SYMPHORIA YOUTH ORCHESTRAS

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.

ENSEMBLES

YOUTH ORCHESTRA MEMBERS SITE

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

FALL
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4
WINTER
BERLIOZ: Roman Carnival Overture
LISZT: Les Preludes
SPRING
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

FALL
BRAHMS: Hungarian Dance No. 5
BRAHMS: Hungarian Dance No. 6
FRESCOBALDI: Toccatta
WINTER
HEROLD: Zampa Overture
BORODIN: Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances
SPRING
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.

VIDEO AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

How to Apply for Youth Orchestra 2021-2022

  • Record audition video or videos: see Video Audition Requirements below.
  • Upload audition video(s) to YouTube, with privacy set to “Unlisted.”
  • Complete Registration Form with the link(s) to your Video Audition on YouTube included.

When to Apply

  • Video Audition Application Deadline: Ongoing auditions until June 1st 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.

General Requirements

  • Solo piece that demonstrates your best abilities/short solo that is representative of your playing.
  • 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.
  • Additional requirements for each specific instrument and orchestra are listed below

Scales and Excerpts

  • Scales – See specific information, by instrument, for each orchestra.
  • Excerpts are not required for the 2021/2022 season.

SYO Chamber Music Program

Students who audition and are accepted to one of the three large ensembles will have the opportunity to also participate in chamber music for an additional fee. Please indicate on your registration form if you would like your audition to be considered for the chamber music program.

Please note: Chamber music placement is not guaranteed and only a limited number of seats will be available for the 2021-2022 season.

VIDEO AUDITION INSTRUCTIONS

SYRO and SYAO Video Specifics

  • Two videos per student may be submitted, although one video is preferred.
  • If submitting two, the Solo may be recorded alone in a separate video.
  • 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.

NOTE: Students may use their NYSSMA recording if there is no piano accompaniement included on it.

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. NYSSMA Level (if applicable)
  5. Which major scale you’re playing (then play the scale)
  6. 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, NYSSMA Level

An example SYO Video Audition title would be:

“Jane Doe, French Horn, NYSSMA Level 5”

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​outhOrchestra@ExperienceSymphoria.org​ if you have any questions or concerns.


Audition Requirements

Symphoria Young Artists Orchestra (SYAO)

Violin:

  • Should be comfortable with 3 octave scales in any major or minor key up to 5 sharps or flats.
  • Should be comfortable with vibrato, playing in the higher positions, and playing in all parts of the bow with varied articulations/bow strokes including, brush, spiccato, and sautille.
  • Playing repertoire at NYSSMA level 6 or the more challenging pieces of level 5 (such as De Beriot or Rode Concertos).
  • Pieces need not be from the NYSSMA list.

Viola:

  • SYAO violists should be comfortable with 3 octave scales.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in higher positions, have the use of vibrato and varied articulations, have good sight-reading skills in alto and treble clefs, and experience in advanced key signatures.

Cello:

  • Students should be comfortable with 3 octave scales.
  • Cellists should be able to play in bass, tenor and treble clefs, be comfortable with vibrato, have good sight-reading skills, and experience in advanced key signatures.

Bass:

  • Students should prepare a two or three octave scale for the audition.
  • Bassists should be comfortable with half through sixth positions and be familiar with thumb position.

Flute:

  • Prepare a two or three octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in advanced key signatures, have good sight-reading skills, and have advancing use of vibrato.
  • Musicians should be skilled in all major and minor keys, be able to play with continuous vibrato, and have the ability to double tongue.

Oboe:

  • Prepare a two-octave scale for the audition.
  • Choose a piece that highlights both your expressive and technical abilities.
  • Musicians should be skilled in all major and minor keys, be comfortable in advanced key signatures, have good sight-reading skills, and advanced use of vibrato.

Clarinet:

  • Prepare a three-octave scale for the audition. Choose a piece that highlights both your expressive and technical abilities (including both finger technique and varied articulation).
  • Musicians should be skilled in all major and minor keys, be comfortable in advanced key signatures, have good sight-reading skills.
  • Owning an A-Clarinet is not required, but some pieces may include parts for A or C clarinet, and students should have a private teacher or music educator willing to help them with the transposition process.
  • Students should be comfortable playing NYSSMA Level 5 or 6 literature.

Bassoon:

  • Musicians should have playing experience through three sharps and flats.
  • Musicians should be comfortable playing music in advanced key signatures such as f minor, d minor, A-flat major, E major, & A major.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in time signatures such as 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 & cut time.
  • Musicians should be comfortable playing in a three octave range (low B-flat 1 to high B 4), with dotted rhythms, arpeggios, grace notes, octave leaps, and syncopation.
  • Musicians should have good sight-reading skills and have intermediate or advanced use of vibrato.
  • Musicians should be skilled in all major and minor scales and be comfortable reading tenor clef.

Horn:

  • Students should play a one octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in advanced key signatures and have good sight-reading skills, be able to double tongue, be able to read some bass clef and have knowledge of typical transpositions.
  • Students must have a private teacher or music educator willing to help them with the transposition process.
  • Students should be comfortable playing NYSSMA Level 6 literature.

Trumpet:

  • Students should play a one octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in advanced key signatures and have good sight-reading skills, be able to double and triple tongue, and have knowledge of typical transpositions.
  • Students must have a private teacher or music educator willing to help them with the transposition process.

Trombone:

  • Students should play a two octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in all key signatures and have good sight-reading skills, be able to double and triple tongue, have sufficient knowledge of tenor clef, and be familiar with alto clef.

Tuba:

  • Students should play a one octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in advanced key signatures and have good sight-reading skills, be able to double and triple tongue, and have knowledge of typical transpositions.
  • It is highly recommended for students to have a private teacher.

Percussion:

Students should prepare a snare drum solo, a xylophone or marimba solo or etude, and a two-octave major scale and arpeggio.

Symphoria Youth Repertory Orchestra (SYRO)

Violin:

  • Students should be comfortable with 3 octave scales in G, A, B-flat, C, and 2 octave scales in all keys up to 5 sharps or flats.
  • Should have (or be developing) ease with their vibrato and be comfortable playing in all parts of the bow.
  • Audition repertoire need not be from the NYSSMA list but should be similar in range and technique to level 5 (or higher).

Viola:

  • SYRO violists should know all two octave Major scales and should prepare a two or three octave scale for the audition.
  • Music includes first through fifth positions and keys through three sharps and flats.
  • Violists should be familiar with treble clef and have the use of vibrato.
  • Music will include syncopation and changing meters.

Cello:

  • Students should be comfortable with scales in three octaves.
  • Cellists should have good sight-reading skills, familiarity with most major and minor keys, the use of vibrato, and should be comfortable with bass and tenor clefs and familiar with treble clef.

Bass:

  • Students should prepare a two octave scale for the audition.
  • Music includes half through sixth positions.

Flute:

  • Please prepare a two octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should have playing experience through three sharps and flats and beginning use of vibrato.

Oboe:

  • Prepare a two-octave scale for the audition.
  • Choose a piece that highlights both your expressive and technical abilities.
  • Musicians should have playing experience through three sharps and flats, have good sight-reading skills, and beginning use of vibrato.

Clarinet:

  • Prepare a two-octave scale for the audition.
  • Choose a piece that highlights both your expressive and technical abilities (including finger technique and varied articulation).
  • Musicians should have playing experience through three sharps and flats, have good sight-reading skills.
  • Owning an A-Clarinet is not required, but some pieces may include parts for A or C clarinet, and students should have a private teacher or music educator willing to help them with the transposition process.
  • Students should be comfortable playing NYSSMA Level 4-5 literature.

Bassoon:

  • Musicians should have playing experience through three sharps and flats.
  • Musicians should be comfortable playing music in key signatures such as D Major, A major, E Major, F major, B-flat major & G-flat major.
  • Musicians should be comfortable in time signatures such as 2/4, 4/4 & cut time.
  • Musicians should be comfortable playing in a three octave range (low B-flat 1 to high B 4).
  • Musicians should have good sight-reading skills and have beginning use of vibrato.
  • Musicians should be skilled in all major and minor scales and be comfortable reading tenor clef.

Horn:

  • Students should play a one octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should have playing experience through three sharps and flats.
  • Students must have a private teacher or music educator willing to help them with the transposition process.
  • Students should be comfortable playing NYSSMA Level 5 or 6 literature.

Trumpet:

  • Students should play a one octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should have playing experience through three sharps and flats.

Trombone:

  • Students should play a one octave scale for the audition and be able to play in all keys.

Tuba:

  • Students should play a one octave scale for the audition.
  • Musicians should be comfortable playing in key signatures with 3 sharps or flats.
  • It is highly recommended for students to have a private teacher.

Percussion:

Students should prepare a snare drum solo, a xylophone or marimba solo or etude, and a two-octave major scale and arpeggio.

Symphoria Youth String Orchestra (SYSO)

Violin: Students should prepare a two octave scale for the audition. Beginning SYO string students generally play a NYSSMA level 3 or higher solo, are comfortable in 1st and 3rd positions, and know detaché and staccato bow strokes.

Viola: Students should prepare a two octave scale for the audition. Repertoire is primarily in first position, and students should know detaché and staccato bow strokes.

Cello: Students should prepare a two octave scale for the audition. Repertoire is primarily first in position, and students should know detaché and staccato bow strokes.

Bass: Students should prepare a one octave scale for the audition and be comfortable in half, first, second, and third positions.

Symphoria Youth Chamber 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.

Additional Orchestra Placement Information:

  • There is no need to specify which orchestra you want to play in.  You will be placed in an appropriate orchestra based on your audition performance. Other factors such as instrumentation needs may be considered as well.
  • The orchestra level you choose to audition for does not ensure placement in those orchestras; audition judges and conductors will make placement decisions based on the overall quality of your performance.
  • SYO makes every effort to offer all students placement in one of our orchestras.
  • There are limits on specific instruments in each orchestra (most often flute) which may result in a waitlist for that instrument.
  • Previous participation in SYO does not guarantee placement and all placements are final.
REGISTER NOW

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 YouthOrchestra@ExperienceSymphoria.org

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 YouthOrchestra@ExperienceSymphoria.org