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Audition Procedure for Strings

2021-22 Season

Thank you for auditioning for the Louisville Youth Orchestra!


Your ensemble placement and seating will be determined by the audition panel.


You will be assessed on:

  • the difficulty of the selections you choose

  • your rhythm

  • your tone quality

  • your musicality

Please prepare the following for your audition:

1. Excerpts

  • Please prepare TWO consecutively numbered excerpts as listed in the instructions section.  Plus the third excerpt if you are auditioning for a Principal position.

  • Please choose the hardest excerpts you feel you can play well.

2. Scales

Serenade Orchestra - 1 or 2 octave scale of your choice

Concert Orchestra - 1 or 2 octave scale of your choice

Repertory Orchestra - 2 or 3 octave scale of your choice

Symphony Orchestra - 3 octave scale of your choice.  Double bass may play 2 octave if desired.

Scales should be performed in the following fashion, or a fashion of equivalent style and tempo.


3. Sight reading


At your audition, you will be presented with music that you have never seen before. You will get a short, specified amount of time to look at it and then you will perform it for the panel.


4. Master Artists Chamber Players

If you are in or auditioning for a spot in the Repertory or Symphony Orchestras, you may audition for a spot in one of our Master Artists Chamber groups.

Please prepare a 2‐minute excerpt from a piece in the solo repertoire for your instrument.



Which excerpts should I choose?

  1. We recommend that you print out all 9 excerpts for your respective instrument. Play through them, take them to your private teacher, and decide which 2 consecutive excerpts you want to prepare for your audition

  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, style, and bow stroke considerations.

  3. Avoid picking excerpts that are too difficult for you or too easy for you. That will not help the conductors assess you 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. You must 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 may be stopped immediately and asked to start over again within the indicated range.  Be sure to practice with a metronome.

  5. You must adhere to all bowings marked in the excerpt. Fingerings are suggestions and are not mandatory, but the marked bowings are required.

  6. Even though you will select the excerpts you want to prepare for the orchestra you hope to make it into, it is NO GUARANTEE that you will qualify for that orchestra. If you are unable to demonstrate proficiency on those excerpts, you WILL be considered for another one of our orchestras. In other words, if you prepare the excerpts for the Repertory Orchestra and are unable to play them at a high performance level, you can and will be considered for Serenade Orchestra or Concert Orchestra.


What are the minimum required excerpts for each orchestra?


Here are the MINIMUM excerpts you should prepare for each of our four (4) orchestras to be considered for a spot in that orchestra:

SERENADE ORCHESTRA: String players auditioning for Serenade Orchestra should prepare  Excerpt #1 and #2 for their instrument.


CONCERT ORCHESTRA: String players who want to be considered for Concert Orchestra should prepare Excerpt 3 and 4. ALSO prepare #5 if you wish to be considered for a principal position.5


REPERTORY ORCHESTRA: String players who would like to be considered for Repertory Orchestra should prepare Excerpt #5 and #6 for their instrument. ALSO prepare #7 if you wish to be considered for a Principal position.


SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: String players who would like to be considered for Symphony Orchestra should prepare Excerpts #7 and #8 for their instrument. ALSO prepare #9 if you wish to be considered for a Principal position.


MASTER ARTISTS CHAMBER MUSIC: Strings players who would like to be considered for the Master Artists program must also prepare a 2-minute excerpt of a solo from their instrument’s solo repertoire.


Links to audition excerpts:

Please note that the LYO uses several sets of excerpts for an instrument. Members who have been with the LYO for more than three years may see some excerpts repeated.






If you have read this information page thoroughly and still have questions about the audition procedure or the excerpts, please email 

For Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, and Harp/Piano audition information and excerpts, please return to the Audition Process and click on the link for the section you want.

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