Littlebird Auditions

Littlebirds is entering its 35th  year and is proudly sponsored by the Edmonton Jazz Society. Past participants who went on to become professional musicians include Don Berner, Jim Brenan, Craig Brenan, Doug Berner, Jerrold Dubyk, Audrey Ochoa, Leah Johnson, Rubin de Toledo, Efa Etoroma, and many more. 

You must be between 11 and 21 years of age. If you are attending Junior High or High School, you must also be a member of your school band program, if it has one. Attendance at rehearsals is mandatory unless a player has good reason to be absent. Players who miss more than three rehearsals may be asked to resign from the band. Players are responsible for all music and materials furnished to them by the Littlebirds. All players are required to take an active role in selling tickets to their own performances. All rehearsals are at the Yardbird Suite. 

In-person Auditions

  • Auditions are open to the following instruments: saxophone (alto, tenor, bari), trumpet, trombone, drums, bass (upright and electric), guitar, piano, and voice.  
  • All auditions are intended to be low-stress and brief (~5 minutes). 

Early Auditions

  • Early auditions are open for all bands on June 2nd, from 10 AM to 4 PM.
  • No appointment is necessary; arrive when convenient for you. Please allow 20-30 minutes for your audition. 

Late Auditions

If you miss the early audition, we will be having a second round of auditions for all bands on September 15th, 10 AM to 4 PM.

Video Auditions

You can submit a video audition to littlebirdsdirector@gmail.com by 4 PM of either of the audition dates listed above. 

Audition requirements

Horns (saxophone, trumpet, trombone):  Play two major scales of your choice, one or two octaves. Perform a short musical excerpt of a prepared piece chosen by the student in any musical style. You will be asked to sight read a short excerpt

Guitar/Piano/Bass: Play two major scales of your choice, two octaves (2 hands for pianists). Perform a short musical excerpt of a prepared piece chosen by the student in any musical style. Please “comp” two choruses to the blues in Bb and one chorus of a jazz standard of your choice (such as Satin Doll, Take the A Train, It Don’t Mean A Thing, All of Me, etc.). This can be with virtual accompaniment (iRealPro or play-along track). You will also be asked to sight read a short excerpt

Drums: Play along to one track of music of your choice from any style. You will be asked to sight read a short excerpt

Be prepared to demonstrate as many of the following styles as you can play

  • Medium Swing (sticks), qtr note = 120 bpm
  • Up tempo Swing (sticks), qtr note = 240bpm
  • Bossa Nova (sticks), qtr note = 120 bpm
  • Samba (sticks), half note = 110 bpm
  • Medium Swing (brushes), qtr = 120 bpm
  • Fast Swing (brushes), qtr note = 240bpm
  • Ballad (brushes), qtr note = 80bpm
  • Jazz Waltz (brushes), qtr note = 144 bpm
  • Boogaloo (sticks), qtr note = 144 bpm
  • Funk (sticks), qtr note = 75 bpm
  • Cha-Cha-Cha, 3-2 and 2-3 son clave (sticks), qtr note = 120 bpm
  • Mambo, 3-2 and 2-3 son clave (sticks), qtr note = 240 bpm
  • Afro Cuban 6/8 (sticks), dotted qtr = 120 bpm

Vocalists: Sing the head to one jazz standard of your choice with a virtual play-along (iRealPro or karaoke track)

Jazz Combo Auditions

Horns (saxophone, trumpet, trombone):  As for senior big band, and you will be asked to improvise over two choruses of 12 bars of the blues in Bb. This can be with virtual accompaniment (iRealPro or a play-along track)

Guitar/Piano/Bass/Drums: As for senior big band

Horns (saxophone, trumpet, trombone):  Play two major scales of your choice, one or two octaves. Perform a short musical excerpt of a prepared piece chosen by the student in any musical style. You will be asked to sight read a short excerpt.

Guitar/Piano/Bass: Play two major scales of your choice, two octaves (2 hands for pianists). Perform a short musical excerpt of a prepared piece chosen by the student in any musical style.

Drums: Play along to one track of music of your choice from any style. You will be asked to sight read a short excerpt. Be prepared to demonstrate as many of the following styles as you can play:

  • Medium Swing (sticks), qtr note = 120 bpm
  • Up tempo Swing (sticks), qtr note = 240bpm
  • Bossa Nova (sticks), qtr note = 120 bpm
  • Medium Swing (brushes), qtr = 120 bpm
  • Fast Swing (brushes), qtr note = 240bpm
  • Ballad (brushes), qtr note = 80bpm
  • Jazz Waltz (brushes), qtr note = 144 bpm
  • Boogaloo (sticks), qtr note = 144 bpm
  • Funk (sticks), qtr note = 75 bpm

Fees 

For those who are successful, the annual non-refundable membership fee for the big band and combo is $450 for the year. A deposit of 50% ($225) is required upon successful acceptance into the program, payable at the first rehearsal in October.