Video Audition Standards

2020-2021 Season

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.


Thank you for your interest in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras! Please read below carefully for information about the 2020-2021 BYSO audition process.

Due to the current pandemic, following the submission of the application and application fee all applicants (both new and current) will be asked to submit a final round audition video to determine eligibility for the 2020-2021 season. Live auditions will no longer take place for any applicant.

Click on the links below for your instrument’s audition standards and excerpts (if required). Videos must be recorded without accompaniment. Videos can be uploaded to your Acceptd portal following submission of the audition application. Specific instructions detailing how videos must be submitted online, along with video FAQs, can be found within your audition standards below.

Final audition videos must be submitted by Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 11:59pm.


Violin Candidates

Violin Standards and Excerpts 

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 Standards and Excerpts 

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

Cello Candidates

Cello Standards and Excerpts  

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

Bass Candidates

Bass Standards and Excerpts

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 Standards and Excerpts

BYS/REP Level

  • Bassoon: proficiency in tenor clef

JRO Level

  • Bassoon: familiarity with tenor clef

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


Brass Candidates

Brass Standards and Excerpts

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 Standards and Excerpts    


Harp Candidates

Harp Standards     


Piano Candidates

Piano Standards