When and How to Audition

Registration is now closed.

Registration is now closed as of Tuesday, August 1. All in-person auditionees will receive their exact time slot and date via email on Friday, August 4. All students auditioning through the online process have received the instructions on how to submit their audition via email to their household’s primary email address. Email auditions@byso.org with any questions.

Before You Audition

Whether you’ve been a member of BYSO for years, or are new, please review the Join BYSO page. It contains critical information about our auditioning and placement policies.

2023-24 Season Audition Information

Auditions for BYSO’s 2023-24 Season have been scheduled for the week of August 14, 2023. We will be returning to in-person auditions this year. Please continue reading for more information around timeline of process and what to expect.

  • When are auditions?
    Auditions will occur the week of August 14 over two weekday evenings (August 14 & 15) and one all-day session on Saturday, August 19. Although in-person auditions are preferred by the conductors and adjudicators, we will be accepting virtual auditions from students who are not able to attend these sessions. Virtual submissions must be received no later than August 10, 2023.
  • When Will Registration Open?
    Registration is now closed, as of Tuesday, August 1.

  • When Does Registration Close?
    The audition registration deadline is July 31, 2023.

  • What audition days and times are available for my instrument?
    Each instrument and age group has been allotted a specific window of time during the available audition days. Not all instruments are able to audition on all days. To view the available days and times for your student’s instrument and age, view the August Audition Schedule. UPDATE AS OF JULY 14: New audition times have been added for Violin (all ages), Cello (all ages), Flute (all ages), and Clarinet (all ages) on Tuesday, August 15 between 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm.
  • When Will I Know My Audition Time?
    Audition date and time requests will be entertained in the order in which the registrations where received. Audition time slot confirmation emails will be sent out via email by Friday, August 4, 2023.

  • When will I Know My Placement Results?
    Placement emails with tuition links will be sent out by September 1, 2023.

  • Where will the 2023-24 Season Auditions take place?
    2023-24 Season auditions are scheduled to occur at Overlake Christian Church (9900 Willows Rd NE, Redmond, WA 98052).

  • If I need to submit an online audition, what instructions should I follow?
    Once registration opens on May 24th, students who need to submit an online audition must fill out the registration form (same as the form for in person auditions) and select the “Online Audition” option. BYSO will then provide specific instructions for online auditions, including how to complete the sight-reading requirement. Instructions are sent out within two weeks of registration. Audition music requirements located on our Ensemble Levels page still apply to online auditions. (Note: students who need to submit an online audition do not need prior permission from BYSO administration to select this option.)

How to Audition

  • Prepare for your audition by reviewing the standards of musicianship expected at each ensemble level and practicing.
  • Register and Pay when the registration link is posted on the website.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled audition time to check in and unpack your instrument. BYSO staff will direct you to your audition room.
  • Play the required audition material for the judges. Your audition will be no longer than 10 minutes. Required audition material can be found here.

Placement Criteria

Your audition will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Intonation
  • Tone Quality
  • Rhythmic Accuracy
  • Musicality
  • Style
  • Overall performance and preparation
  • Instrumentation capacity for each ensemble

Ensemble Placement

At BYSO, students do not audition for specific orchestras. Students should use the Ensemble Levels provided on this site to prepare the most advanced level of audition material that they feel comfortable with and can play well. Preparing material for a certain level does not ensure placement at that level.

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.


We have different rehearsal locations. Please refer to the specific ensemble pages for the day, time, and location of rehearsals. Note: all rehearsal locations are subject to change.

Fall Auditions:

Auditions for our full regular season generally take place in August each year. All new and returning students must audition for placement in the new season, with the exception of students who have previously auditioned into and participated in Youth Symphony or Percussion Ensemble.

Winter Auditions:

BYSO holds entry auditions in the Winter only for students who haven’t auditioned that season and on an instrument-need basis. Please see our Audition Instructions page for detailed information.

Spring Auditions:

BYSO holds entry auditions in the Spring only for students who haven’t auditioned that season and on an instrument-need basis. Please see our Audition Instructions page for detailed information.

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