Blues Alley Youth Orchestra (BAYO)

Round 1 Auditions shall be submitted on-line in video format. You can create a private link on YouTube, and then submit that link via e-mail to Michael Bowie at between August 1 and September 10th. You must include your name, age, instrument(s), school attending, email address, parent’s name(s) and email address. Audition materials and requirements below. Saxophonists who “double” are encouraged to perform appropriate excerpts.  

Those who are selected from the Round 1 Video Auditions will be invited via email to Round 2 Group Auditions, along with returning BAYO members. This audition will take place September 15th from 1:30pm-4pm at Grace Episcopal Church 1041 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20007. Students will be required to sight-read and improvise in a big band setting. Afterward, all students (including returning BAYO members) will be notified of selection results via e-mail no later than September 20th. The Blues Alley Youth Orchestra instrumentation will consist of 2 tenor saxes, 2 altos, 1 baritone sax, 4 trombones, 5 trumpets, 2 guitars, 2 bassist, 2 drummers, 2 pianist, 1-2 vocalist, 1 vibraphone. We will provide, music stands, all amps, piano, drum set, music. The yearly membership fee is $500.00, with scholarship available based on financial need.

**Those who are not selected will be highly encouraged to join our Cadet band (new this year!). This program will meet twice monthly (alternating Saturdays), with an emphasis on building the skill set that will give the student confidence toward achieving the high-level material that they will encounter in BAYO, in the coming years. Details to include location and pricing, coming soon.

The first BAYO rehearsal of the season will be conducted on Sunday September 22, from 1:30pm – 4pm, at Grace Episcopal Church (address above). All rehearsals will take place at this time and location, unless notified in advance. Weekly attendance at rehearsal is mandatory. The focus of our program is on training for the next level and beyond. We are not just rehearsing to “sound ok” at our performances. There will be improvisation assignments, analysis of ensemble blending through technique, master classes and more for students to drill down on the necessary skills. **During the first 30 minutes of the first rehearsal will be a parent orientation given by Mr. Schniper, Executive Director of the Blues Alley Jazz Society. Parent attendance is required.

Audition Materials and Requirements

Videotape submission should not exceed 7 minutes total. Upload your video to YouTube, and create a private link. Send that link to: You will be contacted via email soon after with your results.

  1. Play (vocalist sing/scat) one chorus of Charlie Parker’s “Au Privave”, and two choruses of improvisation after the melody. Bass players will also walk for two choruses.
  1. Self Selections. Play (sing) two songs of contrasting styles, swing, be-bop, Latin, etc.
  1. Excerpts and Scales. Play the excerpt for your instrument(s) from the “pdf” file linked below and the major scales through four (4) sharps and five (5) flats from memory at mm=98. Vocalists should sing the scales.


Demonstrate time in: Latin, ballad, hip-hop/funk, with sticks and brushes. Include one improvisation for each style.

EXCERPTS: Play the excerpts for your instrument from the link below.



Bass Trombone






Vibraphone – same as guitar

Registration form