz Studies (screening recording due
December 1)

  • Play the melody and improvise from memory on the chord changes of one tune from each of the following three lists.
    • Bebop tunes: Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Confirmation, Donna Lee, Joy Spring, Stablemates.
    • Standard tunes: All The Things You Are, Stella By Starlight, What Is  This Thing Called Love?, Star Eyes, Alone Together, There Will Never Be Another You, Have You Met Miss Jones?, On Green Dolphin Street
    • Post-bop tunes: Giant Steps, Moment's Notice, Bolivia, Inner Urge, Dolphin Dance, Moontrane.
    • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes).
    • Note: If invited to audition in person, auditionees will play two audition events, one for the saxophone faculty and one for members of the Jazz Studies faculty.
    • Auditionees may be asked to sight-read chord changes and typical jazz ensembles parts.

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Master of Music in Performance
Performer Diploma
Doctor of Music in Performance*
(screening recording due December 1)

  • At least three major works of contrasting style, including at least one selection from the standard repertoire (such as a work by Creston, Glazounov, Heiden, Ibert, Maurice, etc.).
  • Full range scales and arpeggios: chromatic scale, and all major, minor (harmonic, melodic), diminished, and whole tone scales, and arpeggios (major, minor, augmented, and diminished-seventh).

*If invited for an in-person Doctor of Music audition: as part of the 20 minute audition students are expected to perform with piano selected movements totaling 15 minutes from two contrasting works. A pianist will be provided.