Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra Second Annual High School Jazz Soloist Festival

Online Auditions!


Eligibility: Performers must students be currently enrolled students at a high school within the state of Michigan. Home-schooled students and others are eligible as well. All instruments including drum set are eligible. Students should choose one primary instrument on which to perform. Anyone who meets these eligibility requirements is welcome to participate in the Festival!


Participant PoolsFestival participants will be placed into one of two pools: a 9th & 10th Grade pool and an 11th & 12th Grade pool. All students are encouraged to participate in our festival regardless of their experience level, as this Festival focuses on the HCJO mission of jazz advocacy, education, and performance opportunities for all.


Costs: Each festival participant will have a $15.00 application fee.


Rules and Regulations: Students should submit videos of two contrasting compositions of their choice with a

minimum of two choruses of improvisation (one chorus maximum at ballad tempo if

playing a ballad).

2. Students may submit using a backing track (recommended, especially for beginning

improvisers), but they may also play unaccompanied.

3. Students may choose the composition and contact us for a backing track

recommendation or suggestion. 

4. Students should have the track coming out of their speakers and record video using their

phone’s highest video quality setting and upload to a google form or google drive.

5. Application videos must be a single take of any performance, without any cuts or


6. Application videos may be taken from pre-quarantine situations, audition recordings, and other previously made recordings, provided they meet all guidelines as stated here.

7. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, or any other file-sharing or

video-streaming platform. Video URL links must be provided in the application process.

8. Pre-recorded accompaniment such as play-along tracks, iRealPro, Learn Jazz

Standards, SmartMusic, etc., are acceptable. Unaccompanied playing

– while not always ideal for typical performance settings – is acceptable due to

the current health situation.

9. While recording quality is NOT a part of the judges’ rubric, contestants are strongly

encouraged to experiment with recording devices to create the best quality audio and

video product.

10. All videos must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2020.

11. The winners will be announced on June 7, 2020.

12. All participants will receive comments from our judging panel and be invited to a free zoom masterclass with our guest clinician, Alexa Tarantino. 

Repertoire: The soloist will prepare two jazz standards of their choice. It is recommended that you perform selections that showcase your strengths as a musician and will make your unique musical abilities shine. Drummers should prepare to play their interpretation of the melody with the trio, play time, and solo. If you have questions on what to prepare, please e-mail Jordan VanHemert at director@hollandcjo.org

Audition Time:
Auditions will be submitted as videos and will be accepted from May 4, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2020.


Awards: One student from each of the two participant pools will have the opportunity to perform with the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra on a future concert in 2020 (Date TBD, pending CDC recommendations on holding concerts). Both of the selected participants will also receive an HCJO scholarship to engage in a professional jazz education experience to supplement their performance with the HCJO and further their jazz musicianship. Both students will be asked to participate in an on-stage interview with the Music Director and will need to sign a release for marketing materials. 


If the student is chosen to perform with the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra, the choice of music is up to the student but must have a jazz ensemble accompaniment available to HCJO and a purchase price of $100 or less. If the student's director can provide the accompaniment, that is welcome as well. If in doubt, please check availability and/or cost of jazz accompaniment by contacting the HCJO at director@hollandcjo.org ahead of your picking a solo feature. Any big band standard work featuring a solo instrument is acceptable. The work should use the standard big band instrumentation of no more than five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, and standard rhythm section (guitar, piano, bass, and drums).


All participants will be invited to participate in an improvisation clinic with a special guest clinician, Alexa Tarantino, via Zoom.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.