Chair Placement Auditions (scroll down to see excerpts)

Q: What are chair placement auditions?

A: They are short auditions that determine where you will sit in your section. For example, if we have six violin players in the 1st violin section, they will be arranged from 1st chair to 6th chair. Another example is the trumpet section, where the 1st chair trumpet often plays slightly different music from 2nd chair, whose music might be different from 3rd chair, and so on.

Q: When are these auditions held?

NEW (8/27/14): There is a change in the schedule. Flutes, winds, percussion, and Italiano string bass players should come at 9:00 for chair placement auditions. That is a change from what it says below.

A: They are held during the first rehearsal of the season, which this year is September 6. Auditions for members of the Italiano Orchestra start at 8:00 a.m., and for the Philharmonic Strings they start at 9:00 a.m. These are listed in the schedule (PDF file).

Q: What do we play at chair placement auditions?

A: The only thing played at these auditions are orchestral excerpts, which have been selected by the LYSO section coaches. Do not memorize the excerpts; use the music when you play at the auditions.  You do not play a solo or a scale. You also do not do sight reading. The only thing you play are the excerpts. 

Q: How do I get my excerpts?

A: Select your instrument from the list below. Print the music. Look for the sections that have been marked, and practice those sections as much as possible prior to the audition.

Q: I am a violinist. Do I choose violin 1 or violin 2?

A: You may choose either. Look at both parts and decide which you wish to play. Choose the part that you think you can play well based on your current skill level. Be aware, though, that the part you pick does not guarantee which section you will be in. 

Q: I am a trumpet player. Why does the excerpt have music in Bb and A?

A: At measure 333 it switches to A. However, on the next page (page 4) there is an extra section that has the same measures, except they are written in Bb. If you wish to practice your transposition skills you can just stay on that part, but remember to transpose the part from trumpet in A to trumpet in B flat.  If you don't wish to do that then skip to page 4, which has the part already written for trumpet in B flat.

Q: From which pieces are the excerpts taken?

A: The Italiano excerpts come from The Moldau, by Smentana, except for one of the cello excerpts, which comes from the Waltz of the Flowers, part of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. The Philharmonic excerpts come from Mozart's Molto Allegro, except for the violin excerpts, which are from Odessa by David Bobrowitz.




  • Violin 1 -- Letter C through m. 117; letter I through letter K; letter L through m. 403
  • Violin 2 -- Letter I through letter K; m. 333 up to letter L; letter L through m. 373
  • Viola -- mm. 35-49, 122-130, and 333-349
  • Cello -- mm. 239-260 (play the cello 2 line, which is the bottom notes, not the small upper notes), 289-301, and 333-35. Also this excerpt from the Nutcracker, m. 196 - G.
  • Bass --  measures 271 to 322
  • Flute -- m. 3 to letter A; Letter D until m. 153; pickup to m. 333 to downbeat of letter L
  • Oboe -- D through E, also m. 333 through L
  • Clarinet -- D thru E, and G thru m. 239
  • Bassoon -- m. 40 to B, m.122 to 153, and m.239 thru 260
  • Horn -- mm. 80-109 and 217-235
  • Trumpet -- mm. 80-106, 283-323, and 333-407
  • Trombone -- mm. 217-235 and 271-325 Play all trombone I part and cues for trombone II
  • Timpani -- measures 333 - 395
  • Percussion -- measures 311 - 359


  • Violin -- If you want to be considered for the second violin section, play measure #5 through the end of measure #21. If you want to be considered for the first violin section, play measure #5 through end of measure #31. 
  • Viola -- measure #12 through the end of measure #25
  • Cello -- measure #26 through the end of measure #35
  • Bass -- measure #5 through the 1st note of measure #23