Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra

Last updated 6/25/24

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

(6/25/24) MYJO Make-Up Auditions Available – 7/20/24

There’s still time to submit a make-up audition for MYJO’s 2024-25 season!  Make-up auditions are being accepted up through Saturday, July 20th, 2024. Information can be found in the “Auditions | Eligibility” section below. Contact the Office of Engagement & Outreach ([email protected]) if you have any questions.

Rehearsal Information

Time: Sundays, 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Location: The Cady Room

Frederick Stearns Building
(U-M North Campus, 2005 Baits Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)

All rehearsals / events will take place at that above listed time and location unless otherwise noted

MYJO Season Schedule

Click the button below to access next season’s schedule



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 make up auditions for the 2024-2025 MYJO Season are now available. See below for application / audition requirements

MYJO make up auditions are being accepted on all instruments listed in the “regular instrumentation” section below


  • Prepare specific audition materials listed below and upload them to your application before submitting (see below for requirements).
  • Complete the 2024-2025 Michigan Youth Ensembles Application via the button 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).
  • Submit your completed application with recorded audition materials by 5:00 P.M. Saturday, July 20th, 2024

*NOTE*: All make up auditions for the Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra 2024-2025 season will be submitted virtually. No live make up auditions will be held. 

Specific audition requirements for each instrument are listed below:

  • *Prepare an improvised solo using the song “Lady Bird” using the following guidelines. You can download a PDF file of “Lady Bird” here in your instrument’s key.
    • A full playing of the melody
    • Play a minimum of 2 (two) choruses improvising
    • Play 1 (one) chorus of trading 4’s
    • Play one additional chorus of the melody going out
  • Walk a bass line or comp chords for an F of Bb blues, with a combo (those auditioning in-person) or a play-a-long recording (those auditioning via video submission). A combo of SMTD students will be available for those auditioning in-person.
  • *Prepare an improvised solo using the song “Lady Bird” using the following guidelines. You can download a PDF file of “Lady Bird” here in your instrument’s key.
    • A full playing of the melody
    • Play a minimum of 2 (two) choruses improvising
    • Play 1 (one) chorus of trading 4’s
    • Play 1 (one) chorus of the melody


  • *Prepare pieces that demonstrate the following styles:
    • Swing (with sticks AND brushes)
    • Bossa nova
    • Samba
    • Ballad
*Applicants may submit more to communicate an enhanced experience level if auditioning via video submission.

Students interested in the Michigan Youth Jazz Orchestra must be enrolled in grades 9 (nine) through 12 (twelve) for the 2024-2025 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 [email protected].

Tuition | Fees |Scholarships

Updated for the 2024-2025 MYE Season

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 [email protected]
Phone at (734) 936-2660

The Engagement & Outreach Staff monitors emails / phone lines at the following times:

  • Monday – Friday, 9:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. EST