Audition FAQs

Where can I find the registration?

Registration is now open. To read instructions on how to register and to find the registration form link, visit the Audition Instructions page on our website.

Where is the audition being held?

The location of our next in-person auditions will be posted here.

Is there an audition fee?

Yes, it is $50 and payable when you register.

My audition is more than 5 minutes, what should I do?

Do your best to make it as close as possible to 5 minutes. We understand that including all the excerpts and a contrasting solo can bring the audition over 5 minutes. If you are over 5 minutes, go ahead and come to your audition.

Am I able to audition on more than one instrument?

Students may audition on up to two instruments. Students must contact the office at in order to receive instructions on how to register for an additional audition on their secondary instrument. A fee of $50 will be required for each instrument on which a student auditions.

How do adjudicators know for which ensemble I am auditioning?

Students should select the most advanced level of audition material that they feel comfortable with and can play well on the Ensemble Levels page. There is no option on the registration form to select the ensemble for which a student wants to audition. Adjudicators will know which ensemble a student has selected by the music they perform in their audition.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing that is clean and respectful — business casual would be the term. You don’t need to dress up as if you are soloing at a concert, although dressing up is fine too!

When will we know the results of the auditions?

Audition results will be communicated via email by the end of August. Make sure to check your junk and spam folders.

How do I prepare for the sight reading portion of my audition?

Talk with your private teacher or music school teacher on different ways you can practice sight reading. You can also use to practice. For instructions on how to use, click here.

What if I am nervous for the audition and make mistakes?

Don’t worry! The judges will be able to determine your ability level even if you make a few mistakes. They are experienced teachers and conductors, and they’re also musicians who know what it’s like to feel nervous at auditions.

What are my chances of getting accepted?

Most students who audition are placed in one of the six BYSO orchestras or three instrumental ensembles. In our 2023-24 Season, we experienced such high-demand for our Academic Year programming that 4 of our ensembles had waitlists. Waitlisted students are offered spots in their assigned ensemble as they become available throughout the year. In our 2023-24 Season we were able to offer spots to 44% of the 120 students on the waitlist.

Mid-season placements depend on BYSO’s instrument needs.

What if I don’t get placed in the ensemble I wanted?

Ensemble playing is about much more than how hard the music is, so your placement is based on many factors. No matter which ensemble you are in, you will improve as a musician much faster in BYSO!

At BYSO, students do not audition for specific orchestras. Placement is based solely on the musician’s ability, not age or grade.

A student’s ensemble placement is final. Students are only permitted to audition for BYSO once a season.

Can I be put in a less advanced group?

Returning students may be placed in their prior ensemble or a more advanced one.

What is the age minimum for BYSO?

BYSO typically accepts qualified 6-year-olds. Ask your private teacher if online music classes would be a good choice for your young student.

How long are rehearsals?

Rehearsals follow this approximate schedule:

  • Cadet – 60 minutes
  • Debut – 75 minutes
  • Premiere – 120 minutes
  • Sinfonia – 120 minutes
  • Philharmonia – 135 minutes
  • Youth – 150 minutes
  • Flute Choir – 120 minutes
  • Flute Orchestra – 120 minutes
  • Percussion Ensemble – 120 minutes

How many rehearsals are there?

There are 7-8 rehearsals per quarter, which are held on Monday evenings and one Saturday retreat for each ensemble during Fall and Winter Quarters.

How do we get music?

Music links and part assignments are posted on our website prior to the beginning of each quarter. Enrolled students receive an email with instructions on how to access the music links on the website. Students are then expected to download and print their music, then bring it to rehearsal.

How much is the tuition?

Tuition is based off of quarters this season. Take a look at our 2024-25 tuition chart. BYSO is committed to meeting 100% of all tuition assistance requests.

Sponsors & Partners