Live Audition Standards

2020-2021 Season

BYSO auditions are open to students entering grades K-12. 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.


For all Candidates

• Prepare two solo works or two movements that demonstrate both a lyrical/slow and a technical/fast style of playing (except percussion). Your prepared music should be chosen, in consultation with your teacher, from the standard solo literature for your instrument. Pieces from popular songbooks and band parts are not acceptable audition selections.
• Scales by memory (see instrument-specific requirements below)
• Flute, Brass, Percussion, and Strings applicants are required to learn selected orchestral excerpts. New applicants to Petit Ensemble are not required to play excerpts.
• Sight reading

Please note that some auditions will be recorded for internal purposes only. Recordings will be deleted at the end of the audition process.


Violin Candidates

Violin Excerpts – Coming Soon!

BYS/REP Level

  • All 3-octave major and minor scales by memory, 4 eighth notes per bow, with a tempo of Quarter Note = 60 bpm
  • technical facility in all positions
  • previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • 3-octave major and minor scales through four sharps or flats by memory, 4 eighth notes per bow, with a tempo of quarter note = 60 bpm
  • technical facility through five positions
  • well-developed tone quality, bow strokes, and vibrato

YPSO Level

  • 3-octave major scales (G, A, B-flat & C), by memory, 4 eighth notes per bow, with a tempo of quarter note = 60 bpm
  • 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
  • Two contrasting pieces (minimum level Suzuki Book 2)
  • 2-octave major scales G, A, & B-flat, 4 eighth notes per bow, with a tempo of quarter note = 60 bpm
  • NO orchestral excerpts

Viola Candidates

Viola Excerpts – Coming Soon!

BYS/REP Level

  • All 3-octave major and minor scales (form of candidate’s choice), by memory
  • technical facility in all positions
  • previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • 3-octave major and minor scales C, D, E, F & G, (form of candidate’s choice), by memory
  • technical facility through five positions
  • well-developed tone quality, bow strokes, and vibrato

YPSO Level

  • 3-octave major scales (C, D & E-flat), by memory
  • 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
  • two contrasting pieces (minimum level Suzuki Book 2)
  • 2- octave major scales C, D, & E-flat
  • NO orchestral excerpts

Cello Candidates

Cello Excerpts – Coming Soon!

BYS/REP Level

  • All 3-octave major and minor scales (form of candidate’s choice), by memory
  • technical facility in all positions
  • proficiency in tenor and treble clefs
  • previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • 3-octave major and minor scales through four sharps or flats (form of candidate’s choice), by memory
  • technical facility through five positions
  • technical facility in tenor clef
  • well-developed tone quality, bow strokes, and vibrato

YPSO Level

  • 3- octave major scales C, D, & E-flat
  • 2-octave major scales F, G & A, by memory
  • 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
  • two contrasting pieces (minimum level Suzuki Book 2)
  • 2-octave major scales C, D, & E-flat
  • NO orchestral excerpts

Bass Candidates

Bass Excerpts – Coming Soon!

BYS/REP Level

  • All major and minor scales (form of candidate’s choice), at least 2-octaves, by memory
  • technical facility in all positions
  • previous ensemble experience

JRO Level

  • 2-octave major scales plus 1-octave E minor, by memory
  • well-developed tone quality and bow strokes

YPSO Level

  • 1-octave major scales G, D, C, F, by memory
  • comfortable use of fundamental bow strokes with varied articulations

PE Level

  • Suggested age Grade 2 to Grade 4
  • two contrasting pieces (minimum level Suzuki Book 2)
  • 1-octave major scales G, D, & C
  • NO orchestral excerpts

All Wind & Brass Candidates

Wind & Brass Orchestral Excerpts

BYS/REP Level

  • All major and minor scales (melodic and harmonic), through candidate’s range by memory; chromatic scale, by memory
  • Horn & Trumpet: familiarity with standard transpositions
  • Trombone: familiarity with alto and tenor clef
  • Bassoon: proficiency in tenor clef

JRO Level

  • Major and harmonic minor scales through four sharps or flats, by memory through candidate’s range; chromatic scale, by memory
  • Horn & Trumpet: familiarity with standard transpositions
  • Bassoon & Trombone: familiarity with tenor clef

PW Level

  • Major scales up to four flats and sharps, through the candidate’s range by memory; chromatic scale, by memory

All Clarinetists may be asked to play specialty clarinets (such as Eb or Bass Clarinet); BYSO will loan an instrument for practice and performance should the member be assigned.


Percussion Candidates

Percussion Excerpts – Coming Soon!

Senior Level (BYS/REP)

Candidates must prepare one solo piece/etude on snare drum, timpani, and xylophone. Orchestral excerpts are required for this level. Sight reading on xylophone is also required.

Junior Level (JRO/PW)
Candidates must prepare one solo/etude for snare drum OR timpani, and one solo/etude for xylophone. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate the ability to tune an interval of a perfect 4th and 5th on two timpani, sight read a short passage on snare drum, and play a loud and soft crash on a pair of crash cymbals.

Instruments provided for the audition include a standard set of four timpani, a concert snare drum, a pair of 18″ crash cymbals, and a triangle with triangle beaters. A warm up room will be provided for each candidate 15-20 minutes before their audition time. 


Harp Candidates

See all Candidates


Piano Candidates

All major and minor scales, 4-octaves