Joining Our Ensemble

Are you an experienced singer who loves jazz?  Consider joining us!  WSJ is an ensemble of 8 singers, which gives an evenly balanced 2 per part (Soprano 1 & 2, Alto 1 & 2).  We are a group of dedicated, committed singers with a high level of attention to musical detail.  We are a creative and spirited group which values and supports one another. We don't currently have openings, but interested singers are encouraged to add their name to a waiting list for future openings.

Here are the qualities we are looking for:

  1. Soprano or alto voice

  2. Jazz or jazz-related experience (like musical theatre, jazz solo singing, or gospel)

  3. Basic proficiency in reading music, and ability to learn notes and rhythms independently

  4. An adventurous spirit

  5. Commitment to creating authentic representations of this music which is rooted in African-American culture and LatinX culture

  6. Love working with a team of dedicated musician-singers

  7. Willingness to use technology to facilitate learning and collaboration

  8. Passion for singing together on independent parts

  9. Openness to learning/developing improvisational scat singing

 

Audition Process

Auditions for WSJ consist of two main components:  1) Two prepared songs, as described below and 2) Range testing and vocalizations.  Tip: use a backing track such as iReal Pro, Music Minus One, or similar, and bring the backing track to your audition.  

Prepared songs:

  1. Swing Standard:  Sing your chosen piece two or three times through, following this format: head-in (sing with no embellishment), Solo (optional, improvised scat or prepared scat), Head-out (sing with tasteful, idiomatic jazz embellishment)

  2. Latin standard OR jazz ballad:  Sing one time through.

In both pieces, you should demonstrate:

  • accuracy in rhythm and pitch

  • good expression

  • good understanding of the feel

  • solid sense of time, tone and intonation

Examples of Tunes to Prepare for your Audition

Swing

  • All of Me

  • Ain’t Misbehavin’

  • Autumn Leaves

  • Honeysuckle Rose

  • Mack the Knife

  • My Baby Just Cares For Me

  • Blue Skies

Latin

  • Girl from Ipanema

  • Corcovado

  • Black Orpheus

Ballad

  • My Funny Valentine

  • Summertime

  • Misty

  • Unforgettable

  • Stardust

Please contact info.wsjs@gmail.com for inquiries and/or to schedule an audition. 

Expectations and commitment

Our group normally rehearses on Tuesday evenings from  7PM to 9PM in Bellingham at Unity Spiritual Center from September through May.   All singers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and currently we continue to wear masks and practice social distancing at rehearsals.

Singers are expected to be able to read music, to learn notes and rhythms independently, and to memorize all their music for performances.

Each member is important to the overall sound of the group; singers are expected to be at the majority of rehearsals and all performances, which are announced well in advance.  

   

Sectionals or small group trios or quartets are organized by singers, depending on the needs in each section.   Close to performances, we often add extra rehearsals which are optional, but singers are encouraged to attend them.

Singers pay membership fees twice annually for the fall and spring programs.  Membership fees cover expenses such as our rehearsal venue, director, accompanist and rhythm section musicians.  We understand the financial challenges some singers may face.  Sponsorship options or sliding scale may be available to reduce membership fees for otherwise qualified singers.

Contact  info.wsjs@gmail.com or call Michael at 360-961-1559 for more information.