Audition Requirements and Procedures

<< Register for auditions at the Join LYSO page >>

Membership Requirements

Orchestra membership is based on musical ability as well as the orchestra’s specific needs for instrumentation for the season. Young musicians from 4th grade through 12th grade who play an orchestral instrument may audition. With two orchestras, there are many opportunities for talented musicians.

The Philharmonic Orchestra

The Philharmonic Orchestra is an intermediate-level full orchestra that allows motivated and interested students to enjoy a rewarding orchestral experience. It is for young musicians who have had playing experience and desire the challenge of excellent music but are not yet ready to play the most difficult of orchestral repertoire. The Philharmonic Orchestra will challenge the middle school and early high school musician. Players gain from the experience of playing more advanced repertoire, which is not always possible in a school setting.

The Italiano Orchestra

The Italiano Orchestra is a full orchestra comprised of young musicians through the 12th grade who have demonstrated an ability to perform at an advanced level. Members enjoy the enrichment and challenge of performing with other serious and dedicated musicians. Technical skills include being able to play in both basic and more difficult key signatures. Woodwind and brass players will be able to play chromatic scales, read expected clefs for their instruments, and transpose where applicable. String players will be able to play scales through at least three octaves, be able to play fluently through all positions, have advanced bowing techniques (e.g., spiccato and sautillẻ) and be able to read all expected clefs for their instrument. Percussion players will have mallet instrument techniques (two octave scales) and knowledge of timpani (tuning and technique). Timpani, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone and snare drum will be provided. Students are asked to bring their own mallets.

Audition Requirements

Audition Requirements for the Philharmonic Orchestra:

Solo: Select a Class A or Class B piece from the WSMA High School or Middle School list, OR select a piece of similar difficulty that is not on the list. (Ask your music teacher for help selecting a solo).

Scales: Play the scales from the WSMA Middle Level website. NOTE: Disregard anything that refers to Eligibility, Requirements, Sight-Reading or Required Etudes.  Play the scales with the indicated articulations and bowings.

Nothing else is required (no sightreading).

Audition Requirements for the Italiano Orchestra:

Solo: Select a Class A or Class B solo from the WSMA High School list, OR select a piece of similar difficulty that is not on the list. (Ask your music teacher for help selecting a solo).

Scales: Play the scales from the WSMA High School State Honor's website. NOTE: Disregard anything that refers to Eligibility, Requirements, Sight-Reading or Required Etudes.  Play the scales with the indicated articulations and bowings.

Nothing else is required (no sightreading).

Auditions are for new members only and for Philharmonic members wanting to move into the Italiano Orchestra. If you were a member during the second semester of the previous season, you do not audition for the next season.

Students who join either orchestra after the season’s auditions have taken place, will need to audition separately to determine eligibility and in which orchestra they will play. These students will be placed at the end of the section until the next year’s chair placement auditions are held. 

All members (new and returning) must play a chair placement audition at the first rehearsal in September. Chair placement auditions take place only in September and are valid for the entire year. Requirements and excerpts for this audition will be emailed to everyone after the August audition date. Students who do not attend the first rehearsal in September and thereby miss the chair placement auditions will be placed at the back of their section. 

Adjudicators

The adjudication panel consists of LYSO conductors and faculty. This panel will determine the placement of the musicians. The panel’s decisions are final.

Audition Requirements (What to play at your placement audition)

  • All musicians play a solo of their choice no longer than 4 minutes that demonstrates their musical and technical abilities. This piece does not need to be memorized. It must be played without accompaniment.
  • Play one scale of student’s choice, 3 octaves if possible.
  • Sight reading may also be part of the auditions.

Other Audition Information

  • Auditions are closed to parents and the public.

  • Students will be judged on intonation, interpretation, tone, rhythm, technique, and scale proficiency.

  • Student placement is competitive. Students are placed in an orchestra by the quality of their audition performance.

  • Auditions are for new members only. If you were a member during the second semester of the previous season, you do not have to audition for the next season.

  • All members (new and returning) must play a chair placement audition at the 1st rehearsal in September. Requirement and excerpts for this audition will be emailed to everyone after the August audition date.

  • If you do not attend the first rehearsal in September, regardless of the reason, you will be placed at the back of your section. Those auditioning for the second semester will be placed at the back of the section.

  • Orchestra placements may not be appealed

Audition Tips

  • Be prepared. Prepare as far in advance as possible
  • Have a positive attitude. Visualize yourself going into the room and playing your best.
  • Arrive in plenty of time to warm up. Double check your placement audition time and place and plan to arrive early. Other musicians may be in the same room warming up - just focus on your own warm up.
  • In the interest of time, the judges will stop players in the middle of their solos when they have heard enough music to make their decision. This may mean that the student plays for only 1 minute or so before being asked to move on to another part of the audition. Players should not be offended or feel shortchanged when this happens. It is not a comment upon their playing; rather, it is a necessity because of the number of players to be heard.
  • Students should play their best material first. If the solo selection has several sections of different speeds, players should begin with the section that shows them off to best advantage.

Audition results will be emailed to everyone within 2 days following the audition date (be sure that we have your correct email).