Monterey County Honor Ensembles

Each year, Monterey Jazz Festival selects top students from across Monterey County to participate in middle and high school big bands, and a vocal ensemble. Led by MJF Education Director Paul Contos (High School All-Star Band) and renowned educator Dr. Rob Klevan (Honor Vocal and Middle School Band) and Mrs. Janice Perl (Honor Vocal), each all-star ensemble rehearses twice monthly (daily at MJF's annual Summer Camp) while working on ensemble skills--includes phrasing, blending, improvisation and rhythmic feel, while exploring a range of jazz styles. The MJF High School All-Stars also perform across Monterey County, at the Next Generation Jazz Festival, and far beyond, testing their chops on the bandstand while bringing great music to the community. In summer 2015, the high school ensembles traveled to Washington D.C., where they performed at the Kennedy Center, the National Archives, and the Bohemian Caverns jazz club.

MJF High School All-Stars Auditions

October 24 & 25, 2018
4-8 PM
York School Music Room
9501 York Rd., Monterey, CA ​

MJF High School Vocal Ensemble Auditions

October 24, 2018
4-8 PM
York School Music Room
9501 York Rd., Monterey, CA ​

Sign Up for High School Auditions

Download High School Instrumental Materials

Download High School Honor Vocal Materials

Saxophones: alto, tenor, baritone
Brass: trumpet, trombone
Rhythm Section: piano, guitar, bass, drums
Vocal Jazz Ensemble: sopranos, alto, tenors, baritones/basses

Instrumental and Vocal students auditioning need to be a participant/member in their high school ensembles or vocal ensemble/choir.

Wind Instrument Requirements (saxophones, brass):

  1. Play just the melody to “Bouncin’ With Bud” by Bud Powell unaccompanied; medium tempo.
    Demonstrate: tone quality, jazz time, jazz and swing sense of phrasing, familiarity with your instrument.
  2. Play the melody, then improvise at least 2 choruses of 12-bar blues in key of Bb concert to “Tenor Madness” by Sonny Rollins. Accompaniment will be provided.
  3. Sight-read a short excerpt from a typical jazz ensemble piece, medium level. This will be provided at the audition.
  4. Trumpet players: start on any comfortable note and play an ascending chromatic scale to the top note of your range.

Rhythm Section Requirements:

Piano and guitar players:

  1. Play just the melody to “Bouncin’ With Bud” by Bud Powell unaccompanied; medium tempo.
    Demonstrate: tone quality, jazz time, jazz and swing sense of phrasing, familiarity with your instrument.
  2. Comp (play chords in time) to the same tune.
    Demonstrate: familiarity with harmony and skill at understanding chord changes.
  3. Play the melody, then Improvise at least 2 choruses of 12-bar blues in key of Bb concert to “Tenor Madness” by Sonny Rollins. Additional accompaniment will be provided.
  4. Sight-read a short excerpt from a typical jazz ensemble piece, medium level. This will be provided at the audition.

Bass players:

  1. Play just the melody to “Bouncin’ With Bud” by Bud Powell unaccompanied; medium tempo.
    Demonstrate: tone quality, jazz time, jazz and swing sense of phrasing, familiarity with your instrument.
  2. Walk a bass line to the same tune.
    Demonstrate: familiarity with harmony and skill at understanding and playing through chord changes.
  3. Walk a bass line on a 12-bar blues in the key of Bb concert, then Improvise at least 1 chorus of 12-bar blues in key of Bb concert to “Tenor Madness” by Sonny Rollins. Additional accompaniment will be provided.
  4. Sight-read a short excerpt from a typical jazz ensemble piece, medium level. This will be provided at the audition.

Drummers:

  1. Play medium tempo swing feel for 45-60 seconds. Then play 4 measures of time, then 4 bars of solo, then back to 4 measures of time, back to 4 bars solo, etc. (“trading 4s”)
    Demonstrate: time, phrasing, jazz and swing feel, familiarity with form.
  2. Play short examples of: uptempo swing, shuffle feel, Latin style (bossa nova, samba, Afro-Cuban), brush work, and straight-eighth feel; odd-meters if comfortable (odd meter playing not required).
    Demonstrate: versatility in all jazz forms.
  3. Sight-read a short excerpt from a typical jazz ensemble piece, medium level. This will be provided at the audition.

Vocal Jazz Ensemble Requirements:

Vocalists who audition should have experience singing in a jazz style. Ability to improvise a plus, but not required. Please sign for an audition Oct. 24, 4-8 PM

  1. Sing excerpt (up to 1:40) of "You're Everything" by ear. Choose either soprano, alto, tenor or baritone. Be able to sing your chosen part while director sings a different part. Part tracks are attached.
  2. Sing a chromatic scale using solfege, or "Mary Had A Little Lamb." Director will sing the scale with you in unison, then she will harmonize while you stay on the melody.

Reference Recordings:

Bouncin’ With Bud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t5gbhk4l7k

Vocalists: Chromatic scale with solfege: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYYkAjivi_Y

Commitment:

  • All-Star Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble members will be required to attend rehearsals and learn their parts thoroughly.
  • There will be 2-3 artistic development events for Honor Ensembles students in spring of 2019 (dates TBD). A professional vocal workshop for Honor Vocal Jazz members will be held March 24, 2019.
  • Each member is required to attend the MJF Summer Jazz Intensive! (June 18-21, 2018).
  • There will be a nominal cost associated with Honor Ensemble membership, which will include the Summer Jazz Intensive.
  • Performance at the Next Generation Jazz Festival, April 6, 2019 (5 PM)
  • Other annual performance dates in August: San Jose Jazz Festival (TBD, most likely Aug. 11, 2019); Jazz on the Plazz (TBD, most likely Aug. 15, 2019).

Tentative Rehearsal Schedules: All at York School Band Room, 9501 York Rd., Monterey, CA
All-Star Band:
Rehearsal will be every other Thursday at 7:30 PM starting on November 15, 2018
Vocal Jazz Ensemble: Rehearsal will be every other Monday at 6 PM starting on November 12, 2018

Rehearsal days and times will be adjusted as necessary through the season.

MJF Middle School Honor Jazz Ensemble Auditions

Sunday October 28, 2018
1-5 PM
York School Music Room
9501 York Rd., Monterey, CA ​

Sign Up for Middle School Auditions

Download Middle School Instrumental Materals

Saxophones: alto, tenor, baritone
Brass: trumpet, trombone
Rhythm Section: piano, guitar, bass, drums
Vocal soloist

Instrumental students auditioning need to be a participant/member in their school instrumental ensemble.

Wind Instrument Requirements (saxophones, brass):

  1. Play just the melody to “If I Were A Bell” by Frank Loesser unaccompanied; medium swing tempo.
    Demonstrate: tone quality, jazz time, jazz and swing sense of phrasing, familiarity with your instrument.
  2. Improvise at least 2 choruses of 12-bar blues in the key of Bb concert.  Accompaniment will be provided.
  3. Sight-read a short excerpt from a typical jazz ensemble piece, beginning level. This will be provided at the audition.
  4. Trumpet Players: start on any comfortable note and play an ascending (going up) chromatic scale to the top note of your range.

Rhythm Section Requirements:

Piano and guitar players:

  1. Play the melody to “If I Were A Bell” by Frank Loesser unaccompanied; medium tempo.
    Demonstrate: tone quality, jazz time, jazz and swing sense of phrasing, familiarity with your instrument.
  2. Comp (play chords in time) to the same tune.
    Demonstrate: familiarity with harmony and skill at understanding chord changes.
  3. Improvise at least 2 choruses of 12-bar blues in the key of Bb concert. Accompaniment will be provided.
  4. Sight-read a short excerpt a typical jazz ensemble piece, beginning level. This will be provided at the audition.

Bass players:

  1. Play the melody to “If I Were A Bell” by Frank Loesser unaccompanied; medium tempo.
    Demonstrate: tone quality, jazz time, jazz and swing sense of phrasing, familiarity with your instrument.
  2. Walk a bass line to the same tune.
    Demonstrate: familiarity with harmony and skill at understanding and playing through chord changes.
  3. Walk a bass line on a 12-bar blues in the key of Bb concert. Accompaniment will be provided.
  4. Sight-read a short excerpt from a typical jazz ensemble piece, beginning level. This will be provided at the audition.

Drummers:

  1. Play medium tempo swing feel for 45-60 seconds. Then play 4 measures of time, then 4 bars of solo, then back to 4 measures of time, back to 4 bars solo, etc. (“trading 4s”)
    Demonstrate: time, phrasing, jazz and swing feel, familiarity with form.
  2. Play short examples of: uptempo swing, shuffle feel, Latin style (bossa nova, samba).
    Demonstrate: versatility in all jazz forms.
  3. Sight-read a short excerpt from a drum part from a typical jazz ensemble piece, beginning level. This will be provided at the audition.

Vocalists:

  1. Sing “All of Me” in G.

Reference Recordings:

If I Were A Bell: Miles Davis version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36wafFjFdYs

All of Me: Sarah Vaughan version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mGiazQOoRw

Commitment:

  • Middle School Honor Jazz Ensemble members will be required to attend rehearsals and learn their parts thoroughly.
  • Each member is required to attend the MJF Summer Jazz Intensive! (June 18-21, 2019).
  • There will be a nominal cost associated with Honor Ensemble membership, which will include the Summer Jazz Intensive.
  • Performance at the Next Generation Jazz Festival, April 6, 2019 (5 PM)
  • Community performances during the spring.
  • Other annual performance dates in August: TBD – Saturday or Sunday performances in the community.

Tentative Rehearsal Schedule: All at York School Band Room, 9501 York Rd., Monterey, CA
Middle School Honor Band:
Rehearsal will be every other Thursday at 6 PM starting on November 15, 2018.
Rehearsal days and times will be adjusted as necessary through the season.

 

Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Band_2018_(C)Bobbie Young.jpg

2017-18 MJF High School All-Star Band

Director: Mr. Paul Contos

Woodwinds
Camryn Wood, alto sax / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Milo Borer, alto sax / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Siena Fisk, tenor sax / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Sam Wisner, tenor sax / York School
Spencer Gagos, tenor sax / Stevenson School
Ealaph Tabbaa, baritone sax / Carmel High School  

Trombones
Felix Diaz-Contreras / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Chris Matthews / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Elijah Taurke / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Bennett Bishop / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Amber Hobbs (bass) / Carmel High School                                                    

Trumpets
Alana Henden / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Noah Kirsch / Carmel High School
Reed Samuels / Pacific Grove Jazz Club
James Baek / York School
Delbert Truong / Pacific Grove Jazz Club

Rhythm
Davíd Sánchez, piano / Monterey High School and Pacific Grove Jazz Club
Nathan Nguyen, guitar / York School
Aaron Georis, bass / Carmel High School
Max Almaraz, drums / Salinas High School
Alexander Khieu, percussion / Salinas High School

2017-2018 MJF Monterey County High School Honor Vocal Ensemble

2017-18 MJF High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Directors: Dr. Rob Klevan and Mrs. Janice Perl

Sopranos
Savannah Allen / Carmel High School
Jessica Boles / Notre Dame High School
Sarah Galley / North Monterey County High School
Nora MacKinnon / Trinity Christian High School
Ali Shanklin / Monterey High School

Altos
Katarina Harrison / Carmel High School
Pascale Montgomery / Carmel High School
Alexandra Pavlet / Monterey High School
Katie Wheeler / Notre Dame High School

Tenors
Isaiah Boulware / Pacific Grove High School
Joe Johnsson / Carmel High School

Bass/Baritone
Jeremiah Lee / Trinity High School
Andrew Simpson / York School

2017-2018 MJF Monterey County Middle School Honor Band

2017-18 MJF Middle School Honor Band

Dr. Rob Klevan, Director

Saxophones
Reed Lloyd, alto sax 1 / Carmel Middle School
William Newsome, alto sax 2 / Pacific Grove Middle School
Tatum Sanders, alto sax 2 / Palma School
Isaac Stone, tenor sax / Carmel Middle School
Robert Gomez, tenor sax / Carmel Middle School
Xavier Macias, baritone sax / San Benancio Middle School

Trombones
Amelia Mayer / Pacific Grove Middle School
Alexis Rodas-Mendoza / Pacific Grove Middle School
Carl Nielsen / Palma School
Jose Romero / Pacific Grove Middle School
Jack Uchida-Dohrmann  / San Benancio Middle School

Trumpets
Kenji Penniman / Pacific Grove Middle School
Jake Garneau / Carmel Middle School
Joseph McShane / Carmel Middle School
Nathan Binder / Pacific Grove Middle School
Zane Coutts / Pacific Grove Middle School

Rhythm
Alejandro Salmeron, piano / San Benancio Middle School
Tanner Downing-McAdams, guitar / International School, Monterey
Tommy Ducker, bass / Pacific Grove Middle School
Pablo Sanchez, drums / Santa Catalina School
Jayden Franz, drums / Pacific Grove Middle School

Additional
Jessica Badiny, vocals / Trinity Christian School