School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan

Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra

The Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra (MYJO) provides advanced experience performing a variety of big band repertoire in venues throughout Southeast Michigan. The Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra is open to all high-school aged instrumentalists interested in jazz and/or improvisation. It is recommended for students to have at least one year of jazz experience if they wish to participate but is not required.

MYJO Announcements

(1/26/23) Info Session on MYE’s 2023-2024 Season!

Interested in joining MYE for our next exciting season? SMTD will be hosting informational sessions for interested students and their families on Sunday, February 19th. Click here to R.S.V.P Today!

(12/15/22) Applications for MYJO’s 2023-2024 Season are now open!

See the “Auditions | Eligibility” and “Tuition | Fees | Scholarship” sections below for more information on MYJO’s 2023-2024 Season. Feel free to contact SMTD Engagement & Outreach Staff via email ( if you have any questions.

Rehearsal Information

Time: Sundays, 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Location: Cady Room, Frederick Stearns Building
(U-M North Campus, 2005 Baits Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)

Season Schedule

*NOTE: Dates and times for MYJO 2022-23 Season Events are subject to change



Associate Professor of Music, Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation

Dennis Wilson joined the Michigan faculty after teaching at Kansas State University where he also served as an assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. Wilson is the lead trombonist for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra and has toured, performed, and recorded with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the American Jazz Orchestra, the Benny Carter Orchestra, and Slide Hampton’s World of Trombones. He received a GRAMMY Award nomination for vocal arrangements for Manhattan Transfer and has performed on GRAMMY Award-winning recordings with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Diane Schurr.

 Auditions | Eligibility

Applications for Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra’s 2023-2024 Season Auditions are due by

5:00 P.M. SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2023

Applications are now available for the 2023-2024 Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra Season! In order to audition / apply, students must complete the following steps.


  • Complete the 2023-2024 Michigan Youth Ensembles Application via the button below.
  • Upload a video recording of the required materials for your instrument listed below.
  • Pay the non-refundable $30 application fee. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify based on financial need (contact Engagement & Outreach Staff for more information).

Specific audition requirements for each instrument are listed below:

ALL INSTRUMENTS (Excluding piano, guitar, bass and drums)

  • Seven major scales of your choice (seven different keys)
  • Three harmonic and/or melodic minor scales of your choice using eighth notes (quarter = 120)
  • Perform a melody (head) AND improvised solo to either a blues, rhythm changes, or standard jazz tune, with a live combo
  • Compose and play your own created solo on the song “Lady Bird”. Please download a pdf file of “Lady Bird” in your instrument’s key


  • Walk a bass line or comp chords for an F or Bb blues, either with a combo or play-a-long recording
  • Improvise a solo to either a blues, rhythm changes, or standard jazz tune, with a live combo
  • Compose and play your own created solo on the song “Lady Bird”. Please download a pdf file of “Lady Bird” in your instrument’s key

Note: Rhythm section players must be able to read the appropriate clefs for their instruments.

Prepare pieces that demonstrate the following styles:

  • Swing (sticks and brushes)
  • Bossa nova
  • Samba
  • Ballad

Students interested in the Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra must be enrolled in grades 9 through 12 for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Regular Instrumentation is Alto Saxophone (2), Baritone Saxophone (1), Bass Trombone (1), Double Bass (2), Drum Set (2), Guitar (1), Piano (2), Tenor Saxophone (2), Trombone (3), Trumpet (5) and Voice (2). Special orchestrations include Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Cello, Bb Clarinet, Euphonium, Flute, Harp, Horn, Marimba, Oboe, and Violin orchestrated by Prof. Wilson.

For questions about applications, audition requirements, or the audition process, feel free to contact SMTD Engagement & Outreach Staff via email at

Tuition | Fees | Scholarships

Participant – $500.00
Non-refundable application fee – $30

A discounted tuition rate of $330.00 per additional ensemble is available for musicians who participate in multiple ensembles. This discount is applied to the ensemble of equal or lesser value.

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $100,000 or under in the previous calendar year, or with special circumstances due to the pandemic. To be considered you must upload your financial aid materials by the application deadline as part of your application. This includes:

  • Monthly Expenses
  • Previous Year’s Tax Return
  • Statement of Need

Full refunds of MYE tuition are only available before the first regularly scheduled rehearsal of the current concert season. Those wishing to learn more about the MYE Refund Policy can do so by clicking here: SMTD Engagement and Outreach refund policy

Contact Us

Email at
Phone at (734) 936-2660

DURING MYE SEASON (approx. September – March) Engagement & Outreach Staff monitors emails the following times

  • Sunday – Thursday, 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. EST

OUT OF SEASON (approx. March – August) Engagement & Outreach Staff monitors emails the following times

  • Monday – Friday, 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. EST

Engagement & Outreach Staff monitors phone lines during the following hours, regardless of the time of year

  • Monday – Friday, 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. EST

updated 12/15/22