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Audition – Woodwinds and Brass (2023-2024 Season)

LYO ensemble placement and seating are by audition. Student auditions are assessed based on:

  • the difficulty of the selections you choose

  • your rhythm

  • your tone quality

  • your musicality

Be sure to adhere to the listed tempo. For more info, see the FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Please prepare the following for your audition:

1. Excerpts

  • Please prepare TWO consecutively numbered excerpts from the packet below (such as 1–2 or 3–4, etc.)

  • Choose the hardest excerpts you feel you can play well. What are the recommended minimum excerpts to prepare to audition for a particular ensemble?

    • Horizons Winds or Horizons Brass: prepare a minimum of Excerpts #1 and #2 for your instrument. You can also prepare #3 if you would like to, but it is not required. Students who wish to audition for the Horizons ensembles only may choose to play a selection from their school or lesson method book instead of a provided excerpt. The selection should showcase the student's skill level.

    • ​Repertory Orchestra: prepare Excerpts #3 and #4 for your instrument.  You could also prepare #5.

    • ​Symphony Orchestra: prepare Excerpts #5 and #6 for your instrument

2. Scale(s)

If you choose:

Excerpts 1–2, then prepare one or two octaves of any major scale up to 2 sharps/2 flats

Excerpts 2–3, then prepare one or two octaves of any major scale up to 3 sharps/3 flats

Excerpts 3–4, then prepare one, two, or three octaves of any major scale up to 3 sharps/3 flats

Excerpts 4–5, then prepare two or three octaves of any major scale up to 3 sharps/3 flats

Excerpts 5–6, then prepare two or three octaves of any major scale up to 4 sharps/4 flats

Scales should be performed in the following fashion, or in an equivalent style and tempo:

3. Sight reading

At the audition, students are given a musical passage to sight read. You will get a short, specified amount of time to look at it. Check the key signature, time signature, markings, and scan the passage for any trouble spots before performing it.

Master Artists Chamber Players   (optional - for advanced/motivated intermediate student musicians)

Students auditioning for Repertory or Symphony Orchestras have the option to also audition for the Master Artists chamber groups. To do so, prepare a 2‐minute excerpt from a piece in the solo repertoire for your instrument. There is no extra cost to audition for Master Artists but there is a small program fee to participate.








Which excerpts should I choose? What should I focus on?

  1. We recommend that you print out all excerpts for your instrument. Play through them, take them to your private teacher, and decide which 2 consecutive excerpts you want to prepare for your audition. Selecting excerpts is no guarantee that you will qualify for that ensemble. If you are unable to demonstrate proficiency on your chosen excerpts, you will be considered for another one of our orchestras. For example, if you select excerpts intended for Symphony Orchestra and are unable to play them at a high performance level, you will be considered for Horizons Ensemble or Repertory Orchestra.

  2. It is important that you pick 2 consecutive excerpts that you are going to be able to play with great intonation, rhythmic precision, a steady tempo (at the metronome markings indicated), and all dynamics, articulations, and style considerations.

  3. Avoid picking excerpts that are too difficult for you or too easy for you. That will not help the conductors assess your audition accurately, especially if they are too hard for you. You might have big goals to be in a certain ensemble, but if you pick music that is beyond your abilities, it only shows us that you are not ready to play the level of music which that ensemble plays. We want everyone to have a solid confident audition.

  4. Play all excerpts within the tempo range indicated at the beginning of the excerpt. Playing excerpts too slowly or with hesitations/tempo changes will significantly affect your audition results. If you start an excerpt below or above the tempo range indicated, you might be stopped and asked to start over again within the indicated range.  Be sure to practice with a metronome.

Ready to register to audition and pay? Return to the Audition Page.

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