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OCDA All-State High School Jazz Ensemble 2017
JANUARY 12, 13, 14, 2017
COX Convention Center, OKC, and 1st Nazarene Church, Bethany






Gingerbread Boy (See below)

Registration deadline was September 24, 2016. $15.00 per student.   Second deadline was October 1, 2016. $30.00 per student.

Auditions were at Rose State College on November 15.

Details to come upon registration.

Please contact Derek Chapin with any questions. 



2016-17 Audition Explanation

The OCDA All-State Jazz Choir audition is comprised of two parts. The first part is a prepared audition piece and the second part is improvisation over the 12 bar blues. 

The audition piece this year is called “Gingerbread Boy” (swing version).

This Jimmy Heath tune is arranged by our clinician, Jennifer Barnes, and will give our students the opportunity to sing a good swing line with some challenging intervals.

We will be singing this from beginning to end without cuts (with the exception of not honoring the repeat of letter C).

Each student will be required to offer improvisation over the changes in measures 33-44 (with one repeat), sing the background vocals at letter C (with no repeat), and then follow the “road map” to the beginning and end with the coda.

As your students begin to work on the improvisational section, remind them that they are not required to sing for 24 bars with no break. It is perfectly acceptable to take a moment after each musical thought to construct another thought.

Encourage students to listen to both instrumental and vocal examples of improvisation in order to achieve appropriate jazz style and creativity.

Please work to represent the written scat syllables as accurately as possible in this audition. Students will be judged on their use of the written syllables because those syllables were purposefully notated by our clinician. 

The 12 bar blues portion of the audition will happen in a different room than the prepared piece. Once students have finished singing their prepared piece, they will go to the improv room and sing over the blues.


Explanation of Judging Criteria

Voice quality (20) - does the voice align with jazz style (i.e. have minimal vibrato, use appropriate air/tone ration, navigate all parts of the range well, and perform all of these things in a healthful manor)?

Notes (20) - does the singer sing the correct notes?

Rhythm (20) - does the singer sing accurate rhythms?

Dynamics (10) - does the singer sing musically at both a macro and micro level (i.e. sing with correct emphasis around the swing notes, accommodate large dynamic shifts, sing each line with direction and purpose)? 

Diction (10) - does the singer sing the words and syllables written on the page? Does the singer use appropriate syllables when scatting? Does the singer use appropriate vowel shape for the vocal jazz style (i.e. have shallow space in the mouth, make much of diphthongs, and use the text to convey emotion/story)?

Intonation (10) - can the singer sing in tune? This includes fast lines, held notes, and improvisation. Are the singer’s pitch choices when improvising appropriate to the changes?

Phrasing (5) - does the singer always sing with a sense of direction? Is the direction musically appropriate and stylistically interesting? Can the singer hang groups of notes together while improvising that sounds like a musical phrase?

Jazz Style (5) - does the singer display vocal jazz ability? Does the singer improvise with a sense of ease and confidence? 




Jennifer Barnes is a popular vocalist, educator, clinician and arranger in the US and Canada, having relocated in 2011 from Los Angeles to accept a position as the Director of Vocal Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas.  She is an active vocalist in both studio and live performance settings, having appeared and sung on radio and television advertisements, and on films including “Wall-E”, “Live Free or Die Hard”, “Ice Age 2 & 3”, “Enchanted”, and “Star Trek.” Barnes has recorded her own solo jazz CD, “You Taught My Heart.”  She is the alto vocalist in the vocal quartet Vertical Voices Live (www.VerticalVoicesLive.com) alongside Kerry Marsh, Julia Dollison and Greg Jasperse; as well as singing and writing for the a cappella vocal sextet, Sixth Wave, whose most recent CD release, "Happy Madness,” has been well received. 
Barnes has directed award-winning vocal jazz ensembles, and taught privately at seven universities, She served as a guest conductor for District and All-State Music Festivals in twelve states, taught jazz vocals at the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps since 1998, and her numerous vocal arrangements are published by both Sound Music Publications and UNC Jazz Press.
Barnes is a member of the American Society of Composers, Arrangers and Publishers (ASCAP), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Jazz Education Network (JEN).   She holds the Master of Music degree in Studio Music and Jazz Performance from the University of Miami (FL) and the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Western Michigan University.

Derek Chapin, CHAIR: Contact info in Directory.



LINK to STUDENT entry form for Jazz Auditions) (POSTED FOR 2016-2017)

Download Jazz Chorus Audition Application (MS Word)(Posted for 2017)


Download list of previous Jazz Ensemble Selections (PDF format)

Download pdf (fillable form) to order All-State Rehearsal CDs