Audition Requirements

Musicians ages 6 to 18 are invited to make an audition appointment with GSYO. Individual audition appointments are made year-round, based upon openings in the program. Candidates must study with a private teacher, and have had at least one year of lessons to be considered for placement.

GSYO is accepting applications for open positions only.

Please check each level for instrument listings or contact lori@gsyomusic.org before applying.

Audition requirements are outlined below. Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, auditions will be held via video submission. Only prepare one set of audition requirements. Please note: preparing a specific set of requirements does not guarantee placement at that level nor does it exclude the musician from consideration for other ensembles. Musicians will be considered for all appropriate levels.

Review the filming instructions and audition requirements carefully prior to preparing your video.

An audition application must be received prior to the video submission.

Current Openings:

Symphony

Bass Trombone
Bassoon
Clarinet
Cello
Double Bass
French horn
Harp
Tuba

Galbraith Honor Strings

Viola
Double Bass

Camilla Kolchinsky Orchestra

Cello
Clarinet
Double Bass
French horn
Trumpet
Trombone

Camerata Orchestra

Clarinet
Violin
Viola
Double bass
Cello
French horn
Trombone
Percussion

El Camino Wind Orchestra

Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Bari Sax
Oboe
French horn
Low Brass
Percussion

Chamber Players

Clarinet
Cello
Viola
Double Bass
All Brass

Requirements At A Glance

Explore the tabs above for detailed requirements of each Program

Senior SymphonyCamilla Kolchinsky OrchestraEl Camino Wind OrchestraGalbraith Honor StringsCamerata OrchestraChamber Players Orchestra
Type of OrchestraFullFullWind, Brass, and Percussion Instruments OnlyString Instruments OnlyFullFull
     Strings
     Winds/Brass
     PercussionTimpani
Skill LevelMost AdvancedAdvancedIntermediateIntermediateBeginning-IntermediateBeginning
# of Concerts per Year4+43322
Commitment LevelVery HighHighModerate-HighModerate-HighModerate-HighModerate
Practice DaysSundayTuesdayTuesdayMondayMondayMonday
Years of Private Lessons4+4+3-4+3-4+2-31+
Auditions should be recorded as if they were being performed live, in-person, in front of GSYO faculty. That means that all requirements should be played straight through, live, with no stops. There should be no editing of the video, no accompaniment, and only one video link will be accepted. If it appears that the video has been edited, it will affect your placement.

This recorded performance does not need to be "perfect." The first or second take is usually the best. We strongly encourage doing NO MORE than three takes! We understand that young musicians are still learning, and our goal is to get enough information to place them in an ensemble that is at their best learning level.

Notes for Filming Set Up & Recording

  • Video should be taken in a well-lit room
  • Musician should be visible from the waist up (their instrument, bow arm, fingerboard, and face should be visible and not blocked by the music stand). Violin, viola, and double bass players should stand. Cellists will be seated. Winds and brass can choose whether to sit or stand.
  • No accompaniment is allowed and no editing is allowed. This should be performed as you would a live, in-person audition.
  • Please start the video by saying your full name, grade level for Fall 2021, your current GSYO ensemble (if applicable) or current school/community orchestra (if applicable) and how long you've been playing your instrument.
  • Before playing your prepared piece/solo, please say the name of the piece, the composer, the movement (if applicable), and/or the name of the book for the etude.
  • When completed, the video should be uploaded to a streaming service (YouTube, Vimeo, etc). The video does not have to be "public," but it should be accessible without any sign-in or password required. This is to allow our faculty to access the video remotely and to view without downloading.
  • Submit your video through our online form (link available starting March 15). Video should remain live until at least May 25, 2021.
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience. See the requirements for each instrument group outlined below.
Strings

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Three-octave scale (in one key) of your choice, ascending and descending, played twice: first time is slower, second time is faster with more notes per bow; for example: first time: 4 or 6 notes per bow; second time faster with 8 or 9 notes per bow.
  • Arpeggios (related to your scale - major, minor, augmented, and diminished), played twice: first time is slower, second time is faster with more notes per bow; for example: First time - 3 or 4 notes per bow; second time - 6 or 8 notes per bow.
  • Prepared solo or étude: choose contrasting sections from a movement of the standard repertoire or two sections from contrasting pieces: max total solo length 5 minutes.
  • Required sight-reading exercise; (see info and link for each instrument below):
Woodwinds

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Chromatic scale from your lowest to highest note, ascending and descending; two major scales; should be 2 or more octaves if possible, ascending and descending, memorized (see below requirements per instrument):
    • FLUTE: D major scale slurred and B major scale tongued
    • OBOE: D major scale slurred and D flat major scale tongued
    • CLARINET: E major scale slurred and G flat major tongued
    • BASSOON: E flat major slurred and B major scale tongued
  • Two pieces of contrasting styles and tempos (no more than 5 minutes total). One must be a solo, the other can be an étude or another solo;
  • The following required sight-reading exercise - Beginning to Rehearsal #105. Skip rests that are longer than two measures:
Brass

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Chromatic scale from your lowest comfortable note to highest note, ascending and descending;
  • Play 6 major scales as quickly as you can with a steady and even rhythm, ascending and descending. Slur 3 scales and tongue 3 scales. Play with your best tone. If you can, play a couple of the scales 2 octaves. Make sure you choose scales that demonstrate your entire range.
  • Choose contrasting sections from a movement of the standard repertoire or two sections from contrasting pieces (any preferred major sections of the solos are okay; it's not necessary to start at the beginning) - the solo(s) should be of the High School Honor Band audition level: max total solo time 5 minutes;
 Percussion

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Snare drum/practice pad single stroke. (slow to fast to slow, gradual accelerando and ritardando, seamlessly)
  • Snare drum/pad roll approximately for 20 seconds, (ppp for 3 sec, then gradual crescendo, keep fff for 5 sec, then gradual diminuendo to ppp, keep the ppp for 3 sec.)
  • One Snare drum/pad solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
  • Optional: One Mallet instrument solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
Harp

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Prepared solo and étude of your choice with contrasting styles/tempos.
  • Three-octave scale.
  • The following required sight-reading exercise: Letter H to Letter K: LINK >>
Current Instrument Openings*Bass Trombone, Bassoon, Clarinet, Cello, Double Bass, French Horn, Tuba, Harp, Violin 1
Type of Orchestra
Full
# of Concerts a Year
4+
Commitment Level
Very High
Practice Schedule
Sunday | 3:30-6:30pm | Union Presbyterian Church, Los Altos
Skill Level
Most Advanced
Years of Private Lessons
4+
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience. See the requirements for each instrument group outlined below.
Strings

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Three-octave scale (in one key) of your choice, ascending and descending, played twice: first time is slower, second time is faster with more notes per bow; for example: first time 4 or 6 notes per bow; second time faster with 8 or 9 notes per bow.
  • Arpeggios (related to your scale - major, minor, augmented, and diminished), played twice: first time is slower, second time is faster with more notes per bow; for example: first time - 3 or 4 notes per bow; second time - 6 or 8 notes per bow.
  • Prepared solo or étude: choose contrasting sections from a movement of the standard repertoire or two sections from contrasting pieces: max total solo length 5 minutes
  • Required sight-reading exercise (see info and link for each instrument below):
    • VIOLIN: "Allegro" to Letter B: LINK >>
    • VIOLA: Beginning to Measure 45: LINK >>
    • CELLO: Letter V to the End: LINK >>
    • DOUBLE BASS: Letter V to the End: LINK >>
Woodwinds

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself);
  • Chromatic scale from your lowest to highest note;
  • Two major scales; at least two octaves, ascending and descending, memorized (see below requirements per instrument):
    • FLUTE: D major scale slurred and B major scale tongued
    • OBOE: D major slurred and D flat Major tongued
    • CLARINET: E major scale slurred and G flat major tongued
    • BASSOON: E flat major slurred and B major scale tongued
  • Two pieces of contrasting styles and tempos (no more than 5 minutes total). One must be a solo, the other can be an étude or another solo;
  • Required sight-reading exercise: Measure 84 to Letter C (skip rests that are longer than 2 measures):
Brass

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself);
  • Chromatic scale from your lowest comfortable note to highest note, ascending and descending;
  • Play at least 4 major scales and up to 6 major scales as quickly as you can with a steady tempo and even rhythm, ascending and descending. Slur half of the scales and tongue the others. Play with your best tone. Make sure the scales you choose demonstrate your entire range.
  • Two short contrasting solos or two contrasting sections of one longer solo (any preferred major sections of the solos are okay; it's not necessary to start at the beginning); max total solo length 3 minutes;
 Timpani

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Snare drum/practice pad single stroke. (slow to fast to slow, gradual accelerando and ritardando, seamlessly)
  • Snare drum/pad roll approximately for 20 seconds, (ppp for 3 sec, then gradual crescendo, keep fff for 5 sec, then gradual diminuendo to ppp, keep the ppp for 3 sec.)
  • One Snare drum/pad solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
  • Optional: One Mallet instrument solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
Current Instrument Openings*Clarinet, Cello, Double Bass, All Brass
Type of Orchestra
Full
# of Concerts a Year
4
Commitment Level
High
Practice Schedule
Tuesday | 6:00-8:45pm | Union Presbyterian Church, Los Altos
Skill Level
Advanced
Years of Private Lessons
4+
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience. See the requirements for each instrument group outlined below.
       StringsN/A
Woodwinds

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Chromatic scale from your lowest to highest note, ascending and descending.
  • Two major scales; at least two octaves, ascending and descending (see scale requirements for each instrument):
    • FLUTE: D major scale slurred & B major scale tongued
    • OBOE: D major scale slurred & D flat major tongued
    • CLARINET: E major scale slurred and B major tongued
    • BASSOON: E flat major scale slurred and A major scale tongued
    • SAXOPHONE: E major scale slurred & A flat major scale tongued
  • Prepared solo or étude of your choice (no more than 3 minutes)
  • Required sight-reading exercise: Beginning to downbeat of measure 80 (skip rests that are longer than 2 measures):
Brass

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Chromatic scale from your lowest to highest note, ascending and descending;
  • Play at least 4 major scales and up to 6 major scales as quickly as you can with a steady tempo and even rhythm, ascending and descending. Slur half of the scales and tongue the others. Make sure the scales you choose demonstrate your entire range;
  • Two short contrasting solos or two contrasting sections of one longer solo (any preferred major sections of the solos are okay; it's not necessary to start at the beginning): max total solo length 3 minutes
  Percussion

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Snare drum/practice pad single stroke. (slow to fast to slow, gradual accelerando and ritardando, seamlessly)
  • Snare drum/pad roll approximately for 20 seconds, (ppp for 3 sec, then gradual crescendo, keep fff for 5 sec, then gradual diminuendo to ppp, keep the ppp for 3 sec.)
  • One Snare drum/pad solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
  • Optional: One Mallet instrument solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
Current Instrument Openings*Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, French Horn, Low Brass, Percussion
Type of Orchestra
Wind and Percussion Instruments Only
# of Concerts a Year
3
Commitment Level
Moderate-High
Practice Schedule
Tuesday | 6:15-8:15pm | Union Presbyterian Church, Los Altos
Skill Level
Intermediate
Years of Private Lessons
3-4+
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience. See the requirements outlined below.
Strings

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, current grade in school, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Three-octave scale in key of your choice, ascending and descending, slurred. Played twice, slow to fast, for example: first time is slower 3 or 4 notes per bow; second time is faster with 6 or 8 notes per bow, etc.
  • Arpeggios, related to your scale, slurred. Played twice, slow to fast, for example: first time 3-4 notes per bow, second time 9 notes per bow.
  • Prepared solo or étude of contrasting styles and tempos. You may play the entire piece if it is under 5 minutes long; choose a 5 minute excerpt if the piece is longer;
  • Required sight-reading exercise:
    • VIOLIN: Measures bracketed in red: LINK >>
    • VIOLA: Measures bracketed in red: LINK >>
    • CELLO/DOUBLE BASS: Start and end at the yellow markings: LINK >>
 Winds/BrassN/A
PercussionN/A
Current Instrument Openings*Double Bass, Viola
Type of Orchestra
String Instruments Only
# of Concerts a Year
3
Commitment Level
Moderate-High
Practice Schedule
Monday | 6:00-8:00pm | Location, TBA (Los Altos or Palo Alto)
Skill Level
Intermediate
Years of Private Lessons
3-4+
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience preferred. See the requirements for each instrument group outlined below.
Strings

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, current grade in school, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • One major scale and the major and minor related arpeggios; played twice, ascending and descending: the first time is slower with 3 or 4 notes per bow, second time is faster with 6 or 8 notes per bow (see scale requirements for each instrument):
    • VIOLIN: 2-octave E major scale with related major and minor arpeggios.
    • VIOLA/CELLO/DOUBLE BASS:  2-octave A major scale with related major and minor arpeggios.
  • Prepared solo or étude (no more than 2 minutes);
  • Required sight-reading exercise of a Camerata-Level Piece: Measures 21-45:
Woodwinds

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Chromatic scale from your lowest to highest note, ascending and descending;
  • Two major scales, at least two octaves, ascending and descending (see scale requirements for each instrument):
    • FLUTE: D major scale slurred & A flat major scale tongued
    • OBOE: D major scale slurred & E major scale tongued
    • CLARINET: E major scale slurred & A flat major scale tongued
    • BASSOON: E flat major scale slurred & A major scale tongued
    • SAXOPHONE: E major scale slurred & A flat major scale tongued
  • Prepared solo or étude of your choice (no more than 2 minutes);
  • Required sight-reading exercise: Beginning through measure 33; do not play the repeat (skip rests that are longer than 2 measures):
Brass

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • All major scales the musician knows, but a minimum of three. Play one scale slurred and the rest articulated, ascending and descending
  • Two short contrasting pieces or études OR contrasting sections of one longer solo (any preferred major sections of the solos are okay; it's not necessary to start at the beginning); max solo length 2 minutes
Percussion

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Snare drum/practice pad single stroke (slow to fast to slow, gradual accelerando and ritardando, seamlessly). 
  • Snare drum/pad roll approximately for 20 seconds, (ppp for 3 sec, then gradual crescendo, keep fff for 5 sec, then gradual diminuendo to ppp, keep the ppp for 3 sec.)
  • One Snare drum/pad solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
  • Optional: One Mallet instrument solo or etude of your choice to represent your skill level.
Current Instrument Openings*Clarinet, Cello, Double Bass, Violin, Viola, French Horn, Percussion
Type of Orchestra
Full
# of Concerts a Year
3
Commitment Level
Moderate-High
Practice Schedule
Monday | 6:30-8:30pm | Union Presbyterian Church, Los Altos
Skill Level
Beginning-Intermediate
Years of Private Lessons
2-3
Audition ExpectationsSee the requirements for each instrument group outlined below. Musicians must be reading music notes.
Strings

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • One major scale and a related arpeggio (see requirement for your instrument), ascending and descending, slurred; Played twice, for example: first time is slower 3 or 4 notes per bow, second time is faster with more notes per bow.
    • VIOLIN: one or two-octave A major scale with related arpeggio.
    • VIOLA/CELLO: one or two-octave D major scale with related arpeggio.
    • DOUBLE BASS: one or two-octave scale of your choice with related arpeggio.
  • Prepared solo or étude (no more than 2 minutes);
  • Required sight-reading exercise of Chamber Players-Level Piece: Measures 29-53; second time (do not repeat, play second ending) (skip rests that are longer than 2 measures):
Woodwinds

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • One major scale of your choice, played twice, ascending and descending, once slurred and once tongued
  • Prepared solo or étude (no more than 2 minutes);
  • Required sight-reading exercise: Measures 29-53; do not play the repeat - take the second ending and ignore the D.S al coda; (skip rests that are longer than 2 measures):
Brass

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade Fall 2021, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • All major scales the musicians knows, but a minimum of three. Play one scale slurred and the rest articulated, ascending and descending; choose scales that demonstrate the musician's full range.
  • Two short contrasting pieces or études OR contrasting sections of one longer piece (any preferred major sections of the solos are okay; it's not necessary to start at the beginning); solo length 2 minutes in total.
Percussion

All recordings should be UNEDITED to simulate a live audition. Please play the listed items in order.

  • Introduction (Name, Grade Fall 2021, and one fun fact about yourself)
  • Snare drum/practice pad single stroke (slow to fast to slow, gradual accelerando and ritardando, seamlessly). 
  • Snare drum/pad roll approximately for 20 seconds, (ppp for 3 sec, then gradual crescendo, keep fff for 5 sec, then gradual diminuendo to ppp, keep the ppp for 3 sec.)
  • One Snare drum/pad solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
  • Optional: One Mallet instrument solo or étude of your choice to represent your skill level.
Current Instrument Openings*Cello, Viola, Double Bass, Clarinet, All Brass, Percussion
Type of Orchestra
Full
# of Concerts a Year
3
Commitment Level
Moderate
Practice Schedule
Monday | 4:30-6:15pm | Union Presbyterian Church, Los Altos
Skill Level
Beginning
Years of Private Lessons
1+

Pin It on Pinterest