Jazz Orchestra Audition FAQ

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the CYSO Audition process, and Jazz Orchestra in general. These answers will provide you with a good idea of what to expect when you come for a CYSO audition.


What is Jazz Orchestra?

CYSO’s Jazz Orchestra is a high school-level jazz ensemble program led by musician and educator Pharez Whitted. Rehearsals are held throughout the school year on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-8:30pm at CYSO’s offices in the Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan Ave in Chicago). The orchestra will perform throughout the season at locations around the Chicago area. Jazz Orchestra tuition is $750 for the season, and financial assistance is available.


When are the auditions held?

Jazz Orchestra auditions take place on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, June 19th from 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday, June 26th from 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday, July 3rd from 5:00 – 9:00 PM

Where are the auditions held?

All auditions are held in the CYSO rehearsal facilities in the Fine Arts Building on the 8th floor. Our address is 410 S. Michigan Ave, Suite 833, Chicago, IL 60605.


Are there warm-up rooms once I arrive at the audition site?

Yes. There is one large communal warm-up room.


When should I arrive?

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your audition time. It is very important to make sure you allow yourself extra travel time and look out for any possible traffic or weather delays.


Should I memorize the music?

Memorization is not required. If you would like to memorize the excerpts, you are welcome to do so.


How long is the audition?

An average audition can last up to 18 minutes.  During your audition, you may be stopped by the panel and asked to go on to another excerpt or improvisation example.  You may also be given some instruction regarding what you just played and asked to play the excerpt, improvisation or sight reading example again. These situations are all common.


What should I wear?

Wear nice dress clothes that are comfortable for you to perform in. Remember that this is the first impression you will make on those who will evaluate you. It is also a good idea to practice in the clothes you are planning to wear at least once before your audition.


When will I find out if I have been accepted?

2018-2019 season audition results will be announced July 27th by 5pm. All auditioning students will receive correspondence, regardless of outcome. Be sure to enter you email address correctly on your Audition Registration Form. Email is CYSO’s primary mode of communication with students and parents.


How do I get to the Fine Arts Building?

The Fine Arts Building’s downtown loop location makes it very convenient to arrive via public transportation. There are also several parking garages near the Fine Arts Building. CYSO patrons receive discounted rates at our preferred parking lot – Millennium Garages’ Grant Park South – located at 325 S. Michigan Avenue between Jackson Blvd and Van Buren St. Get detailed information on public transportation, driving directions & parking. 


When and where are rehearsals held?

Jazz Orchestra rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 8:30 PM in CYSO room 833 at 410 S. Michigan Avenue, the Fine Arts Building.


What are the requirements for membership?

Requirements vary for each orchestra, enrichment program, and by instrument. Visit our audition requirements and CYSO membership requirements for details.


If you have other questions not covered here, contact us at (312)-939-2207.