Menu

US Army Blues Solo Competition

The U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition

2019 U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition


As the premiere jazz ensemble of The United Sates Army, The U.S. Army Blues is a group of historical importance whose repertoire honors and remembers some of the most important eras in American history. Comprised of exceptional jazz musicians from across the nation, the Army Blues strives to fulfill its mission through public concerts and education outreach; representing the professional excellence of the Army while preserving the tradition of America’s unique art form: jazz.

In an effort to further this mission and highlight the excellence of the next generation of jazz musicians, the Army Blues will host a solo competition to recognize and celebrate talented young musicians. The competition will be held annually during the month of April in conjunction with Jazz Appreciation Month.

The winning soloists will be featured with The U.S. Army Blues on April 28, 2019 in Brucker Hall, and April 29, 2019 in a special Jazz Appreciation Month concert on the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Eligibility:

College Division:

  • Open to U.S. citizens age 26 and younger as of May 1, 2019, currently enrolled in a college, university, or conservatory in the United States, or who graduated from a degree program in December 2018. 
  • Eligible instruments: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, and vibraphone.

High School Division:

  • Open to U.S. citizens currently enrolled in DC-area high schools (grades 9 - 12), to include the District of Columbia, Prince Georges Co., Montgomery Co., Howard Co., Anne Arundel Co., Baltimore Co., Fairfax Co., Fairfax City, City of Falls Church, Prince William Co., Loudoun Co., Arlington Co., Alexandria City. Applications may be accepted from students who do not live in these jurisdictions, but have a connection to them through either a musical organization or a private teacher.
  • Eligible instruments: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, and vibraphone.

Competition participants must be available to perform with the Army Blues in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 28, and Monday, April 29, including rehearsals scheduled for Sunday, April 28.

How to Apply:

Download the application form.

Fill in the form, save it to your computer, and then email the pdf to absc.usarmyband@gmail.com.

In addition to the online form, submit a link (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.) to a video recording of applicant performing required musical selections in their entirety. Please ensure that the video is viewable without a login. For the most privacy, we recommend YouTube “unlisted” privacy settings. Do not email video files.

Your application and links to digital entries must be received by February 20, 2019.

College Division:

  • Submit a link to a video of the applicant performing the following selections with either live rhythm section, play-along recording or metronome:
  • Donna Lee (Charlie Parker); Head and improvised choruses; quarter note = 220 BPM
  • Ruby My Dear (Thelonious Monk); Head and improvised chorus; ballad tempo
  • The total recorded submission should not exceed 10 minutes in length

High School Division:

  • Submit a link to a video of the applicant performing the following selections with either live rhythm section, play-along recording or metronome:
  • Groovin’ High (Dizzy Gillespie); Head and improvised choruses; quarter note = 200 BPM
  • You Don’t Know What Love Is (Gene DePaul); Head and improvised chorus; ballad tempo
  • The total recorded submission should not exceed 10 minutes in length

Winners will be notified no later than March 1, 2019.