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.

Explore our current openings and requirements for your specific interests

GSYO is accepting video submissions this spring for new member and promotion auditions. Audition requirements have been updated to reflect the new expectations. Videos should be performed as a live audition would: scales, arpeggios (if required), piece, and excerpts (if required) should be played through in one take. There will be no editing allowed. Additional details are provided via email after the audition application has been received. If you have applied for an audition and have not received the instruction email, please contact Deepika Kaiwar: deepika@gsyomusic.org; Applications received AFTER April 3 will be waitlisted.

Current Chamber Players and Camerata musicians: please refer to the requirements you received in January as well as the email already sent. 

Requirements At A Glance

Explore the tabs above for detailed requirements of each Program

 Senior SymphonySinfonietta OrchestraWind OrchestraGalbraith Honor StringsCamerata OrchestraChamber Players Orchestra
Type of OrchestraFullFullWind and Percussion Instruments OnlyString Instruments OnlyFullFull
     Strings
     Winds/Brass
     Percussion
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+
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience.
Strings

Prepared solo or etude: choose contrasting sections from a movement of the standard repertoire or two sections from contrasting pieces: max total solo length 3-6 minutes; three-octave scale (in one key) of your choice, played twice, ascending and descending: first time is slower, second time is faster with more 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.

REQUIRED: Prepared excerpt (see for each instrument below):

  • VIOLIN: Page 3 (provided), skip rests; the passages at letters B and C should both start up bow each time they appear: LINK >>
  • VIOLA: Beginning to rehearsal 4, skipping bars 19-35: LINK >>
  • CELLO: Rehearsal 3-5 and measures 152 to end of page: LINK >>
  • DOUBLE BASS: Last page (provided): LINK >>
Woodwinds

Two pieces of contrasting styles and tempos. One must be a solo, the other can be an etude or another solo; 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

REQUIRED: the following prepared excerpt - "Movement 4: Finale" - Beginning to Letter C; if there is a rest of more than two measures, skip ahead:

BrassChoose contrasting sections from a movement of the standard repertoire or two sections from contrasting pieces - the solo(s) should be of the High School Honor Band audition level: max total solo time 3-6 minutes; 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.
 PercussionSolo or étude on two of the following: Timpani, Snare Drum, Xylophone
HarpThree-octave scale. Prepared solo and etude of your choice with contrasting styles/tempos. The cadenza from Tchaikovsky Swan Lake. A harp is not provided for auditions; please plan to bring your own instrument.
Current Instrument Openings*All Instruments
Type of Orchestra
Full
# of Concerts a Year
4+
Commitment Level
Very High
Practice Schedule
Sunday | 3:00-6:00pm | Union Presbyterian Church, Los Altos
Skill Level
Most Advanced
Years of Private Lessons
4+
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience.
Strings

Prepared solo or etude: choose contrasting sections from a movement of the standard repertoire or two sections from contrasting pieces: max total solo length 3-6 minutes; three-octave scale (in one key) of your choice, played twice, ascending and descending: first time is slower, second time is faster with more 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.

REQUIRED: Prepared excerpt (see for each instrument below):

  • VIOLIN: First page of Symphony No. 1 (skip repeats): LINK >>
  • VIOLA: First page of Symphony No. 1 (skip repeats): LINK >>
  • CELLO/DOUBLE BASS: First page of Symphony No. 1 (skip repeats): LINK >>
Woodwinds

Two pieces of contrasting styles and tempos. One must be a solo, the other can be an etude or another solo; chromatic scale from your lowest to highest note; 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 slurred and Db Major tongued
  • CLARINET: E major scale slurred and G flat major tongued
  • BASSOON: E flat major slurred and B major scale tongued

REQUIRED: the following prepared excerpt - Beginning to Letter D; if there is a rest of more than two measures, skip ahead:

BrassTwo short contrasting solos or two contrasting sections of one longer solo; max total solo length 3-5 minutes; 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.
 PercussionN/A
Current Instrument Openings*All Instruments
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.
       StringsN/A
       Woodwinds

Two pieces of contrasting styles and tempos. One must be a solo, the other can be an etude or another solo. 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 (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 G flat major tongued
  • BASSOON: E flat major scale slurred and B major scale tongued
  • SAXOPHONE: E major scale slurred & A flat major scale tongued
      BrassTwo short contrasting solos or two contrasting sections of one longer solo: max total solo length 3-5 minutes; 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.
  PercussionSolo or étude on two of the following: Timpani, Snare Drum, Xylophone
Current Instrument Openings*All Instruments
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. Prepared solo or étude of contrasting styles and tempos. You may play the entire piece if it is under 4 minutes long; choose a 3-4 minute excerpt if the piece is longer; Three-octave scale (in one key) of your choice, played twice, ascending and descending: first time is slower, second time is faster with more notes per bow; arpeggios (related to your scale - major and minor are required; augmented and diminished are optional), played twice: first time is slower, second time is faster with more notes per bow.
StringsSee above.
 Winds/BrassN/A
PercussionN/A
Current Instrument Openings*All Instruments
Type of Orchestra
String Instruments Only
# of Concerts a Year
3
Commitment Level
Moderate-High
Practice Schedule
Monday | 6:00-8:00pm Fletcher Middle School, Palo Alto
Skill Level
Intermediate
Years of Private Lessons
3-4+
Audition ExpectationsPrevious ensemble experience preferred. Prepared solo or étude.
Strings

Prepared solo or étude; one major scale, played twice, ascending and descending: first time is slower, second time is faster with more notes per bow.

  • VIOLIN: 2 or 3-octave A major scale with related arpeggio.
  • VIOLA/CELLO:  2 or 3-octave D major scale with related arpeggio.
  • DOUBLE BASS: 2 or 3-octave scale of your choice with related arpeggio.
Woodwinds

Prepared solo or étude; chromatic scale from your lowest to highest note, ascending and descending; two major scales - should be two or more octaves if possible, 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
BrassTwo short contrasting pieces or etudes OR contrasting sections of one longer solo; max solo length 2-4 minutes; all major scales the musician knows, but a minimum of three. Play one scale slurred and the rest articulated, ascending and descending
PercussionMust audition on Timpani with the optional addition of Snare Drum, Mallet Skills (Bells and Xylophone)
Current Instrument Openings*All Instruments
Type of Orchestra
Full
# of Concerts a Year
3
Commitment Level
Moderate-High
Practice Schedule
Monday | 6:30-8:30pm Fletcher Middle School, Palo Alto
Skill Level
Beginning-Intermediate
Years of Private Lessons
2-3
Audition ExpectationsPrepared solo or étude. Musicians must be reading music notes.
Strings

Prepared solo or étude; one major scale (see requirement for your instrument), played twice, ascending and descending; first time is slower, 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.
WoodwindsPrepared solo or étude; chromatic scale from lowest note to highest note you feel comfortable with, ascending and descending; one octave major scale of your choosing, ascending and descending
BrassAll major scales the musicians knows, but a minimum of three. Play one scale slurred and the rest articulated; two short contrasting pieces or etudes OR contrasting sections of one longer piece; solo length 2-4 minutes in total.
PercussionMust audition on Timpani with the optional addition of Snare Drum, Mallet Skills (Bells and Xylophone)
Current Instrument Openings*All Instruments
Type of Orchestra
Full
# of Concerts a Year
3
Commitment Level
Moderate
Practice Schedule
Monday | 4:30-6:15pm Fletcher Middle School, Palo Alto
Skill Level
Beginning
Years of Private Lessons
1+

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