Youth Jazz Ensemble

uwm youth jazz ensemble


Location: UWM Music Building
Rosemary Walzer,

The UW-Milwaukee Youth Jazz Ensemble (UJAY) is an auditioned group, under the direction of saxophonist Rosemary Walzer, that is comprised of the Greater Milwaukee Area’s finest high school jazz musicians. Since 1992, students have experienced jazz education in a professional-style setting, received extra instruction from guest artists/clinicians, and performed in the University and Milwaukee jazz communities.

Among the performance opportunity highlights is the annual UWM Woody Herman Jazz Festival. The Festival comprises of workshops and masterclasses for students/teachers with our guest artist and clinicians and culminates with a concert featuring the UWM Youth Jazz Ensemble, the UWM Jazz Ensemble, and the Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra, a group consisting of the top professional jazz musicians in the Milwaukee area. Previous guest artists have included Jon Faddis (trumpet), Jim Pugh (trombone), Eddie Gomez (bass), Frank Tiberi (saxophone), Roger Ingram (trumpet), and, most recently, vocalist Steve March-Tormé.

The Youth Jazz Ensemble program works in cooperation with high school music programs and relies on the support of school band directors and private teachers throughout SE Wisconsin.

Ensemble rehearsals take place in UW-Milwaukee’s Music Building on Thursday evenings from 6:00-7:30pm and Improvisation Lab (Combo) rehearses from 7:30-8:15pm.

Tuition & Concert Dates

First-year UJAY students: $350
Returning UJAY students: $300

Concert dates and location TBD


Spring Entrance Auditions

To qualify to participate in UJAY, students must pass an entrance audition and remain enrolled in some aspect of their school’s music program.

Once confirmed, saxophone, trumpet and trombone players will participate in a second audition for chair placement on Thursday, September 2, 2021.

Questions: Rosemary Walzer,


Chromatic Scale
A two-octave chromatic scale (any starting pitch), performed both ascending and descending with a swing feel. Additional range (especially for brass) may be demonstrated. Percussion are exempt from this requirement.

Improvised Solo
Prepare an improvised solo on a jazz standard or 12 bar blues. Play the head, solo on two choruses, and play the head out. Bass/Piano/Guitar- comp for an additional chorus. Drum set- Demonstrate swing style (slow, medium, up tempo), brush work, funk style, and a latin style of your choice (bossa nova, samba, mambo).

Audition Video
Record your audition video that incorporates all of the above requirements and save it as a single video file. Upload your audition video to a private YouTube channel, iCloud, Dropbox, or another cloud-based storage platform, and then share the link in the spring registration/audition form.

Please prepare your audition video before starting the online registration form. Submit all audition material by June 18th. Students will be notified by July 1st.

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