Update: New site for State Honor Jazz Band

The State Honor Jazz Band will now be held at the Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Dates and times have stayed the same. More details to come.

Anoka-Ramsey Community College
11200 Mississippi Blvd
Coon Rapids, MN 55433



The 2017-2018 MBDA State Jazz Honor Bands are an opportunity for talented young musicians from across Minnesota to join together in the performance of quality jazz ensemble literature.

The bands will rehearse 10am - 5pm on Sunday, January 21st, 2018 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and conclude with an informal performance for family and friends at 5pm. The bands will also perform the morning of Friday, February 23rd, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center as a part of the MMEA Midwinter Clinic. Please have students and families check their calendars BEFORE submitting auditions to ensure that both of these dates are available, as attendance at all events is mandatory.

Eligible students are in grades 7-10, must be involved in their MN school band and jazz band program during the year of audition, and have MN directors who are current (paid) members of MBDA at the time of submission. Students are selected based on top audition results, but it is also the intent of MBDA to represent as many schools across Minnesota as possible each year.

All student auditions must be submitted via mp3 recording.
The window for submitting auditions is Oct. 27 - Nov. 6.  

Notification of acceptance and music will be sent to directors by mid December 2017. If selected for the MBDA Jazz Honor Bands, students will be expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals and activities on January 21st and February 23rd, 2018. A participation fee of $65.00 per student will cover expenses and the cost of lunch at the Sunday rehearsal.  Parents are responsible for transportation, lodging, and supervision at all other times during the Honor Band rehearsals and pre- and post-performance.  


Audition etudes, scales, and backing tracks for improvisation can be accessed by your band director on the MBDA website. Note - Directors must be current, paid members to access this info.

When preparing to record your audition:
 - Please do NOT record all audition materials together in one track. Use separate tracks for each element.
 - Each particular scale and etude must be recorded in one take, not edited and spliced together.  

Record your audition in the following order:
1. Record the scales for your instrument - one track per scale.
2. Perform the two etudes for your instrument (Drums – two etudes and three styles. Bass- two etudes). 
3. OPTIONAL: Record the improvisation etude with the accompaniment, available on the MBDA website. Improvisation skill score may be used to determine solo(s) for the performance or used in the event of a tied score. There is no improvisation track for bass and drums.

See the audition rubric on the MBDA website for more specific details about scoring auditions.


1. Go to this form to fill out student information for your student. You will receive a confirmation email for each student that you are entering for consideration in the MBDA State Honor Jazz Band. On this email, will be a submission code - provide this to your student if they are making their payments online.


To complete the audition process,  please inform your director you have:
1. Filled out the Audition Form for your band, available at this link for 7-8: and at this link for 9-10
2. Provide fee of $10 payable to MBDA by check or online at www.mbda.org/payments If paying online, your director will provide you a code to enter along with your submission.

Student audition recordings must be completed by 8:00 pm on Monday, November 6, 2017.

Please direct questions about the 7-8 Jazz Honor Band to Nick Mason - masonn@nls.k12.mn.us
Please direct questions about the 9-10 Jazz Honor Band to Ben Bussey - benjamin.bussey@gmail.com