When and How to Audition

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

BYSO has returned to in-person auditions, with the option to audition online. Please continue reading for more information around timeline of process and what to expect.

  • When are auditions?
    Auditions occur each August at the start of the academic year. Auditions held in Winter & Spring quarters are held on an instrument-need basis only.
  • When Will Registration Open?
    Registration for August auditions generally opens in May each year.

  • When Does Registration Close?
    Registration generally closes at the end of July each year.

  • 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. When audition registration is open, a detailed schedule is posted on our website.
  • 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 are sent out via email prior to audition days.

  • When will I Know My Placement Results?
    Placement emails with tuition links are generally sent by September 1.

  • Where will the 2024-25 Season Auditions take place?
    The location of the 2024-25 Season Auditions will be announced as we get closer to registration.

  • If I need to submit an online audition, what instructions should I follow?
    Once registration opens, 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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