Looking to Play/Sing/Study Jazz at Amherst?

Currently in the midst of the dreaded college hunt? Making those pro/con charts? We love to talk to prospective students about any questions you may have regarding the Jazz scene here at the College. Have a look at our FAQ's below and please follow these simple steps in order to make the process as easy as possible:

  1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Please send an email to bpdiehl@amherst.edu with the subject line "Prospective Student: <your name>" so we can start a conversation about a potential future here at Amherst. Include information (as formal as you wish) about what instrument(s)/voice you play and where you are from.
  2. VISIT US. We welcome you to join us in rehearsals on M/W evenings, 7pm-11pm.  Bring your instrument or inform us of what you need so we can hear you and start the admissions process.  It is also possible to meet with Bruce, Prof. Robinson and/or Prof. Harper as you travel through Amherst.  Be in touch to organize this.  Note-there is often a Jazz-related course being offered on all days of the week and there are jazz combo rehearsals that take place on all days and nights of the week.  It is a great opportunity for you to hear (and sit in) with us in our ensembles and/or classes.
  3. FILL OUT AN ARTS SUPPLEMENT. If you are serious about playing music at the college level, this is a first step for most institutions. This way, you can be on our radar for as long as possible. The guidelines for the Amherst Arts Suppliment are found here. Jazz@Amherst also has additional suggestions, seen below:

    Please submit samples for as many styles of music (jazz, classical, pop, folk, etc.) that you believe will advocate for your admission.

    If possible, separate the different examples by track rather than create one long track.  Please label ALL tracks.  As the process moves to all-electronic, it is hugely important that you label your submission with a great deal of accuracy and specificity.   Please indicate at what point your solo voice can be heard if it is tucked within an ensemble piece.

    Please specify your specific instrument(s), and your comfort level on each instrument you play (i.e. "Advanced Alto Saxophone" rather than "woodwinds").

    Please make sure that your submission is accessible without the need to log in to a cloud server or other password-encoded mass storage space.

    1. STAY IN TOUCH. Our most successful applicants are actively on our radar from before they arrive on campus.  Let us know about new and exciting muical endeavors going on in your lives at High School and in other areas.

    People playing a trumpet, upright bass and drums on stage

    Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Combo Audition Materials

    Info & Materials for 2022-2023

    Thank you for your interest in being a part of our vibrant Jazz Performance Program at Amherst College. Use the link below to access to the audition materials including sheet music, playalong track(s) and info/sign-up forms.

    We look forward to meeting and welcoming you to and welcoming you back and having you a part of our vibrant Jazz Performance Program!

    • Auditions for 2022–23 were September 1–5.
    • Please contact Bruce Diehl (bpdiehl@amherst.edu) with any questions.

    A close-up photo of a person playign an electric guitar

    Jazz Theory/Improvisation Placement Exam

    This exam helps us understand where you are in terms of this course sequence. The material covered on this exam comprises a significant portion of our study in MUS 113, 246 & 247.