If you are a talented musician and passionate about jazz, we would love to have you! We hold auditions each September at the university while MDs are auditioned towards the end of each academic year.  

How do I sign up?

We hold auditions every September. To sign up for an audition, come and find us at our stall in the Freshers week Bunfight, or you can alternatively email sujo@soton.ac.uk and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.

How experienced should I be?

  • Generally, we expect a standard of grade 6 or above and some prior experience playing jazz (although neither of these are requirements).

How will the auditions work?

The auditions will all follow roughly the same structure and last around 5-10 mins but each part of the band has its own variation:

  • Horns will need to play the head of a jazz standard through once and then play a short improvisation over the chords. There will then be some sight-reading from one of the pieces the band will play over the year. If you would like to lead your section, there may be an additional piece of sight-reading and possibly a range test.
  • Vocalists will also sing the a standard (from the vocals list) and do a little improvisation. This might then be followed by another chart but this is time dependent. In order to gauge what pieces are suitable for you, there may also be a range test.
  • Keys and guitar players will be asked to play the head of chart before soloing and finally comping behind another band member. As before, there will be some sight-reading also.
  • Bassists and drummers will need to walk / keep time through the head before soloing and then once again playing behind another band member before sight-reading too.

Worried about improvisation? Don’t stress! Although we encourage everyone to have a go in a friendly environment in order to improve through the year, no one is obliged to. You will, however, need to give it a shot in your audition.

In the auditions themselves, we will ask you to pick a piece from a small selection of charts which are all in the realbook. Need a copy? Rather than forking out for a paper copy, a free pdf is available here.

If you have any questions about the band or the auditions, just email us and someone will aim to respond to you as soon as possible. Sign up at the bunfight in September – see you then! If you don’t manage to sign up then do contact us for a slot!