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Iowa All-State Jazz Choir

Audition Scoring Rubric

 

Time/Feel –"Rhythm in the Jazz Style"
    "Time/Feel" is defined for this audition as the characteristic Jazz "Swing" rhythm. Students and director must understand the inherent triplet figure implied in the eighth note pattern. As the tempo slows, students will have a difficult time "internalizing" the triplet and tend to rush the beat and/or tempo. When the eighth notes are swung properly, the student is said to be "in the pocket," or "in the groove."
     
    5 4 3 2 1
    Subdivision of swing triplet is internalized ALL of the time. Rhythm is "in the pocket." Subdivision of swing triplet is internalized MOST of the time. Slower swing tends to rush. Subdivision of swing triplet is felt SOME of the time, but not internalized. There is some inconsistency in tempo and beat. Subdivision of swing triplet is felt OCCASIONALLY, but student constantly rushes or lags behind beat. Subdivision of swing triplet is NOT felt at all. Eighth notes are not "swung", but sung in duple or straight eighth notes.

     
Intonation
    "Intonation" in the jazz style is found in the perfect center of pitch on a note. Because of the intricate harmonies that are found in vocal jazz music, the pitch must be within the center of the note, rather than sharp or flat to even the slightest degree.
     
    5 4 3 2 1
    A perfect center of pitch is maintained ALL of the time. No tendency towards sharping or flatting notes. A perfect center of pitch is maintained MOST of the time. Student tends to sharp or flat in extreme registers or vocal "breaks." A perfect center of pitch is maintained SOME of the time. Student tends to sharp or flat throughout their vocal range at times. A perfect center of pitch is maintained OCCASIONALLY. Student sharps or flats consistently with some moments of perfect pitch. A perfect center of pitch does NOT occur. Student has little sense of intonation.

     
Musical Example – Accuracy
    The student will sing a short selection from one of the tunes selected for the All State Vocal Jazz Choir audition. Accuracy in pitch and rhythm, as well as tempo and style will be graded. This is most often a "swing" tune and should be sung in the "swing" style at the tempo provided. See "Time/Feel" above.
     
    5 4 3 2 1
    ALL notes and rhythms are sung correctly at the given tempo. MOST of the notes and rhythms are sung correctly with very few errors at the given tempo. SOME of the notes and rhythms are sung correctly with several errors. The tempo is inconsistent. OCCASIONALLY the notes and rhythms are sung correctly. The student does not sing the given tempo or it is constantly inconsistent. Student does NOT sing correct notes or rhythms in the given tempo.

     
Vocal Quality or Vocal Tone
    "Vocal Quality" in the jazz style is defined by solid vocal technique. Vocal Jazz is difficult to sing correctly, but can be done with excellent technique and voice placement with no harm to the instrument. The voice must be "free" but maintain a brighter tone quality with forward placement behind the teeth ridge with lifted hard and soft palates. Vibrato IS used in vocal jazz, but usually only for solo effects or at the ends of phrases. Vocal Jazz ensemble singing should be sung with pure tone to maintain a perfect center of pitch in difficult harmonic chord structures. The use of wide vibrato can cause intonation problems in this medium.
     
    5 4 3 2 1
    Student demonstrates excellent vocal technique at ALL times. There is absolute freedom in the tone without stress or vocal "press," with a strong core to the sound. Student demonstrates excellent vocal technique MOST of the time. There is freedom in the voice but stress occurs in extreme registers or at vocal "breaks." Student demonstrates excellent vocal technique SOME of the time. There is some freedom in the voice but stress occurs throughout their vocal range at times. Student demonstrates good vocal technique OCCASIONALLY. There is consistent vocal stress in the voice with some moments of freedom. Excess air escapes from the instrument producing an "airy" tone with no core. Student does NOT demonstrate good vocal technique. There is a great deal of vocal stress and excess air produced in the tone with no core.

     
Scales
    The student will sing three total scales, both ascending and descending in "swing" style: Major, Natural Minor (1,2, b3,4,5, b6, b7, 8), and chromatic. Sung on syllable "doo-ba."
     
    5 4 3 2 1
    Student sings ALL scales correctly. Students sings MOST of the notes in the scales correctly with a minimal number of errors in pitch. Student sings SOME of the notes in the scales correctly with several pitch errors. Some notes of the scales are OCCASIONALLY sung correctly with many errors. Student does NOT sing the correct notes of the scales.

     
Sight-Singing
    The student will sight-read two short examples: Melodic and Rhythmic. The melodic example will be diatonic in a familiar key and contain few chromatic notes. Any method may be used including solfege, numbers, or neutral syllable such as "la." The rhythmic example will be clapped in "swing" style. Any method may be used including clapping and/or counting.
     
    5 4 3 2 1
    Student sings ALL notes and rhythms correctly in both examples. Student sings MOST of the notes and rhythms correctly with a minimal number of errors. Student sings SOME of the notes and rhythms correctly with several pitch and rhythmic errors. Some notes and rhythms are OCCASIONALLY sung correctly with many errors. Student does NOT sing the correct notes or rhythms of the examples.

     
Jazz Concepts (for solo song)
    Jazz Concepts may be defined as the performer's realization of the composer's aesthetic intent and the performer's artistic expression. The following components are considered in this portion of the audition:
    • Dynamics: The contrast between loud and soft. 
    • Style: The understanding of the composer's musical intent consistent with the type of Jazz. 
    • Tempo: The speed of the music according to the metronomic, stylistic and/or expressive markings of the music. 
    • Phrasing: The shaping of a musical idea. 
    • Articulation: The performance of the separation and/or connection of notes as written. 
    • Accents: The proper stress as marked in the editing.
       
     
    5 4 3 2 1
    Student incorporates ALL concepts as defined. Musical artistry is displayed at a superior level. Student incorporates MOST of the concepts as defined. Some musical artistry is displayed with minor weaknesses in one or two areas. Student incorporates SOME of the concepts as defined. Musical artistry is displayed in one or two areas with deficiencies and/or weaknesses in the other areas. Student incorporates concepts as defined OCCASIONALLY with very little use of musical artistry. Student does NOT incorporate concepts as defined with no use of musical artistry.

Rubric designed by Dr. Lauren Fowler
Copyright ©2000 Iowa Choral Directors Association
 
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