The annual audition/orientation of the Blues
Alley Youth Orchestra is scheduled to occur on Sunday, September 7th from
1pm-4pm at Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown. Grace Church is our principal
ecumenical partner and is physically located at 1041 Wisconsin Avenue, NW or
one block south of the Blues Alley Jazz nightclub. Auditions are for newcomers
only but the orientation is mandatory for all and parents are
encouraged to attend. The orientation will be conducted by our Executive Director Harry Schnipper at
3:00 pm and will last approximately 30 minutes. The purpose of the orientation
is to collect valuable contact information, disseminate upcoming performance
dates and answer any questions that prospective student participants may have
about the orchestra. Prospects may also submit a preliminary audition recording to our
Music Director Michael Bowie as follows: Prior emergency contact and insurance
waiver information can be accessed on-line prior to the September 9th date in
the upper right hand corner of this webpage.
The Orchestra is comprised of accomplished
student musicians ranging in age from 14-17 years old with their mission to
preserve and promote the big band jazz genre. Now in its 27th year the
Orchestra has performed at such mainstay venues as The John F. Kennedy Center,
The Smithsonian Institution, Voice of America, Carter Barron Amphitheater, Wolf
Trap Farm Park, Blues Alley and elsewhere.
The Orchestra was founded in 1985 along with
its parent Blues Alley Jazz Society and performs varied musical selections by
such successful jazz composers as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie
Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and others. The
Orchestra typically contains a full accompaniment of brass, strings and
percussion and attracts student musicians from Frederick to Fredericksburg.
Students also take part in both civic and educational trainings as they perform
in senior centers, at community functions and inside houses of worship.
Often performers traveling through Washington,
DC have volunteered in workshops and master classes while performing
simultaneously at the club. Guest artists have included Quincy Jones, McCoy
Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Jon Faddis, Terrence Blanchard and more. An orientation
occurs each second Sunday in September with a full rehearsal and performance
schedule from September through April and through July until August. The school
calendar includes weekly and monthly rehearsal and performance opportunities.
To learn more or to participate or perform with this truly unique Washington
musical experience please contact Mr. Bowie at
musical opportunities may await you.