Audition Standards / We can’t wait to hear you play.

Thank you for your interest in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras! BYSO auditions are open to students entering grades K-12. Please follow the audition standards that most closely match your current level of playing. Candidates audition for BYSO – not a specific ensemble – and selected candidates will be placed in an orchestra based on level. Please note that due to the competitive nature of auditions, placement is not guaranteed, and BYSO members must re-audition each year.


Preliminary string audition videos can be uploaded to your Acceptd portal following submission of the audition application and application fee. Specific instructions detailing how videos must be submitted, along with video FAQs, can be found within your audition standards below. 

Standards & Requirements 


Violin Candidates

Violin Preliminary Video Audition Standards 2024-25
Violin Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Violin Live Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)

BYS/REP Level

  • Technical facility in all positions
  • Previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • Technical facility through five positions
  • Well-developed tone quality, bow strokes, and vibrato

YPSO Level

  • Technical facility through four positions
  • Comfortable use of vibrato and fundamental bow strokes with varied articulations

PE Level

  • Suggested age Grade 2 to Grade 4
  • New applicants to Petit Ensemble are not required to play excerpts

Viola Candidates

Viola Preliminary Video Audition Standards 2024-25
Viola Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Viola Live Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)

BYS/REP Level

  • Technical facility in all positions
  • Previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • Technical facility through five positions
  • Well-developed tone quality, bow strokes, and vibrato

YPSO Level

  • Technical facility through four positions
  • Comfortable use of vibrato and fundamental bow strokes with varied articulations

PE Level

  • Suggested age Grade 2 to Grade 4
  • New applicants to Petit Ensemble are not required to play excerpts

Cello Candidates

Cello Preliminary Video Audition Standards 2024-25
Cello Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Cello Live Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)

BYS/REP Level

  • Technical facility in all positions
  • Proficiency in tenor and treble clefs
  • Previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • Technical facility through five positions
  • Technical facility in tenor clef
  • Well-developed tone quality, bow strokes, and vibrato

YPSO Level

  • Technical facility through four positions
  • Comfortable use of vibrato and fundamental bow strokes with varied articulations

PE Level

  • Suggested age Grade 2 to Grade 4
  • New applicants to Petit Ensemble are not required to play excerpts
Double Bass Candidates

Double Bass Preliminary Video Audition Standards 2024-25
Double Bass Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Double Bass Live Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)

BYS/REP Level

  • Technical facility in all positions
  • Previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • Well-developed tone quality and bow strokes

YPSO Level

  • Comfortable use of fundamental bow strokes with varied articulations

PE Level

  • Suggested age Grade 2 to Grade 4

Woodwind Candidates

Woodwind Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Flute Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)

BYS/REP Level

  • Bassoon: Proficiency in tenor clef

JRO Level

  • Bassoon: Familiarity with tenor clef

Brass Candidates

Brass Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Horn Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)
Trumpet Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)
Trombone Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)
Tuba Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)

BYS/REP Level

  • Horn & Trumpet: Familiarity with standard transpositions
  • Trombone: Familiarity with alto and tenor clef

JRO Level

  • Horn & Trumpet: Familiarity with standard transpositions
  • Trombone: Familiarity with tenor clef

Percussion Candidates

Percussion Live Audition Standards 2024-25


Harp Candidates

Harp Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Harp Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)


Piano Candidates

Piano Live Audition Standards 2024-25
Piano Audition Excerpts 2024-25 (coming soon)