Sean Jones


Nyo application info



NYO Jazz invites young musicians (ages 16–19) to audition for its 2018 season. All application materials must be submitted using an online form administered by Acceptd, a service that provides a digital audition platform to many performing arts schools and programs. In order to start the NYO Jazz application, you will need to create an Acceptd account. (If you already have one, you can start a new application using your existing account.) Once you have created an Acceptd account, you will be able to save your progress at any time. If this is your first experience with an online digital audition service, we encourage you to allow enough time to upload and review the required application videos to make certain they represent your playing as effectively as possible.


  • February 1, 2018: Application deadline (at 11:59 PM in your respective time zone)
  • February 15, 2018: Recommendation deadline
  • April 1, 2018: Applicants notified of status via email; audition feedback provided shortly thereafter
  • July 14, 2018: Program begins


NYO Jazz is accepting applications for the 2018 season on the following instruments:

  • flute
  • clarinet
  • saxophone (alto, tenor, and baritone)
  • trumpet
  • trombone (tenor and bass)
  • piano
  • bass
  • guitar
  • drums/percussion
  • vibraphone

Apply Now

Deadline: February 1, 2018

NYO Jazz is a free program.

Application Resources

Contact Us

If you have additional questions, please email or call 212-424-2024.

Other Ensembles

Application Fee

There is a $30 application fee, payable online via major credit card at the time you fully complete and submit your application. To apply for a fee waiver on the basis of financial need, please email a completed fee-waiver application to before you submit your application. Upon approval, we will provide you with a promo code to be entered during the payment step of your application on Acceptd. Fee waiver requests must be received no later than November 1, 2017.

Application Requirements

  • Audition Videos (details below)
  • Biographical Essay: In approximately 200–300 words, describe your background and musical/educational experience, including how participation in NYO Jazz would help you achieve personal or artistic goals.
  • Recommendations: You will be asked to enter email addresses for two required references; a third is optional. Each reference will receive a link to an online recommendation form after you submit your completed application. Please note that this email will be sent directly from Acceptd (not Carnegie Hall or NYO Jazz). Your references will have until February 15 to complete and submit their confidential recommendations. References who can address both your personal and musical qualities, such as your music teacher(s) and/or ensemble conductor(s), are preferred.

Audition Videos

All applicants to NYO Jazz are required to record a series of audition videos that include the content outlined below. Each performance segment must be recorded in one take with no editing (though you may and should select the best of several takes). All videos must be recorded within six months of the application deadline. Professional equipment and/or studio space is not necessary for a successful application to NYO Jazz. With attention to a few details, your music making can be conveyed using readily available consumer electronics. Many past participants have recorded successful applications using iPhones or other smartphones. Please refer to our Video Guidelines for additional information and suggestions for effectively recording your audition.

Required Video Segments:

  • Introduction: Either before your first audition track or as a separate file, please include a spoken introduction in which you state your name, instrument, and hometown.
  • Musical Selections: Please record one video for each required tune/style/excerpt for your instrument, details of which can be found below. If you wish to demonstrate proficiency on a doubling instrument, you may include one or two additional examples. Applicants may perform unaccompanied or, where applicable, with prerecorded rhythm tracks. A live performance that clearly demonstrates your abilities is also acceptable.
  • Video Essay: Please record an answer to one of the following questions:

    • What is your most meaningful musical experience, either as a performer or as a listener?
    • What is a non-musical interest or activity that you are passionate about and why?
    • What musician (of any genre) most inspires you and why (or how)?

Musical Selections

To request copies of lead sheets for the required tunes below, please click here to complete a short request form.


  • Required: One medium up-tempo bebop tune—“Anthropology,” “Ornithology,” or “Scrapple from the Apple”—with optional two-chorus improvisation
  • Required: One funk, hip-hop, or R&B tune, with optional improvisation
  • Required: One chorus of a ballad from “Body and Soul” or “In a Sentimental Mood”; interpret the melody in an improvisational manner while staying true to the melodic construct
  • Optional: Solo three-chorus improvisation of either “Moment’s Notice” or “Giant Steps”
  • Lead trumpet, baritone saxophone, and bass trombone only: Required: perform excerpts from “Into the Sun” and “Transitions” provided by NYO Jazz


  • Required: “Billie’s Bounce” (medium up-tempo)

    • Piano/Guitar/Vibes: One chorus melody, one chorus “comping,” two choruses soloing
    • Bass walks for four choruses, with optional improvisation for two choruses
  • Required: One chorus of a ballad; improvise loosely off the melody
  • Required: Melody and solo of an odd-meter composition—either “Take Five” or “Nommo”
  • Optional: Solo improvisation for three choruses from “Cherokee,” “Confirmation,” or “Giant Steps”
  • Guitar only: Demonstrate “comping” to a swing tune in the style of Freddie Green
  • Bass only (optional): Provide an excerpt of your playing in a big band, either rehearsal or performance


  • Required: Demonstrate skills in style(s) of choice at any tempo; less than two minutes
  • Required: One medium up-tempo swing tune; one chorus time, one chorus solo, one chorus time, one chorus trading fours
  • Required: One minute of each style (optional chorus of improvisation for each)

    • Swing up-tempo (brushes and sticks)
    • Afro-Cuban or Brazilian
    • Jazz shuffle
    • Ballad
    • Funk / hip-hop
  • Required: One minute each in 5/4 and 7/4 time signatures
  • Optional: provide an excerpt of your playing in a big band, either rehearsal or performance


Citizenship: NYO Jazz is open to US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) from all backgrounds.

Age Limit: You must be between the ages of 16 and 19 during the summer of your participation. For 2018, this means your birthdate must be between July 1, 1998, and June 30, 2002, without exception. Please note that if you are under 18 at the time that you apply, the consent of your parent or guardian is required.

Music Study: If you are enrolled full-time in a college-level conservatory or music department with jazz performance as your major (or intended field of study), you are not eligible to join NYO Jazz. There are no other educational or performance requirements for NYO Jazz eligibility. Please see specific examples below.

You are not considered a full-time music student if you:

  • study part-time at or take lessons through the pre-college or preparatory division of a music school or conservatory
  • are enrolled in a performing arts high school, regardless of your course of study
  • are enrolled in a college, university, or conservatory degree program in a field outside of jazz performance (including all non-music majors, voice, music education, composition, musicology, etc.)
  • have been accepted by and plan to enroll in a college, university, or conservatory jazz performance program, but will not begin full-time studies until after July 2018

You are considered a full-time music student if:

  • you are enrolled (or will be prior to June 2018) in a college, university, or conservatory music-degree program, with jazz performance as your major or intended field of study if you have not yet declared a major (including double majors with an jazz performance specialization)
  • regardless of your age, you are enrolled (or will be prior to June 2018) as a full-time student in a non-degree conservatory or music school diploma program beyond the preparatory level, with jazz performance as your primary field of study

Lead donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; and Beatrice Santo Domingo

Major support has been provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.