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). 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 (2015-16) are held in MA 163. Sign up to audition slot on Friday Aug. 21, 2:00 - 5:30 pm here:


Auditions will consist of the following:

  • Perform 1 or 2 contrasting songs of your choice. Although you may sing music of your choice, it is preferred that you choose songs from the Great American Songbook (songs composed by writers such as Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Hoagie Carmichael, and others.) .Please try to provide your own accompanist.
  • Sight reading - You will be asked to demonstrate your sight-reading skills. You will be given a piece of music and allow a few moments to study it before singing. Once you are given your pitch, you will read it without stopping.

  • Vocal Improvisation - You will be asked to scat on one of your selections, or a 12-bar blues. It is unlikely that you will sing all of both of your selections, so show us your best singing right away!

  • Aural retention - You will be asked to sing simple melodic phrases and intervals that will be played for you.

  • The 24 hour piece. This is a piece of music that the auditionee picks up 24 hours before their audition. They will be asked to sing a selected portion and performs to the best of their ability at their audition. Pick up your 24 hour piece and your audition form in MA 404, 24 hours before your audition (THURSDAY, AFTER 1:00).



What happens in my IU vocal jazz ensemble audition? and other reminders

  • Bring completed audition information form and your "24 hour" piece (which you can pick up outside of MA 404 on Thursday).

  • Students need only do one audition for the vocal jazz ensembles. If selected the auditionee will be placed in VJE I or IUnison.

  • Final results will be posted on the door of MA163 no later than Sunday, August 23. Rehearsals will begin the first day of classes, Monday, August 24.

  • You will be asked to sing on microphone.
  • The audition will take approximately 10 minutes.
  • Accompanist - You may bring an accompanist or accompany yourself (a piano will be provided, but you have to bring your own instrument if accompanying yourself on guitar, etc). You may also use an IPod with pre-recorded accompaniment. Please bring sheet music (lead sheets) so if we have an accompanist available, they will have music. Obviously, there will not be time for rehearsal.

  • Class registration - The vocal jazz ensembles are considered a class and you are required to register. The good news is that this is a FREE credit!

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 do the ensembles rehearse?

Vocal Jazz Ensemble 1:
Monday and Wednesday, 12:20 - 1:20 pm in MA 404
Tuesday and Thursday, 12:20 - 1:50 pm in MA 161

IUnison (Vocal Jazz Ensemble II):
Monday and Wednesday, 1:20 - 2:15 in MA 404
Tuesday and Thursday, 4:30 - 5:30 pm in MA 161

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.

CONCERT and OTHER DATES for 2015-16? At this point the confirmed (mandatory) performance dates are:

Saturday/Sunday - September 26 & 27, ALL DAY - FALL RETREAT

Thursday November 12, 8 p.m. Auer Hall Fall Concert , VJE I and IUnison
(with guest artist Darmon Meader from New York Voices)

Saturday December 5, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., IU Auditorium, Chimes of Christmas (VJE I & IUnison)

Monday, April 18, 2015 8:00 p.m. Auer Hall, Spring Concert (VJE I and IUnison)
Other dates will be posted and the group will be given plenty of notice to be certain it is confirmed on everyone’s calendar.