Oxford University Jazz Orchestra
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In the meantime, below is some of the more vital information about OUJO, for your immediate reading pleasure.
1. About Us
2. How to Join
3. Thinking of Hiring us?
4. Contact Us
1. About Us
The Oxford University Jazz Orchestra (OUJO) is the university's premier big band, bringing eighteen of the university's best jazz musicians together into one ensemble to perform modern, demanding, exciting big band jazz to the highest level of musical excellence.
OUJO was founded in 1991 and has since gone from strength to strength. Besides our own regular concerts, we have performed at countless balls, events, dinners, and socials. In our colourful twenty-year history we've racked up various accolades, including playing at the OK! celebrity ball in London, twice winning the highly-coveted BBC big band award, and this year having the privilege of supporting headliners Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the Streets on the Oxford ball circuit. The band's alumni include British trumpeter Mark Amstrong and Candian jazz vocalist Diane Nalini.
OUJO plays a large, musically diverse and ever-expanding repertoire, encompassing big band classics and more contemporary jazz works, as well as original compositions by current and former band members. It is renowned for the energy and vibrance of its performances, and loves nothing more than to put on a show for its audience.
OUJO puts on at least three sell-out public concerts every year. The band has the honour of representing the university twice annually in a Varsity jazz battle against its Cambridge equivalent, the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra.
OUJO has performed at venues worldwide, including at the Oeuf de Jazz Festival in Le Mans, at the Glasgow international jazz festival, and in New York's prestigious Bryant Park. The group is currently planning its 2012 tour, and is getting ready for its twenty-first birthday celebrations in 2012.
2. How to Join OUJO
OUJO holds general auditions at the beginning of each academic year for the following instruments: trumpet, trombone, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, piano, bass, guitar, drums, and auxiliary percussion. The beginning of Michaelmas term is by far the best time to apply to audition for the group, but we are open to approaches at all times and, although unusual, spaces may become available at any point during the year. In the case that we have been unable to offer you a place and a space becomes available, we may contact you later in the year to suggest reauditioning for the band.
To book an audition time, come and find us during freshers' fair, 0th week Michaelmas term, or drop us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
Most chairs in OUJO are taken by students and alumni of Oxford University, but we can also offer a limited number of places to non-university members.
What we will be looking for
Auditions are based solely on musical merit. We expect auditionees to be around grade 8 standard, although no formal qualifications are required. Jazz experience is beneficial, but we are also keen to hear from classical players who want to broaden their horizons.
We will be aiming to get some idea of your sight-reading, as well as your general technical ability. We will also be looking for overall musicianship, such as your feel for the music and how well you respond to feedback and suggestions.
What will happen when I'm called in?
The auditions will be in three parts. Firstly, we ask you to prepare and play a short piece of your choice which you feel best demonstrates your technical facility and stylistic awareness. You will then be asked to do some sight reading, and, if you wish, to do some improvisation in whatever style and over whatever chords suits you best. We encourage you to do this, and whatever you do will not affect the assessment of your ability as a section player, but this part is entirely optional.
Singers will be asked to pre-prepare a piece of their choosing, which can be performed with or without accompaniment as desired. We will have a chat about your experiences, and, if you would like, may get you to do some scat improvisation.
There will be three or four musicians from the orchestra present, including someone who can accompany you on piano if desired. One of us, usually the most familiar with your instrument, will do most of the talking.
Your audition will take around ten minutes. We'll chat a bit about your experience and anything else you'd like to bring up. We'll also do our best to accommodate any request, such as a metronome click when you're playing, or a different order for the audition that would suit you better. We will aim to inform you of the result of your audition by Sunday evening.
Help, I'm nervous!
It's okay - we know! Auditions are intimidating and nerve-racking, even for accomplished jazz musicians who are perfectly happy playing in a band in front of hundreds of people. We do try to be informal and supportive, and we make allowances for nerves and the artificiality of the situation, so just do your best under the circumstances.
Rehearsals for OUJO take place during full term on Monday nights, 7pm-10pm in St. Peter's College music room. If you agree to play in the band, you must be able to commit to all rehearsals and gigs.
3. Hire OUJO
The Oxford University Jazz Orchestra is available to hire for all manner of functions. We’ve dazzled audiences at countless balls, drinks parties, and other functions, as well as at sit-down concerts. The band has a large, varied, and ever-expanding repertoire: we can offer energetic, lively and popular music for dancing crowds, as well as being able to provide background music for dinners and entrances.
The musical standard of OUJO is extremely high. Part of our mission is to bring our music to as wide an audience as possible within the university, and so to university societies, organisations, and members we charge a fraction of the standard rate. We also understand that it is often preferable for ball committees to pay bands in tickets, and under some circumstances are willing to accept payment in this way.
We like to meet our prospective clients in person over coffee (provided) to discuss the event and venue, and talk about how we can tailor our package to suit their needs. As a special treat, in return for ploughing through this skeleton version of OUJO's site, we can also replace the coffee for something colder, and slightly more alcoholic. Drop us an e-mail on email@example.com to find out what we can offer.
“Amazingly professional... OUJO come to play and do not disappoint” – Jeremy Boon, Hertford College Ball Committee, 2011
“OUJO has easily skyrocketed to one of the world’s premier jazz ensembles” – Joe Pascal, President, Hudson Union Society, 2010
OUJO prides itself on its zero-hassle, professional approach to providing live music. We are experienced, for instance having performed at practically every college ball at least once. We provide all our own equipment, and can also provide our own sound engineer, to relieve the burden on your own people and effect rapid solutions to technical problems.
If you are interested in hiring OUJO, or would simply like more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Contact details