The Symphoria Youth Orchestras give students with a passion for music an opportunity to develop their skills, refine their musicianship and cultivate an overall appreciation for excellence in music with other similarly interested students. Students receive coaching from Symphoria musicians, masterclasses with selected guest artists and a side by side performance experience with Symphoria musicians.



Symphoria Young Artists Orchestra (SYAO)

The Symphoria Young Artists Orchestra offers an orchestral experience with the most challenging repertoire, somewhat longer rehearsals, and three performance experiences.  In addition, student musicians will join their professional counterparts to perform on a Symphoria masterworks performance.   Sectional coaching will be offered by Symphoria musicians for each concert cycle, as well as masterclass opportunities throughout the year. The Symphoria Young Artists Orchestra is open to students up to age 22.

2021-22 Season Repertoire

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4
BERLIOZ: Roman Carnival Overture
LISZT: Les Preludes
PROKOFIEV: Lieutenant Kijé: Suite

Symphoria Youth Repertory Orchestra (SYRO)

The Symphoria Youth Repertory Orchestra offers a full orchestra experience with three performances, including a side by side performance with Symphoria.  Symphoria musicians will offer sectional coaching for each concert cycle, and SYRO musicians are encouraged to participate in masterclass opportunities throughout the year.  The Symphoria Youth Repertory Orchestra is open to students up to age 18.

2021-22 Season Repertoire

BRAHMS: Hungarian Dance No. 5
BRAHMS: Hungarian Dance No. 6
HEROLD: Zampa Overture
BORODIN: Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances
TCHAIKOVSKY: Swan Lake Suite, op.20a (selections)

Symphoria Youth String Orchestra (SYSO)

The Symphoria Youth String Orchestra brings together the most talented young string musicians in Central New York to practice and perform a wide variety of string repertoire. This orchestra is targeted for middle school students performing at NYSSMA level 3, 4, and 5.

Symphoria Chamber Music Program

The Symphoria Chamber Music program introduces students of all ages who wish to participate in an immersive musical program that explores standard chamber music literature. During the 2021-22 season, enrollment in this program is limited to 2 string quartets, 1 woodwind quintet, and 1 brass quintet.


SYO Audition Requirements

  • Solo piece that demonstrates your best abilities/short solo that is representative of your playing. Ask your private/school teacher for recommendations if you are unsure of what piece to choose.
    • Your solo selection should not be more than 5 minutes in length.
    • If your solo is longer than 5 minutes, please make appropriate cuts within the music.
    • Your solo should not include accompaniment.
  • A 2-3 octave scale representative of your best abilities.
  • Excerpts are not required for the 2021/2022 season.

Tuition Information

  • Tuition for the 2021/2022 season is $425 for full orchestra.
  • Tuition for the Chamber Music program will be announced shortly.
  • Payment plans and tuition assistance applications are available.

When to Apply

  • Video Audition Application Deadline: Ongoing auditions for all orchestral instruments (winds, brass, strings, percussion, and harp) until June 15th with the $10 SYO Audition Fee.
  • Submit Registration Form (online only) with unlisted YouTube link(s) to your Video Audition. Use the REGISTER NOW button at the end of this section.

How to Apply for Youth Orchestra 2021-2022

  • Please submit one video in the registration form containing all of the above requirements.
  • Speaking during the video: Announce first and last name, instrument, grade in fall, state name of major scale, titles and composers of pieces before playing each.
  • Look at the camera while talking, speak slowly, and see tips below.

Video Audition Tips and Resources: What to say on your video audition recording

  1. First and last name
  2. Instrument
  3. Grade Level in the Fall
  4. Which major scale you’re playing (then play the scale)
  5. Title and composer of your solo piece (then play the solo)

When you are ready to upload your audition video(s) to YouTube, with privacy set to “Unlisted.” It is very important to title the YouTube video in this format:

First and Last Name, Instrument

An example SYO Video Audition title would be:

“Jane Doe, French Horn”

In addition to speaking slowly and directly to the camera, we want to provide some tips and resources about recording a video audition, which will be a new experience for many of you.

It’s also important to note that videos will not be accepted if they are edited. Videos must be in one take. The judges are not expecting you to be perfect, but to get an idea of your playing.

This YouTube video features a high school violinist and her useful tips and guidelines for getting the best video audition recording possible. We highly recommend watching it before you start this process: N​YO-U: Recording Video Auditions

Please email Y​​ if you have any questions or concerns.

Placement Information:

  • You will be placed in an appropriate orchestra based on your audition performance. Other factors such as instrumentation needs may be considered in your placement decision.
  • Previous participation in SYO does not guarantee placement.
  • All placements are final. Please see the Student Profile document below outlining qualifications and rubric criteria used for determining placement.

Student Profile and Rubric PDF: 2021-2022 SYO Student Profile and Rubric 



How much is the audition fee?

There is a $10 audition fee through June 1, 2021.   You will receive an invoice via email after submitting your registration.

Do I need to play my solo from memory?

No. It isn’t required to play your solo from memory.

Does the audition committee select which orchestra I should be in or do I have to choose?

The audition committee (consisting of the Symphoria musicians and Youth Orchestra conductors) decide which orchestra is the best fit. The conductor’s selections are the final decisions unless an opening becomes available. At that time, the conductor may select a student or students to invite for the next orchestra.

Can I play a solo that doesn’t have a NYSSMA level specified?  

Yes. NYSSMA levels are listed in our requirements to give you an idea of the type of repertoire and approximate level of difficulty that is expected for different ensembles.   It is possible to substitute an alternate work, and if you have any questions about whether the work you plan to play is approximately equal to the NYSSMA levels that are specified, you may want to talk to your school music teacher or private music instructor.

I didn’t get a registration confirmation.   How do I know I know that my registration is confirmed?   

Please do check your junk or bulk mail folders and make sure that the message wasn’t placed there.  If you don’t see it, just drop us an email and we’ll be happy to confirm your registration was received.

I submitted my registration but didn’t get an audition fee invoice.

Please do check your junk or bulk mail folders.  If it has been more than three days and you haven’t received anything, please contact

How soon will I hear about the audition results?

The audition results will be sent electronically, no later than early August.

What are the expectations for School Participation for students enrolled in SYO?

We expect you to participate in your school music programs when such programs exist. By participating in your school music program, you benefit by playing every day, becoming a better sight-reader, and playing an important part in helping to build meaningful music programs in your school and communities.

Q: What does SYO cost?

A: The tuition will be $425 per student for the 2021-2022 season. Payment plans and tuition assistance applications will be available.

Q. I’m trying to submit my application online and it’s not working.  
Most people find that using Firefox solves any issue that they might be experiencing with the form.   Once the form is successfully submitted, you will see a confirmation page confirming that it has been submitted.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at