The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Graduate Audition Requirements- Jazz Composition/Arranging


Graduate applicants in Jazz Composition and Arranging are not required to audition, but are encouraged to do so. While the portfolio is the primary focal point of the Composition/Arranging application and subsequent degree, a sample CD or live audition of the applicant's performing abilities is encouraged, as is the participation in large and small jazz ensembles while pursuing the Masters degree. A particular performing strength can sometimes compensate for a smaller writing portfolio as an initial foray into the Masters in Jazz Composition/Arranging.



Submit a portfolio of at least 4 selections that are varied in style and/or instrumentation in the Jazz and Contemporary music genres. Please provide scores and/or lead sheets with an accompanying CD, and identify your playing on the CD as well if applicable. It is recognized that writing backgrounds vary.

A playing audition is not required for the writing program. However, if an applicant would like the opportunity, then an audition can be scheduled, preferably on the Department's audition dates, or by arrangement with Professor Holmes. A CD is acceptable as well (see writing criteria above).

Insight into an applicant's playing aptitude can help foresee participation in ensembles and potential Teaching Assistantship (TA) duties.

Further questions can be addressed to Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes, Director, Jazz & African-American Music Studies,

Ensemble auditions are always required for placement in Departmental ensembles. Graduate jazz applicants should contact Program Director & Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes,, (413) 545-6046, for additional details about the program and audition information.