Ongoing Auditions

Auditions are held annually in May. This year PYSO is accepting applications throughout the 2020-2021 season.

Audition Fee

Non-refundable audition fee – $35

Links

Video Audition Scales 2020

Recommendation: It is suggested that students have their solo piece and excerpt (Youth Symphony submission only) already video recorded and uploaded prior to the release of the specific scales. PYS values the importance of scales and wants to ensure students are practicing all possible scales from the Audition Requirements.

We are grateful you are interested in PYS and encourage you to tell your musical friends about our May auditions through your social media, texting and email. We are looking forward and are excited to start a new, fresh 68th season of the Phoenix Youth Symphony.

PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to make sure students practice all scales from the Audition Requirements, exact scales to video record will be emailed to all audition applicants.  

Video Audition Scales

1. All audition components for your video(s) must be done in ONE take each.

  • Solo piece
  • Orchestral Excerpt (Youth Symphony submission only)
  • Scales

Your audition submission should include one video of each component submitted separately on your Acceptd Account with no edits.

  • Youth Symphony – 3 components
  • Symphonette Orchestra – 2 components
  • Symphonic Winds – 2 components
  • String Orchestra – 2 components (possible additional sight-reading video – details provided at a later date)
  • Prelude Strings – 2 components (possible additional sight-reading video – details provided at a later date)

2. If you do not like a ‘take’ of an individual component, you may try again, as long as your final submission of each component is in one continuous unedited take.

3. You may not edit, cut, splice, or otherwise alter each video.

4. Picture must remain stationary: no panning, zooming, multiple cameras, fading in/out.

5. Video framing: Place the video recording device so that you, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times. Make sure your music stand does not cover your face, instrument, arms/hands and range of motion.

6. Video must not exceed 7 minutes. Judge will stop watching at 7 minutes. Make sure all the components of your audition fit within 7 minutes. It is ok if your video is less than 7 minutes. Remember your solo portion is 3 minutes.

7. Tune instrument to A=440.

Recommendation: It is suggested that students have their solo piece and excerpt (Youth Symphony submission only) already video recorded and uploaded prior to the release of the specific scales. PYS values the importance of scales and wants to ensure students are practicing all possible scales from the Audition Requirements. Exact scales asked from the Audition Requirements will be emailed.

Recording on a phone or tablet device is fine. A special camera is not necessary.

You may want to have someone else press the record and stop button for you so you can start from a relaxed place.

Record in a neutral acoustic in your home. Not in your closet (not enough echo) and not in your bathroom (too much echo). A living room or other open space should be ok.

Make sure there is no fan (ceiling or otherwise) operating while you play.

Record when you can have quiet and no interruptions.

Film in a well-lit space. Make sure there is more light in front of you rather than behind you so that you are not back-lit, i.e. do not record with you standing in front of a window.

For string instruments, make sure your f-holes are directed toward the video recording device.

Place the video recording device on a flat surface with microphone area unobstructed.

Check sound levels before recording to make sure sound is not distorted in loud passages and inaudible in soft passages.

Use the rear camera rather than the front facing (selfie) camera as the rear camera is typically a higher resolution.

Time your solo piece and excerpt ahead of time so you know where to start and stop. You can go over/under the required number of minutes in order to finish a phrase.

When applying for an audition into the Phoenix Youth Symphony, students must select an ensemble in which to audition. It can be a tricky question, “Which Ensemble is right for me?”

It is important to us that students are placed in the appropriate ensemble where they are challenged but not overwhelmed. It is also important that students thrive not only in like musical ability but social structures as well (age and grade).

Ensemble Descriptions

We also encourage all students and parents to review the Audition Requirements for each ensemble. The requirements reflect technical need by musicians to be successful in that ensemble. (ex. 3-octave scales are particularly important in most string auditions for the Youth Symphony).

PYS does encourage students to audition each year to continue working their way up the Orchestral Training ladder from the youngest ensembles to the most advanced ensemble. Students will need to select the highest-level ensemble in which they want to audition. PYS recommends students select multiple ensembles in which to be considered for entrance. Again, it is important to participate in the appropriate ensemble based on musical ability and social reasons. Here are some examples:

String musicians:

  • Auditioning for Symphony Orchestra, also considered for Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Auditioning for Philharmonic, also considered for String Orchestra.
  • Auditioning for String Orchestra, also considered for Prelude Strings.

Winds, brass and Percussion musicians:

  • Auditioning for Youth Symphony, also considered for Symphonette Orchestra and Symphonic Winds

Important: Students auditions will be evaluated based on the highest ensemble selected. (ex. Youth Symphony auditions will be held to the criteria for acceptance. String Orchestra will be held to the criteria for acceptance, etc.) Additional ensembles in which to be considered does not require an additional audition. If an audition does not meet the criteria for the ensemble in which it is being adjudicated the students will automatically be considered for the additional ensembles listed and placed into the best ensemble to be successful.

Questions about the possible right selection? Please email the Orchestra Manager.