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Audition Procedure for Woodwinds and Brass

2021-2022 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. (e.g. 1 and 2; 2 and 3; 3 and 4; etc.)

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

  • For students who wish to audition for the Horizons ensembles only, the second excerpt is optional.

  • 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 the provided excerpts. The selection should showcase the student's skill level.

2. Scales

If you choose::

Excerpts 1 and 2

Excerpts 2 and 3

Excerpts 3 and 4

Excerpts 4 and 5

Excerpts 5 and 6

Then please prepare:

One or two octaves of any major scale up to 2 sharps/2 flats

One or two octaves of any major scale up to 3 sharps/3 flats

One, two or three octaves of any major scale up to 3 sharps/3 flats

Two or three octaves of any major scale up to 3 sharps/3 flats

Two or three octaves of any major scale up to 4 sharps/4 flats


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. New Program!

MASTER  ARTISTS  Chamber  Music Program

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 6 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:

HORIZONS FLUTES/DOUBLE REEDS/BRASS: Players auditioning for these Horizons ensembles should prepare a MINIMUM of Excerpt #1 and #2 for their instrument. You can also prepare #3 if you would like to, but it is not required.

HORIZONS SINGLE REEDS: Students should prepare the hardest excerpts that they can adequately prepare, as this will affect their seating within the ensemble. Higher level players will be considered for opportunities with the Repertory and Symphony orchestras

REPERTORY ORCHESTRA: Players who would like to be considered for Repertory Orchestra should prepare a MINIMUM of Excerpt #3 and 4 for their instrument.  You could also prepare #5.

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Players who would like to be considered for Symphony Orchestra should prepare a MINIMUM of Excerpt #5 and 6 for their instrument


MASTER ARTISTS CHAMBER MUSIC: 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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