Orchestra Auditions

Our flagship program, CYSO orchestras include three string ensembles and four full orchestra ensembles (strings, winds, brass, percussion, harp). Students learn from some of Chicago’s most respected music educators and perform in top venues including Symphony Center’s Orchestra Hall, Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, and Northwestern’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Regular orchestra auditions for the 2021-2022 season are now closed. Throughout the summer, we will hold recruiting auditions for select open positions. If you would like to be considered for a recruiting audition, fill out the form below.

We are currently recruiting for the following instruments:
Symphony Orchestra: Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon
Philharmonic Orchestra: Oboe, Viola
Concert Orchestra: Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, Bass
Debut Orchestra: Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba
Accelerando Strings: Cello, Bass
Preparatory Strings: Viola, Bass


  • Orchestras are open to students who will be entering 1st-12th grade.
  • Audition registration applications are due by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, April 7, 2021
  • Audition videos are due by 11:59 PM on Monday, April 12, 2021
  • Rehearsals are held on Saturday (elementary, intermediate, advanced ensembles) and Sunday (most advanced ensembles).
  • All students are required to prepare two contrasting pieces for their audition. To be considered for the advanced Sunday ensembles, students must also prepare the CYSO-provided excerpts. See audition requirements for complete details.
  • Results are announced via email in late-June and all students will be notified regardless of outcome.




Concert OrchestraDebut OrchestraAccelerando StringsPreparatory StringsOverture Strings


Symphony OrchestraPhilharmonic Orchestra


Additional enrichment program opportunities include chamber music, composition seminar, steel orchestras, masterclasses, and international touring. See the CYSO Program Guide for a full list of programs.

Questions about Orchestra Auditions? Contact Karen Mari at kmari@cyso.org or (312) 939-2207, ext. 250