Audition requirements for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra are as follows:
Eligibility: At the time of the first rehearsal, candidates must be no older than 20 years of age.
Scheduling an Audition: After submitting an application, candidates will be polled by email or phone only after each application deadline for possible availability. Individual Auditions are scheduled in intervals of approximately ten minutes. Auditions for each instrument group are generally held on a single day only due to the scheduling needs of our Music Director, faculty, and the San Francisco Symphony. For this reason, alternate dates and times may not be available due to scheduling restrictions.
Applications for the 2016-2017 Season are currently being accepted. The deadline to participate in our Spring audition round round was April 1st. Currently submitted applications will be considered for Fall auditions (exp. Aug. 29 - Sept. 10) if there remains a position open in the section. Deadline for submission is August 1. 2016. Please check this webpage for updates and contact email@example.com or (415) 503-5350 with any questions.
Jason Pyszkowski - Associate Director, Youth Orchestra Program
Adjudication: The Youth Orchestra Music Director and members of the San Francisco Symphony will adjudicate all auditions. Due to limited time, judges will only be able to hear excerpts from your audition material.
Location: All auditions are held in practice rooms at Davies Symphony Hall. Directions and parking information will be provided upon scheduling the audition.
Be prepared to perform two scales - one major and one minor (harmonic or melodic). In most cases, you may choose the scales yourself—please see below for each instrument’s specific requirements.
Strings - Be prepared to demonstrate different bow techniques at varying speeds, including staccato and legato playing.
Violin, Viola - Scales of your choice, three octaves
Cello - Scales of your choice, four octaves
Bass - Scales of your choice, two octaves
Winds - Be prepared to demonstrate detached or slurred articulation, at varying speeds, throughout the entire range of the scale.
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet - Scales of your choice, two octaves
Bassoon - B and Eb Major, three octaves (no minor scale required)
French Horn - Scales of your choice, two octaves
Trumpet - Please see the linked packet
Tenor Trombone - C Major (begin on “C” within the bass clef staff) and D Major (begin on low “D” below the bass clef staff), two octaves; no minor scale)
Bass Trombone - Bb Major and minor, three octaves
Tuba - F Major and minor, two octaves
Percussion - Scales of your choice, two octaves (on marimba). Be prepared to play a roll (pp -ff ) on timpani and/or snare drum.
Harp - Scales of your choice, four octaves (hands together)
Keyboard - Scales of your choice played on piano, four octaves (hands together)
Candidates must prepare a movement from a concerto or comparable solo piece of the candidate’s choice. This selection should accurately represent overall musicianship including technical facility and lyricism. The solo piece should total 6-8 minutes in length. No accompanists, please.
- Trumpet applicants will have a required solo piece provided in the packet linked here.
- Percussion applicants should choose a piece written for marimba.
- Keyboard applicants should prepare a movement from the keyboard sonata of your choice by Josef Haydn. Though you should work with your teacher to determine which edition(s) to prepare, you may find many examples of his sonatas here
All candidates must prepare all of the specific excerpt(s) required for their instrument unless it is indicated as optional. Click on instrument sections below to download excerpts as a PDF file. Please use only this sheet music to prepare the orchestral excerpts as all markings are specific to this audition. To request that a hard copy be sent to you, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 503-5350. We will not send music via USPS unless you give us a complete street mailing address.
Any candidate may be asked to sight-read from standard orchestral repertoire.
To request hard copies of audition excerpts: