Orchestra Audition Requirements

Please note: As we continue to honor expert recommendations about social distancing, CYSO has moved to video auditions for the upcoming 2020-2021 season.

Orchestra Audition video submissions should be approximately 5-8 minutes long except percussion auditions which are approximately 5 minutes. During that time, students will perform 2-3 minutes of their two contrasting solo pieces and, if they choose, the orchestral  excerpts found at the bottom of this page.

All auditioning students are asked to prepare two contrasting pieces for their audition. For the audition video, please include a 2-3 minute portion of each piece. (You do not need to start at the beginning.) It is important that the two solo selections you choose are CONTRASTING so that the judges hear the range of your technical and musical capabilities: fast vs slow, lyrical vs technical. If your two pieces are 1) a slow, lyrical piece and 2) a fast, technical piece with a slow introduction, make sure you play the fast part of the second piece.

When submitting an audition registration, students will indicate whether they plan to play the orchestral excerpts or not. Excerpts are only required for students who wish to be considered for Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonic Orchestra. If a student isn’t sure whether they should audition for these ensembles, we suggest looking at the excerpts with their teacher to see if it feels like an appropriate piece for their level.

 


Strings

  • Two contrasting movements or solo pieces
  • Orchestral Excerpt provided by CYSO*
    • Violin:
      • Measure 33 – 41
      • Measure 74 – 108
      • measure 193 – 211
    • Viola:
      • Measure 97 – 122
      • Pick-up to measure 158 – 174
      • Measure 188 – 223
    • Cello
      • Beginning to measure 38
      • Measure 152 to 210
    • Bass
      • Measure 158 – 223

*The orchestral excerpt is only required if you wish to be considered for placement in Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonic Orchestra (Sunday orchestras). You do not need to prepare the excerpt to be considered for placement in Concert Orchestra, Debut Orchestra, Accelerando Strings, Preparatory Strings, or Overture Strings (Saturday orchestras).


Winds & Brass

  • Two contrasting movements or solo pieces  
  • Three orchestral excerpts chosen by student fromCYSO’s Orchestral Excerpt list.* Note that you must play at least 1 excerpt from each list, A and B, for your instrument. For example, you can pick 1 excerpt from list “A” and 2 from list “B” for a total of 3 excerpts.

*The orchestral excerpts are only required if you wish to be considered for placement in Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonic Orchestra (Sunday orchestras). You do not need to prepare the excerpts to be considered for placement in Concert Orchestra or Debut Orchestra (Saturday orchestras).


Percussion

CYSO understands that most percussionists do not have access to more than a practice pad at this time. Because of this, we will be holding a pre-screening audition that uses only a snare drum or a practice pad until we can host in-person auditions for timpani and mallets at a future time. The pre-screening video requirements are listed below:

  • Snare Drum solo or etude chosen by student.  This can be performed on a snare drum or a practice pad. Please limit the excerpt of the solo/etude to 1 minute. 
  • Share with CYSO a personal statement outlining your experience in percussion and your reasons for wanting to join CYSO. The statement should be under 2 minutes in length.
  • To be considered for Debut or Concert Orchestra (Saturday Orchestras):
  • To be considered for Philharmonic or Symphony Orchestra (Sunday Orchestras):

Please note that you can still be considered for Debut or Concert Orchestra if you prepare the repertoire required for Philharmonic or Symphony Orchestra.

Once you pass the pre-screening, you will be invited to take a Live audition for either a Saturday or Sunday orchestra.


Harp & Piano

  • Two contrasting movements or solo pieces
  • Harp: Two excerpts chosen by student from CYSO’s Orchestral Excerpt list*
  • Piano: Two excerpts chosen by student from CYSO’s Orchestral Excerpt list*

*The orchestral excerpts are only required if you wish to be considered for placement in Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonic Orchestra (Sunday orchestras). You do not need to prepare the excerpts to be considered for placement in Concert Orchestra (Saturday).


2020-2021 CYSO Excerpt List

You may download the excerpts for each instrument by clicking on the instrument in the list below. Please review all excerpts, as they may have been updated since last season.