We are excited to provide information for you regarding auditions and participation for the McLean Jazz program this year! Jazz is a fun and challenging genre of music to learn, so consider auditioning and joining one of our groups! Our groups perform at a number of local concerts each year, a couple competitions, the spring trip with the bands, and in the club Jammin’ Java at the end of the year.
NO JAZZ EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! WE HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYONE! Techniques taught in these ensembles range from beginning to advanced jazz studies, so even if you have no experience in jazz, now is the time to get started! If you don’t play a “typical” jazz instrument, no worries - we can make anything work. Let’s see some jazz bassoons, tubas, and euphonium players! We are also always looking for piano, guitar, and vocalists, so if you know people who are not in the band program, but are interested in joining, please pass this info along to them. We would really like to make the Jazz Lab Band more inclusive of high school students this year, so come join if you are interested.
We have two large jazz ensembles that we run here - Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band.
Students are placed into this group by audition. Students in the class must also be enrolled in either the Symphonic Band, Percussion Techniques, or have permission from Mr.Weise. Students must also be enrolled in a Band Class that meets during the school day if they play a Band instrument. This class meets after school hours only. Beginning to advanced jazz ensemble literature and techniques will be explored. There will also be an introduction to improvisation for all students. This class is graded, goes on your transcript as an 8th period, and does not take time from your daily school day schedule. This class will meet approximately 4-5 hours per week, just like any other class that happens during the school day. Therefore, attendance is required at all rehearsals. Please plan your extracurricular activities, lessons, and sports schedule accordingly.
Jazz Lab Band:
Students are placed into this group by audition. Beginning to intermediate jazz ensemble literature and techniques will be explored. There will also be an introduction to improvisation for all students. This ensemble is meant to serve as a training group for students to gain experience in order to move into the advanced Jazz Ensemble during their time in high school. This ensemble does not receive course credit, as there is only one rehearsal per week. This group will be made up of high school students, with instrumentation supplemented by middle school students as approved by Mr. Zimmerman.
Other Jazz Ensembles and Opportunities:
Jazz Combo - The Jazz Combo is a smaller ensemble, focussed primarily on improvisation. It is intended for more advanced students and is great for students who are self-driven to expand their knowledge of jazz and improvisation.
Jazz Saxophone Quartet - The Jazz Saxophone Quartet is a chamber group for saxophonists intended to give students an opportunity to learn about the jazz style in a chamber group setting. The music in the group will be challenging, require a lot of musical independence, and will include improvisation.