UTHS Panther Band


Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Youth Jazz Band Auditions...

QCA Band Directors,


The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Youth Jazz Band, sponsored by the Bix Memorial Society of Davenport, IA, is an auditioned big band that seeks to share the music of Bix Beiderbecke and other early 20th century artists while furthering jazz education in the Quad Cities area. My name is Toni LeFebvre and I am thrilled to be taking over as director of this ensemble for the 2018 season.

Auditions for membership are open to all high school instrumentalists in the QC area. One round of auditions was successfully held on Sunday, 11/26, but there are still spots to be filled. I ask that you please encourage your jazz students to attend the second upcoming audition date for this ensemble, which will be held on Sunday, 12/17 from 4:00-7:00 PM at the Bettendorf Community Center (2204 Grant St.). These will be OPEN auditions, so students should come when they can between those hours. Rehearsals will be held at the same location and will occur every other Sunday (Jan 14th – May 20th) from 2:00-4:00 PM and every Sunday (June 3rd – July 29th) from 2:00-4:00 PM.

Membership in this ensemble allows students to immerse themselves in an exciting era of jazz music, make lifelong friends from other area schools, and gain confidence performing in a professional setting. The Bix Youth Band performs at many great events during the summer, including concerts at the Bettendorf Band Shell, the Blossoms at Butterworth event in Moline, and culminating with multiple gigs at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival which will take place August 2nd-4th, 2018.


Audition Requirements for Sunday 12/17:

Saxophone, trumpet, trombone:

- 12 major scales (may use a scale sheet)

- Chromatic scale over the full range of the instrument

- Prepared melody of your choice (can be a jazz etude or lead sheet from any big band chart)

- Standard jazz head of your choice followed by 1-2 choruses of improvisation (please bring a backing track with you)

- Sight reading

Piano, bass, guitar:

- 12 major scales (may use a scale sheet)

- Standard jazz head of your choice (1x: play the head, 2x: comp/walk bass line, followed by 1-2 choruses of improvisation) (please bring a backing track with you)

- Sight reading


*Please bring sticks and brushes

- Demonstrate the following jazz styles

               1. Swing (easy tempo, up tempo)

               2. Shuffle

               3. Ballad

- Play along to the tune “Summertime” (Gershwin) at approximately 144 bpm., followed by 2 choruses of improvisation by trading 4’s. (This will be done as a duo with the director playing the melody and trading 4’s with you on trumpet.)

- Sight reading


Auditions are very inviting and low-key. Students’ chosen etudes and tunes should be anything familiar to them that they have played before and are comfortable with. Perhaps they could use their school jazz ensemble audition materials or a lead sheet from their favorite chart they played last year. If you have a student unable to attend open auditions, please have them send me an e-mail to set up an alternate date. Feel free to email me any questions. I look forward to hearing many more great auditions next month!



Toni LeFebvre