Jazz Band


Dallas Middle School Jazz Band

Audition Information for 2009-2010


All students must re-audition every year.  There is a week and a half process before individual auditions begin.  This will give students a chance to practice and prepare the music.


Auditions will be held after school the week of October 5th.  Students will play individually on sections of each song.


Monday, October 5th, 3 to 4:30 PM  ………  Flutes & clarinets

Tuesday, October 6th, 3 to 4:30 PM  ………  Guitar, Bass, trombone, baritone, French horn

Wednesday, October 7th, 3 to 4:30 PM ……  Piano & Trumpets

Thursday, October 8th, 3 to 4:30 PM  ……..  Drum Set & Saxophones


In addition to the 3 selections all the students must learn…..

v     Please learn the music in this order:  Santa Rocks the House, Now Rock, Ye Rested Gentleman and No “L” In Swing.  This order is based on easiest to hardest.  I can judge a lot from how far each student progress through the songs.

v     6th graders are to select a piece from their band book to play at their audition

v     Piano players must play a piece they have learned in their lessons.  Students must bring a copy of the music.  Page one of each jazz band song is required.

v     Mr. Piazza will NOT be judging the drum set players.  Three judges will be selected from the DMS faculty

v     Students may audition on more than one instrument.  Example:  clarinet & piano.  The students will note their first choice on the information form (page 3).

v     All saxophone players may be assigned a larger school sax (tenor sax or baritone sax) to complete the section.


The goal of the selection process is to select the best of the best.  Practicing and preparing the music to the best of your ability is the most important key!  Students that have been in jazz band please beware the audition is based on the performance of the new songs, NOT YOUR PAST PERFORMANCES.


All the songs are available as mp3 files online. Follow the steps listed below.

  1. Got to www.jwpepper.com
  2. Place your cursor on the word BAND.  A menu should open listing all the different bands.
  3. Under the Jazz Ensemble click on Christmas and Holiday music.
  4. All the jazz band Christmas/Holiday music should come up, with an alphabet across the top.
  5. Click the “S” to find Santa Rocks the House.  Depending on your computer’s, the tune will pop open and begin playing or ask you if you want to download & save.  My computer at school just pops up and begins playing.  My computer at home asks me to down load and save.  This down load and save allows me to play and keep the tune in my I-tunes program.
  6. Click the “N” to locate Now Rock, Ye Rested Gentleman and No “L” In Swing.




Dallas Middle School Jazz Band

Judging Information for 2009-2010


Not everyone will play each piece flawlessly.  I’m looking for the students that are dedicated and work hard to attempt to get it right.  It is logical that the longer you have been playing the more advanced you are.  Therefore, it makes sense that more of the older students make the band.  DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED if you do not make the jazz band.  Build your music skills this year so you are better prepared for next year.  Good Luck!!! 


If you are at this September 24th rehearsal, you have already pasted one test.  You were paying attention to the announcements.


If you were on time, ready to play by 7:05 AM.  You’ve past test number two.


There is a rehearsal next week October 1st at 7:00 AM. (More testing points)



Not all the definitions below apply for judging each instrument.


Ø      Tone Quality:  Does the student produce a full rich tone that is typical of the instrument.

Ø      Rhythmic Accuracy:  This is most critical!  Can the student keep a steady beat? Is the student playing the correct rhythm?  Does the student slow down for the harder passages?  A slow accurate tempo during the audition is much better than playing fast and sloppy.

Ø      Correct Notes:  Is the student playing all the correct notes?  Student should be very careful to look up fingerings they are not familiar with in the back of their band book, Accent on Achievement. Students may mark fingerings in their music.

Ø      Articulation:  Is the student tonguing and slurring correctly?

Ø      Dynamics:  Is the student performing the markings that tell them whether to play loud or soft?

Ø      Clarinets must be able to play over the break (the high notes).

Ø      Think of the audition as a lesson.  Are you “coachable”?  Can you fix mistakes that MR. Piazza corrects? 

Ø      General musicianship:  Does the student perform with confidence?  Does the student seem well prepared?  


The following is a rough guide for judging each category:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

Poor………..          Fair………..            Good…………       Excellent…….            Superior



Student Information for 2009-2010 Jazz Band Auditions

Please have this for signed and returned to Mr. Piazza.



Name:_________________________________     Grade: __________



Instrument: _______________________________________________

                             List all you are auditioning on in the order you wish to be placed



Do you take private lessons? ____ YES           ____NO


IF yes, name of teacher: ______________________________________


How long have you taken lessons?  _____________________________



Being selected into the Jazz Band is quite an honor.   Once you have been selected, you need to attend all the Thursday morning rehearsals.  There are rehearsals Fridays during activity period for students that are not involved in another activity or you are asked to do make up work by a teacher.  Activity period is not just an extra study hall for you to do homework, read your AR books, socialize, etc.


You may be removed from the Jazz Band for missing Thursday morning rehearsal,  staying in homeroom during activity period for no good reason and not practicing and learning the music as handed out.


Students may see Mr. Piazza to sign up for after school lessons to help them prepare for auditions.  Groups, no larger than 4, may sign up for the same time.


Times I am available…..  See Mr. Piazza for a time slot.


Monday, September 28th         3:00 PM          3:30 PM          4:00 PM


Tuesday, September 29th         3:00 PM          3:30 PM          4:00 PM


Thursday, October 1st             3:00 PM          3:30 PM          4:00 PM




Parent’s Signature:   ___________________________________________   Date:  ______________


Mr. Piazza info: 

Cell phone: 570.406.0799     Home phone: 696.1723    School email:  lpiazza@dallassd.com