High School Jazz Ensemble

High School Jazz Ensemble

Request an Audition

Webster University, well-known for its innovative jazz studies program and the Jazz at Webster concert series, is offering a new program for high school jazz students during the school year at its Webster Groves campus.

Under the leadership of Paul DeMarinis, Webster’s Jazz Studies Director, and Nick Savage, Jazz Ensemble Director, rising young jazz musicians will work on improving their improvisational skills, ensemble interaction, and personal musicianship. Students who have enjoyed the Webster Jazz Camp will love the opportunity to continue working with Webster’s Jazz faculty throughout the year.

The ensemble will feature: Brass, Woodwind, and String instruments plus a rhythm section of Guitar, Vibraphone, Piano, Drum Set, Latin Percussion, and Bass (electric or acoustic). No vocal at this time.

All melodic instruments are welcome to participate in the Jazz Ensemble, which performs a variety of jazz styles from the 1930s to the present. The ensemble develops students’ skills in improvisation, ensemble interaction, and personal musicianship. Prior experience in jazz is helpful but not mandatory.

AGES: Students entering grades 8–12
FEES: $225 per semester (May be paid in installments.)
A non-refundable registration fee of $30 is assessed once per academic year per student upon enrollment.
APPLICATION: Application deadline is August 12, 2016

During Webster’s Jazz Camp July 13 or 14, 2016 beginning at 5:30 pm
Sunday, August 14, 2016, 1–4 pm
All audition results are mailed the week of August 22. Personnel list will be online by August 29.


  • Students should play two pieces, a 12 bar blues and a standard from the jazz repertoire, or
    selections from their school jazz band materials.
  • The audition pieces should display technique, rhythmic agility, phrasing, and melodic sensitivity.
  • Suggested jazz works for the audition can be located in the jazz play-along books published by
    Hal Leonard, Aebersold, and Alfred.
  • A CD player, digital or live accompaniment will be included for the audition.
  • Drum set auditions include playing in the following styles: medium and fast swing, ballad, bossa nova, samba, jazz waltz, shuffle, and ½ time funk. Digital or live accompaniment will be included.
  • Students may audition on auxiliary percussion instruments
  • Piano, bass, guitar, and vibraphone auditions include playing written parts and reading chord symbols.

Tuesdays, 4:30–6:30 pm, beginning September 6, 2016, at the CMS Center, 535 Garden Avenue

Friday, December 16, 2016 at 7 pm
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 7 pm                     

Connect with Ensemble

  • Call 314-246-7032
  • Email Paul DeMarinis, Jazz Studies Director
  • Email Nick Savage, Ensemble Director
  • Email Department of Music
  • Review Jazz Ensemble Policies

Paul DeMarinis

Paul DeMarinis,
Educational Director


Nick Savage

Nick Savage,
Jazz Ensemble Director