Youth Orchestra Audition Requirements
This page has been updated for auditions for the 2019-2020 season.
Youth Orchestra auditions consist of a scale requirement, a solo requirement, sightreading and an orchestral excerpt. For students auditioning on more than one instrument, such as Flute and Piccolo – please prepare a separate solo for each instrument.
Scale Requirement – Perform the scales and arpeggios for your instrument as follows:
Violin: B-flat Major, b melodic minor, three octaves.
Viola: E-flat Major, e melodic minor, three octaves.
Cello: B-Flat Major, e melodic minor, three octaves.
Bass: C Major, e melodic minor, two octaves.
Winds and Brass: Two scales of your choice, one major and one melodic minor, with arpeggios, showing your full range on your instrument.
Perform scales as eighth notes at quarter note = 60 or faster, at a tempo you can maintain, four notes to a bow for strings. The tonic may be doubled in each octave. Perform arpeggios as eighth note triplets, three notes to a bow for strings.
Scales should show your best tone, intonation, and consistency of tempo.
Percussionists, Harpists, and Pianists will not be asked to play scales but will be asked to sightread.
Solo Requirement – A short solo (or section of a solo) of no more than three minutes from a standard concerto, sonata, or other significant concert work.
For percussion, a short solo (from a standard concert piece) in at least two of the three areas of keyboard percussion, snare drum, and/or timpani.
Orchestral Excerpt Requirement
Prospective Youth Orchestra members should:
– have substantial experience reading music in a variety of keys and meters, and have the ability to learn music in any key or meter.
– demonstrate technical ability to play at the level of repertoire on recent Youth Orchestra concert programs
– demonstrate musical maturity and dedication to prepare challenging music outside of rehearsal
String players should:
– be able to play at least in fifth position
– be able to read all clefs for their instrument found in standard repertoire (including tenor and treble clefs for cellos and treble clef for violists)
– know all the main bowing styles used in standard repertoire
Wind and Brass players should:
– be able to read and play in the keys, transpositions, and clefs applicable to their instrument in standard orchestral repertoire.
– be able to learn and perform an independent part (one not doubled in unison with another of the same instrument).
Percussionists should have experience on timpani, snare drum, keyboard percussion, and standard accessories.
Harp and Piano players should have familiarity with orchestral repertoire.
Please reference the Youth Orchestra Ensemble Description for more information about the ensemble.