Auditions

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Auditions

2019-2020 Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association Auditions are closed for the season.

Auditions are held in August of each season at West Valley Middle School
Sign up to Audition for the 20-21 season beginning in June, 2020.

Orchestra Criteria

Youth Orchestra

Youth Orchestra serves students who have studied an instrument at least six years and have a minimum of five years’ orchestra or ensemble experience. (There are exceptions for wind, brass and percussion players). All Youth Orchestra members study with a private instructor and demonstrate advanced ability and technique, including advanced sight-reading ability. Members must be in 8th grade or above. Average Age Range:  15-18 (Audition excerpts available in June, 2020).

Youth Chamber Orchestra

Youth Chamber Orchestra serves students who have studied an instrument at least four years and have a minimum of three years’ orchestra or ensemble experience. Youth Chamber Orchestra members study with a private instructor, work on advanced string repertoire and have advanced sight-reading abilities. Students must be in the 6th grade or above to participate in Youth Chamber Orchestra. Average Age Range: 14-18 (Audition excerpts below).

Sinfonia

The Sinfonia orchestra serves students who have studied a string instrument at least three years and have a minimum of three years’ orchestra or ensemble experience. All Sinfonia Orchestra members study with a private instructor and must be confidently and effectively set up on their instrument. They must have strong sight-reading abilities. Students must be in the 5th grade or above to participate in Sinfonia. Average Age Range: 10-18

Philharmonia

The Philharmonia orchestra serves students who have studied a string instrument a minimum of two years and have a minimum of one year’s orchestra or ensemble experience. The students need to be able to sight-read and have good set up and basic technique. Philharmonia members are advised to take private lessons. Average Age Range: 8-13

Preludium

The Preludium orchestra serves students who have studied a string instrument a minimum of at least two years. Some orchestra or ensemble experience is preferred. These students need to be able to sight-read, have a good set up and basic technique. They learn ensemble techniques and how to follow a conductor in a non-competitive atmosphere. Preludium members are advised to take private lessons. Average Age Range: 7-12 

Junior Orchestra

Junior Orchestra serves beginning students. No orchestra experience is required. These students need to be able to recognize notes, have a good set-up and basic technique. They improve the basics of playing their instruments, learn to better read notes and participate in a non-competitive atmosphere. Junior Orchestra members are advised to take private lessons. Junior Orchestra performs during the KSYO holiday party at West Valley Middle School and joins the Preludium players for the Spring Concert on stage at the Tennessee Theatre each year. Minimum age: 6

Youth Orchestra and Youth Chamber Orchestra Audition Requirements:

(Strings, Winds, Brass & Percussion: Be sure to scroll down to link for your specific instrument below.)

  • One prepared solo that demonstrates the player’s most advanced level of technical and musical development (approximately one minute)
  • Orchestra excerpt provided by the KSYO
  • All Major Scales @ quarter note = 100 (Strings play with separate bow strokes)
  • Sight-reading
  • Strings: demonstrate spiccato bow technique: 4 sixteenth notes per pitch @ quarter note = 80 for 3 octaves
  • Winds/Brass: a chromatic scale from the lowest possible note to the highest
  • Percussion Applicants: prepared excerpts for every instrument utilized in the audition plus scales and rudiments, along with sight-reading

For orchestra excerpts and further details about requirements, click on the link for your instrument:

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Bassoon
  • French Horn
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Bass Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Harp

Note: String candidates may be placed in any of the five ensembles the audition committee feels best fit the student’s technical ability and experience level.

Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Preludium and Junior Orchestra Audition Requirements

(Strings Only)

  • Demonstration of a prepared scale – student’s choice (20%)
  • Approximately one minute of a prepared solo that demonstrates the player’s most advanced level of technical and musical development (40%)
  • Sight-reading (40%)