Welcome to the Department of Music

Music Faculty and Staff

(Left to right) Wayne Kirby, Toby King, Brian Felix, Pamela Miller, Matthew Richmond, Fletcher Peacock, Melodie Galloway, Christine Boone, Bill Bares and Jude Weinberg.



UNC Asheville Jazz and Contemporary Music
Ensemble Audition Information Fall 2018
Auditions will be on Thursday 8/23/18 at 4:30 pm
Location: Lipinsky 018

There are currently eight confirmed jazz & contemporary ensembles for the Fall 2018 term:

1) Jazz Band - MUSC 122.001 - Time TBD - Steve Alford, director
2) X-Tet - MUSC 129.001 - Time TBD -  Jacob Rodriguez, director
3) Beatles|Jazz Ensemble - MUSC 129.002 -  Time TBD - Brian Felix, director
4) All Blues Ensemble  - MUSC 129.003 - Time TBD - Justin Ray, director
5) Bluegrass Ensemble - MUSC 129.004 - Time TBD - Toby King, director
6) Afro-Percussion Ensemble - MUSC 129.005 - Time TBD - Toby King, director with guest teacher Adama Dembele
7) Contemporary Guitar Ensemble - MUSC 129.006 - Time TBD - Tim Doyle, director
8) The “Others” Ensemble - MUSC 129.007 — Time TBD - Steve Alford, director

We will be holding open auditions for placement in the ensembles listed above. For specific information regarding each ensemble please see the descriptions below. In order to audition, please sign up for a time slot on the sheet posted on 117 Lipinsky. The sheet will be posted by Monday 8/20/18.

Ensemble audition requirements:

Jazz Instrumentalists and Vocalists (except drummers):
1) A jazz blues - with a head and at least 2 choruses of improvisation (can be any head, ie. Straight No Chaser or Billie’s Bounce).
2) Any standard of your choosing including the head and at least 2 choruses of improvisation. (Note: If you are interested in a particular combo, please choose a piece that demonstrates your playing in that style.)
3) Sight reading – you may be asked to sight read a lead sheet.

1) Display competency in a variety of styles (jazz swing, jazz ballad, funk, bossa, samba, rock) Note: If you are interested in a particular combo, please choose a piece that demonstrates your playing in that style.
2) Sight reading

1) Please come to the audition with your schedule for the current semester and be prepared to accurately assess your availability for the different groups.
2) Please bring two additional copies of charts for the tunes you select for your audition.

Ensemble Descriptions and Specific Requirements

1) Large Jazz Ensemble -  This ensemble will play traditional big band music from the 1920s, 30s and 40s to today’s contemporary works. We encourage all interested to audition for this ensemble. Please note that you do not necessarily need to improvise solos in this group. As such, classically oriented instrumentalists who want to gain a bit of jazz experience are encouraged to audition. For audition info, see general audition requirements for jazz instrumentalists, listed above, or contact Mr. Steve Alford (salford2@unca.edu) with any questions.

2) X-Tet - This is our flagship ensemble and will perform several concerts and functions at UNCA and in the greater WNC area.  Members of this group receive a scholarship for their participation in the group. See general audition requirements for instrumentalists, listed above. Please contact Mr. Jacob Rodriguez (jrodnyc@gmail.com) with any questions.

3) Beatles|Jazz Ensemble - This ensemble will play original jazz and contemporary arrangements of songs by the Beatles. Students will focus on creating arrangements and exploring various improvisational approaches within the framework of the Beatles songbook. Please see the general ensemble audition requirements, listed above. It is possible, though not required, for students to play an original arrangement of a Beatles tune as part of the audition. Please contact Dr. Brian Felix (bfelix@unca.edu) with any questions.

4) All Blues Ensemble - The full title of this ensemble is “All Blues: Exploring Blues Forms In Jazz from Louis Armstrong to Kurt Rosenwinkel.” Please follow the general audition requirements, listed above. Please contact Justin Ray (jkray75@gmail.com) with any questions.

5) Bluegrass Ensemble - If you are auditioning for the bluegrass sextet, please prepare two contrasting songs from either the bluegrass repertoire, or a related tradition (folk, old-time, Celtic, blues, Texas swing, etc…), and perform them to the best of your ability.   In the ensemble, you should be prepared to play one or more of the following six instruments:  fiddle (violin), flat-top acoustic guitar, flat-backed mandolin, 5-string banjo (three-finger style, with picks), bass, or Dobro.  In this ensemble, all vocalists must also play an instrument, and all instrumentalists should be prepared to sing.  Note: the larger bluegrass ensemble will be offered during Fall terms.  Please contact Dr. Toby King (jking6@unca.edu) with any questions.

6) Afro-Percussion Ensemble - Toby King, Adama Dembele, directors
This ensemble will introduce students to West African percussion practices, performed primarily on djembe.  Local percussionist Adama Dembele will be sharing his expertise, leading us through a varied repertoire that demonstrates the crucial role of melodic contour and phrasing has in these deeply historical traditions.  Auditioners should demonstrate basic polyrhythmic facility on any percussion instrument. 

7) Contemporary Guitar Ensemble - This ensemble will develop repertoire and approaches for guitar ensemble. All ensemble members will use acoustic guitars (steel string prefered) with a pick. Those auditioning will be asked to demonstrate confident facility on the guitar in both left and right hands. For more information contact Mr. Tim Doyle (tdoyle@unca.edu).

8) The “Others” Ensemble - Interrelating entry level training on piano, bass and drums for all music students, regardless of their primary instrument, to accelerate multi-level listening/interaction. This ensemble provides a necessary foundation for advanced harmonic and rhythmic study, and will included basic multimedia exploration and simple video and audio production to introduce students to skills needed for creating an online artistic personae and presence. For more information, watch the video overview by clicking the following link (https://drive.google.com/open?id=17qsE-3nLSnXaXAzRwNMhYMYeW5VyaXgy) or by contacting ensemble director Steve Alford at salford2@unca.edu.