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Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra  Annual High School Jazz Soloist Festival

2024 Auditions!


Eligibility: Performers must 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 PoolsIf entries are sufficient, the Festival participants will be placed into one of two pools: a 9th & 10th Grade pool and an 11th & 12th Grade pool. In the event that there are not sufficient entries, all students will be placed into one common 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, payable at the time of the audition.

Rules and Regulations

1.  Students will perform TWO selections with the HCJO rhythm section as a backing ensemble. 

2.  Live auditions will take place on Saturday, March 9 at the Park Theatre in Holland, beginning at 12:00 p.m.  The theater is located at 248 S. River Ave. in Holland.

Repertoire: Students will perform two selections. ONE selection will be "Oleo" by Sonny Rollins. The SECOND selection will be a FREE CHOICE selection of the student. We recommend a contrasting style to the required selection, but it is not a requirement.  If you would like assistance choosing your free selection, feel free to email Jim Sawyer at

Students will perform both selections in their entirety using the Intro/Head and play 2-3 choruses of improvised solo, followed by the head to finish the piece.



Audition Time:
Audition applications will be accepted from Feb. 19 through March 4, 2024. Students will then be assigned audition times for the 9th. These times may not be negotiable, though we will try to accommodate your schedule; please plan ahead carefully.

Awards: One or two students will be selected to  have the opportunity to perform as a featured soloist with the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra on our April 21, 2024 concert. 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.

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 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).

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 4, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. 

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