NIU – GYSO Auditions

GYSO is open to all young musicians high-school age and younger who play an orchestral or jazz ensemble instrument: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, and harp; or jazz saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, guitar, vibraphone/percussion, and drums.  Please note that our audition requirements have changed this year for most instruments.

Audition dates for the 2013-14 season:

(Auditions are held at Kennesaw State University.)

Tue, May 7 (6-9:30) – brass, bassoon
Thu, May 9 (6-9:30) – brass, bassoon
Fri, May 10 (6-9:30) – brass, bassoon
Mon, May 13 (6-9:30) –  cello/bass (after 7:30)
Tue, May 14 (6-9:30) –  cello/bass (after 7:30)
Wed, May 15 (6-9:30) – jazz (until 7:30), cello/bass (after 7:30)
Thu, May 16 (6-9:30) – jazz (until 7:30), cello/bass (after 7:30)
Fri, May 17 (6-9:30) – violin, viola
Sat, May 18 (9-5) – violin, viola, percussion (10am-1pm)
Sun, May 19 (1-9) – violin, viola
Mon, May 20 (6-9:30) – upper ww, violin
Tue, May 21 (6-9:30) – upper ww, violin
Thu, May 23 (6-9:30) – upper ww, violin
Fri, May 24 (6-9:30) – upper ww, violin
Harpists: Please contact us to make an audition appointment.

To apply, please fill out the online registration form (credit card required) or print and mail a paper application [pdf]. Note: the deadline for 2013-14  has passed, but we still have audition space available, so feel free to apply.  If at all possible, please use the online application.

Please mail completed application(s) to:
Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra
Attn: Auditions
2250 Stilesboro Road
Kennesaw, GA 30152.

For more information, please contact Chris Thibdeau, Creative Director and Associate Conductor.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which ensemble should I apply for?
Auditions are held so that we can place you in the ensemble that fits you best.  It may be helpful to read the various ensemble descriptions on our website.  It is important to note that the descriptions are general and the level may vary from year to year.  We have different scale and excerpt requirements for each orchestra, but playing an audition for a certain orchestra does not guarantee placement in that orchestra; it merely makes you eligible for it.  You may also consult our “How do the judges evaluate auditions?” page.

2. What do I need to prepare for my audition?

 Orchestral Strings and Winds:
– Solo of your choice (2-5 minutes)
– Two scales – you will choose one and the judges will choose the other (click here for details)
– Excerpts – click here for details
– Possible sight-reading

Orchestral harp:
– Solo of your choice (2-5 minutes)
– Possible sight-reading
Harpists should contact our office to schedule an audition.

Jazz auditions (except drums) include a 2-5 minute solo (in any style, jazz or classical), two scales, and sight-reading.  You may use blues scales for the scale requirement.  Pianists and guitarists will also be asked to read chord changes.  Drummers will be asked to keep time in two contrasting styles.  Note that two separate auditions are required for percussion and jazz drums.

Percussionists should prepare solos or etudes on two different instruments.  A keyboard instrument and timpani are preferred.  Note that two separate auditions are required for percussion and jazz drums.

3. Do I need to have my audition music memorized?
Memorization is not necessary. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible.

4. Can I request an audition time/date?
Audition dates are set (see above). Please contact us with any requests for times within those dates.  If you can’t make any of the dates for your instrument, let us know and we’ll work out an alternate time.

5. When will I receive my audition time/ date?
GYSO will send a receipt of application within a few days of receiving your application (we usually send out confirmations in batches a couple times a week). Further information will be provided on that correspondence.  If you do not receive confirmation within a week, please contact us.

6. When does GYSO rehearse and when does the program start and stop?
GYSO rehearses once a week on Sundays (Wednesdays for Jazz). The GYSO season adheres to the academic calendar as closely as possible with respect to holidays and vacations, starting in August and ending in May. Our complete calendar and rehearsal schedule for the current year is on our calendar page.

7. Do I need to dress up for the audition?
Dressing up is not mandatory. Most people wear dressy-casual, comfortable clothes to the audition.

8. When do I apply for financial aid?
After you are accepted into one of the orchestras, you can apply at any time prior to the deadline on the financial aid form on our forms page. Financial aid only covers the tuition (or a portion of the tuition); it does not cover the $25 application fee. Students must reapply for financial aid every year.

9. When and how will I find out the results of the audition?
You will not receive any audition results over the phone or on the website. E-mails will be sent after all auditions have concluded. Under NO circumstances will results be given over the phone prior to the conclusion of auditions.

10. Do current GYSO students have to audition?
Yes. All interested students must audition for the program.

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