Victoria School Music Festival

Jazz Ensemble

2020 Dates:

VSMF Jazz Ensemble Section
Video submission date:
Fri Sept 18th - Fri Oct 16th

Key:

JJE = Junior Jazz Ensemble, IJE = Intermediate Jazz Ensemble, SJE = Senior Jazz Ensemble

Festival Administrator
Michael Jongebloed
Victorian School Music Festival
228 Auburn Road
Hawthorn Vic 3122
PH: 03 98188520
Mobile: 0419 556 460
Email: michael@vsmf.com.au

2020 FESTIVAL REGULATIONS

Registration Process

  1. Registrations open on Monday August 24th 9am & close Thursday August 27th 2020.
  2. Registration can only be submitted on-line at www.vsmf.com.au
  3. Requests made after Thursday August 27th 2020 (close of applications) will be considered if
    possible.
  4. Package 1: $130 per ensemble for Online Adjudication and streaming of
    performances
  5. Package 2: $250 per ensemble for Online Adjudication, streaming of performance
    and clinician provided to attend your school for adjudication and workshop. (Senior
    Jazz Ensemble Only)
  6. Registration fees are inclusive of GST.
  7. Registrations will not be accepted without a school order number. Tax invoices will only be issued after videos have been received for adjudication.
  8. Each Ensemble will provide a video with high quality audio in a performance situation for Adjudication & Streaming. Videos can be submitted from Friday September 18th until Friday October 16th

Participation Criteria

SCHOOL ENSEMBLES

  1. The Festival is open to students who are currently attending any primary or secondary
    school, and who are participating in school/college concert bands and/or jazz ensembles.
  2. Combined school groups may participate if that ensemble rehearses on a regular basis.
    Confirmation of this arrangement must be sent with the registration form and co-signed by
    the principals of the schools involved.
  3. Teachers may not play with the ensemble.
  4. No school may register the same ensemble or an ensemble made up of 80% of the same
    performers in two different levels within the same genre of ensembles (eg. Junior Jazz
    Ensemble & Intermediate Jazz Ensemble)

Performance Criteria

CHOICE OF REPERTOIRE

  1. 1. Each section has a set repertoire list of suitable pieces indicating the standard of
    each section.
  2. In 2020 it is not compulsory for ensembles to play repertoire from the set list. It is
    expected, however that all ensemble repertoire is reflective of the section they are
    performing in.
  3. Please refer to category information for specific regulations regarding choice of
    music.
  4. Any ensemble that fails to meet the performance criteria as set out for each
    category may be excluded from receiving a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze award.
    This decision will be at the discretion of the Chair of Adjudicators.

Performance Video

  1. Video quality: A professional video is not expected, however, we urge you to create
    the best audio and video quality possible. Inadequate audio and/or video quality can
    lead to an entry being unable to be adjudicated
  2. Video editing forbidden: The video must not be edited in any way and must run
    continuously from beginning to end as a live performance.
  3. Sound recording: The performance recorded for the video entry must be acoustic
    and not amplified but solo mics can be used as per a live performance.
  4. Announcement of works: Each Ensemble must introduce their School name, ensemble,
    section and complete program as if a live performance.
  5. File name of the video: The video for the 2020 VSMF Online must be titled as
    follows:
  6. “2020 VSMF [Name of School & Section]”; all words should be separated by a space,
    e.g. “2020 VSMF Fine Music HS Junior Jazz Ensemble Section”.
  7. Only the following video formats will be accepted for your performance to be
    streamed: .mp4, .wmv, .mov, and .avi. If providing separate audio recording please
    supply on the following formats .aiff or .wav file formats due to their superior fidelity
    over .mp3.
  8. Upload your Video and digital scores to any of the File Sharing platforms you use:
    Dropbox, Googledrive, OneDrive and email the link to michael@vsmf.com.au
  9. See details below for recommendation on making your best recording

What are Some Basic Ensemble Recording Tips?

Choose the Best Space
Where you choose to record your ensemble can make a huge difference in the sound. If possible, look for the following characteristics in your recording space:

  • A large room with high ceilings – this will help with the blending of the instruments and reduce the harsher sounds that can occur in smaller rooms when the musicians are too close together.
  • Make sure to minimize background noise, such as outside sounds from traffic or passersby, air vents, any buzzing or vibrating lights and other noise that could be picked up by your microphones.
  • Before you go to all the work of setting up your equipment and scheduling your musicians, do some test recording in the space. Using something like Zoom H1n Handy Recorder will help you make sure it sounds how you want and that there aren’t any ambient noises that you didn’t previously notice.

Select the Appropriate Equipment
While it’s likely that you’re operating on a limited budget, try to use the best ensemble recording equipment you can afford, such as condenser microphones and high quality cables and headphones. Contact your Media Department to see if they can be involved in the recording project. If you’re short on funds, you could rent some equipment or see if another music program might allow you to borrow from them.

There are a number of options for recording your ensemble, see details below

  • Record your performance on a Video camera that has high quality audio or that has inputs for high quality external Microphones
  • Record your performance on a Video camera and record the audio separately. Record your performance Audio only, use a USB Audio interface to record directly into your computer using software or Record you performance Audio only, recording directly into a Digital Recorder. Using products such as -Tascam DR40x or Zoom H4N
    Provide both files for us to merge.
  • Record your performance on an iPad, use a USB Audio interface to allow you use the audio from external Microphones.

Microphones
High-quality microphones are probably the single most important piece of equipment to successfully record your ensemble.

Set up the equipment properly
This may be the most intimidating part of recording your ensemble, but it doesn’t have to be! These simple set up tips will have you well on your way.

  • Use two condenser microphones on a bar on one stand, or you can use two stands and place them about 4 feet apart.
  • For a smaller ensemble you can place the microphones about 5 feet in front of the musicians on a mic stand about 4 feet high. For larger ensembles, you’ll want to position the microphones quite a bit higher above the musicians – 3 meters if possible. In this situation, you could use a fifteen-foot mic stand with a stereo pair bracket or mics hanging from the ceiling.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions on your equipment to ensure that all the cables are plugged into the appropriate input and output sockets. Do some test recording to confirm you are capturing sound from all your microphones.

Perform Some Test Recordings
Before you bring your students in for final recording, it’s important to work out the kinks in the room and equipment set up by performing some test recordings. Using the tips from above, set up your equipment in the way you think will work best for your room, your ensemble and your musical selections. Ask a small group of students to help you make several brief recordings. You should carefully note the setup, adjust the equipment and seating for each test recording. Once you have several tests completed, listen to the recordings and note which set up gave you the best sound – you’ll use this setup for your final recording.

Recording Your Ensemble
Now you’re ready to record your ensemble. Set up the equipment and the musicians in the manner that gave you the best test recording. Set the recording levels carefully and check them using the loudest passage of the selection. Recording experts recommend you set the levels just under the loudest level on the meter. If you are using a mixer, set levels in this order: input level, mix, main and finally recorder levels.

On the day of your recording, allow enough time to do a sound check. Ideally, you’d also allow enough time to do more than one recording so you can get the absolute best results possible. Resist the temptation to adjust levels during the recording. Once you have set things up, performed your testing and sound check, then just let the musicians play. Be patient and give yourself time to learn and adjust. This is why it’s great to have time to do a second session – you could make minor adjustments after the first one if necessary.

Provision of Conductor Scores

  1. Participating groups are required to provide one digital (1) copy of each work being
    performed, including any set works performed from the VSMF list. Please include this with
    your shared video files
  2. All changes to the work must be clearly indicated
  3. All pieces provided for the adjudicators must have each bar numbered.
  4. Please refer to category information for specific regulations regarding performance
    criteria.
  5. Each ensemble will receive an award being Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze. Refer to Concert Band information for eligibility.
  6. Excess performance of more than two (2) minutes may result in exclusion from receiving a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze award. This decision will be at the discretion of the Chair of Adjudication.
  7. The decision of the panel of adjudicators is final. No further correspondence will be
    entered into.

Adjudicator's Comments

Adjudicators will provide both a written adjudication sheet and recorded comments.
Adjudication comments are recorded and made available to all participating schools.

JAZZ ENSEMBLES
A Jazz Ensemble is a balanced group, consisting of Saxophones, Trumpets, Trombones and
Rhythm Section. The usual instrumentation is: 2 x Alto Saxophone, 2 x Tenor Saxophone, 1 x
Baritone Saxophone, 4 x Trumpet, 4 x Trombone Rhythm Section: Piano,
Electric/Acoustic/Double Bass, Drums, *Percussion, *Guitar * Optional

JUNIOR JAZZ
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
* The minimum number of performers is ten (10) including percussion.
* Performance time not to exceed twelve (12) minutes.
* Play at least two contrasting works. Ensembles may play as many works as time permits.
* Recommend 1 piece selected from list A – Swing or Swing Style
* Recommend 1 piece selected from list B – Ballad or Ballad Style
* The third piece may be selected from list C, or may be in one of the following styles: Latin,
Blues, Shuffle, Rock, Swing, Funk.
* All ensembles are eligible for a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze award.

INTERMEDIATE JAZZ
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
* The minimum number of performers is ten (10) including percussion.
* Performance time not to exceed fifteen (15) minutes.
* Play at least two contrasting works. Ensembles may play as many works as time permits.
* Recommend 1 piece selected from list A – Swing or Swing Style
* Recommend 1 piece selected from list B – Ballad or Ballad Style
* The third piece may be selected from list C, or may be in one of the following styles: Latin,
Blues, Shuffle, Rock, Swing, Funk.
* All ensembles are eligible for a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze award.

SENIOR JAZZ
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
* The minimum number of performers is ten (10) including percussion.
* Performance time not to exceed twenty (20) minutes.
* Play at least two contrasting works. Ensembles may play as many works as time permits.
* Recommend 1 piece selected from list A – Swing or Swing Style
* Recommend 1 piece selected from list B – Ballad or Ballad Style
* The third piece may be selected from list C, or may be in one of the following styles: Latin,
Blues, Shuffle, Rock, Swing, Funk.
* All ensembles are eligible for a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze award.

2020 Repertoire

Download the repertoire PDF

Senior – List A Arr./Composer
Active Measures Rick Lawn
Big Cuppa Joe, A Paul Murtha
Ernies Romp Bill Sears arr. Mark Taylor
Foundation Issues Paul Baker
One for the Maestro Pete McGuiness

 

Senior – List B Arr./Composer
Curveball Paul Baker
Fallingwater Ryan Fraley
My Dear Andrew Neu
The Castle Lars Erik Gudim

 

Senior – List C Arr./Composer
Big Mouth Jeff Jarvis
Cerebro Congelado Gordon Goodwin
Come Together Lennon / McCartney / Tomaro
Fiesta en la Calle Matt Amy
Theme From Get Smart Irving Szathmary / Lopez

 

Intermediate – List A Arr./Composer
Blackwing Blues Doug Beach
Bye Bye Blackbird Henderson / Sigler
Diggin the New Digs Giacchino / Murtha
In Walked Bud Monk / Taylor
Patch Goes to Town Roger Schmidli

 

Intermediate – List B Arr./Composer
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You Bassman,Washington arr.Taylor
Morning Starlight Larry Neeck
Picasso Anderson / Fraley
Remembering Greg Daryl McKenzie

 

Intermediate – List C Arr./Composer
Apocalypse Barton
Hang Loose Herbie Dave Gardner
Recorda Me (Remember me) Joe Henderson / Kamuf
Slim Chickens Kris Berg
Soul Proprietor Ellen Rowe

 

Junior – List A Arr./Composer
Birks Works Gillespie / Stitzel
Front Row Seats Paul Baker
New Cool Spot Dean Sorenson
Swing Thing Carl Strommen
Two Scoops Daryl McKenzie

 

Junior – List B Arr./Composer
Lil’ Hefty Zachary Smith
Moon River Mancini / Merccer / Stitzel
Untold Story Beach / Shutack
Use Your Inside Voice Paul Clark

 

Junior – List C Arr./Composer
Firewalker Dean Sorenson
Linus And Lucy Guaraldi / Berry
Mamacita Henderson / White
Rock Island Express Matt Morey
Super Groove Mat Amy

Ross Irwin

Ross has cemented himself as a kind of musical mastermind in Australia. As a multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger, he’s been the go-to guy for Paul Kelly, Passenger, Angus and Julia Stone, Illy, The Kite String Tangle, Josh Pyke, Thelma Plum, Seth Sentry, The Paper Kites, Brooke Fraser, Gossling, You Am I, Washington, as well as working with international music legends Brian May and Roger Taylor (Queen), Suzi Quatro, Belle and Sebastian, Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet), Stax legend Eddie Floyd, Ben Elton, Patrick Watson, and that’s just to name a small few.

He has toured the world for more than a decade with acclaimed Australian bands, The Cat Empire, and The Bamboos, playing some of the biggest festivals and most well-known venues on the planet. As a large-scale composer and singer/songwriter, he has an almost iconic status, having a slew of live shows all across the country under his belt, as well as having music and songs featured on numerous films, documentaries, and Australian TV shows.

His status in the Jazz world is equally impressive, having played with many great local and international artists such as Harry Connick Jr., Bill Watrous, Gordon Goodwin, James Morrison,
Alan Vizutti, Wyclyffe Gordon, Chuck Findley, Leroy Jones, Emma Pask, Jim Pugh and Joe Bataan.

Ross has been a test piece writer for the GIJ and is past Musical Director of Generations In Jazz. His contributions towards music education and youth mentoring programs have been celebrated Australia wide.

Professor Rob McWilliams

Prof. Rob McWilliams was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Ph. D. in Music/Music Education (conducting focus) from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting from Florida State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Melbourne. Dr. McWilliams was a United States resident from 1991 to 2014 and served as Professor of Music and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh from 1996 where he also served as Head of Music from 2011 to 2014. Dr. McWilliams has conducted and presented at major music conferences in Japan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Europe, China, all states of Australia, and has been published in the Journal of Band Research, Teaching Music Through Performance, and is a composer/arranger with Alfred’s Music. In
early 2015 he relocated to Brisbane, Australia where he is currently working for Yamaha Music Australia as their Education Outreach Clinician, as well as teaching sessionally at the Jazz Music Institute and freelancing as a musician, educator, conductor, composer/arranger, and adjudicator.

Dr. McWilliams is available to deliver Professional Development on all topics related to ensemble direction in band, orchestra, and jazz (conducting, rehearsing, repertoire, recruiting, advocacy, improvisation pedagogy, etc.). He is also available for ensemble workshops, help with program setup and development, appearances as guest soloist, etc. In his current role as Yamaha Music Australia’s Education Outreach Clinician, with the mission of improving the quality and participation in instrumental music across Australia & New Zealand

Dean Soreson

Dean Sorenson is Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota as well as a prolific and highly sought-after composer, arranger, trombonist, educator, and clinician. He received his bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Minnesota and his master’s degree in jazz arranging and composition from the Eastman School of Music.

Dean’s most recent publication is STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE FIRST JAZZ PERFORMANCE, a collection of jazz charts for elementary bands and jazz bands. He is the co-author of the
STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE JAZZ ENSEMBLE METHOD and ADVANCED JAZZ ENSEMBLE METHOD, an innovative and comprehensive series for middle school and high school jazz ensembles. He is also the author of STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE JAZZ COMBO SESSION, and composer of numerous pieces for concert band and jazz ensemble published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company. As an advocate of jazz education and the expansion of the repertoire, he continues to develop creative materials and methods to help students and teachers better understand the art form. An outstanding clinician, conductor, and soloist, he is frequently featured at festivals and conventions around the country and abroad. He also maintains a full schedule of concert and recording dates as a Yamaha performing artist.

Dean has composed and arranged for numerous ensembles including the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Airmen of Note, the United States Air Force Band, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
He is active as a commissioned composer and arranger for jazz ensemble, concert band, and chamber ensembles.