All students wishing to join the NJSYO must audition. Please refer to the audition requirements below for the appropriate orchestra. 

**PLEASE NOTE: STUDENTS WILL REMAIN IN THE ORCHESTRA THEY AUDITIONED FOR AND WERE ACCEPTED INTO FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON, UNLESS MOVED BY CONDUCTOR REQUEST**

Preparatory String Orchestra

Basic Skills

  • Students must be in the second grade or higher in September.
  • Completion of a method book such as Essential Elements for Strings 2000, Strictly Strings, All for Strings, etc.
  • Ability to read music without writing in note names or basic fingerings.
  • Must be familiar with rhythms including quarter, eighth, half, whole and dotted notes.
  • Ability to count in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time.

Scales

Violin: 2 octaves: G, A; 1 octave: Bb, C, D, F
Viola: 1 octave: Bb, C, D, F, G
Cello: 1 octave: Bb, C, D, F, G
Bass: 1 octave: G

Violinists will be expected to play one 2 octave scale and one 1 octave scale listed above. All others will be expected to play two 1 octave scales.

Solo Piece

Solo piece must be an actual solo for your instrument, not an orchestra part. Solo should demonstrate the student’s ability and be a minimum of 32 measures long including repeats. Suggested examples include Bach Minuets, 1, 2, and 3, solos found at the end of Suzuki Book 1 and the solos in the beginning of Suzuki Book 2.

Other similar solos are accepted.

Sight Reading

Sight reading will be provided and will be part of an orchestra piece similar to those that will will be played at this level. Students will be given a stated amount of time to visually review the piece with playing their instruments. Students will then play the part to the best of their ability.

Concert Youth Orchestra

All Strings:

I. Applicants will perform 2 scales, one each from list A and list B. Applicants must perform one major and one minor scale (natural, harmonic, or melodic). All scales should be played 2 octaves; students may play three octaves if they are able. All scales must be performed from memory.

List A: C/G/D/A/E/F majors; A/E/B/F#/C#/D minors

List B: Bb/Eb/Ab majors; G/C/F minors

II. Applicants should prepare 2 contrasting solo pieces or excerpts (one faster and one slower selection) that best demonstrate their skill level. Selections should be no more than 2-3 minutes in length. Specific areas being evaluated will include intonation, rhythmic accuracy, bowing and bow control, tone, and variety of articulation when applicable.

III. All applicants will be asked to sight-read a short selection which will be provided at the audition.

Winds/Brass:

I. Applicants will perform 2 scales, one each from list A and list B. Applicants must perform one major and one minor scale (natural, harmonic, or melodic). All scales should be played as many octaves as possible, and must be performed from memory.

List A: C/G/D/A/E/F majors; A/E/B/F#/C#/D minors

List B: Bb/Eb/Ab majors; G/C/F minors

II. Applicants should prepare 2 contrasting solo pieces or excerpts (one faster and one slower selection) that best demonstrate their skill level. Selections should be no more than 2-3 minutes in length. Specific areas being evaluated will include tone, intonation, accuracy of notes/rhythms, breath support and control, and cleanliness and accuracy of articulations.

III. All applicants will be asked to sight-read a short selection which will be provided at the audition.

Percussion:

Applicants should prepare short 1-2 minutes audition excerpts on as many instruments as they are proficient; selections should demonstrate a proficiency with basic rudiments. Audition repertoire may include, but is not limited to band music, etudes, and solo repertoire. Instruments available for use in percussion auditions are bells, timpani, triangle, bass drum, and suspended cymbal; applicants wishing to perform an audition any other instrument will need to bring one to the audition.

All Applicants:

All applicants should bring 2 photocopies of their prepared solo pieces for use by the audition committee.

Symphonic Youth Orchestra (formerly “Senior Youth Orchestra”)

All students will perform:

  1. Four (4) scales to be performed FROM MEMORY; one major and one minor scale each from both List A and List B. Students should perform scales as many octaves as possible.
    • List A: G/D/A/E/F/B-flat/E-flat/A-flat majors; B/C/C-sharp/D/E/F/F-sharp/G minors
    • List B: B/C-sharp/D-flat/F-sharp/G-flat majors; A-flat/A-sharp/B-flat/D-sharp/E-flat/G-sharp minors
  2. Two short contrasting solo pieces or excerpts that demonstrate the student’s highest level of skill. Selections should be no more than 2-3 minutes long. Students are advised to consult their private teachers for help choosing appropriate repertoire. *If possible please bring 2 photocopies of each piece for the audition committee to read from.*
  3. A short sight-reading selection which will be provided at the audition.

NB: It is suggested that students begin preparing for their audition AT LEAST 6 weeks in advance; do not wait until the week before to begin practicing!!! Private instruction is very strongly recommended.

Chamber Ensemble

Must be age 13 and above. Must be taking weekly private lessons. Must be able to commit absolutely to weekly rehearsals (Saturday afternoons).

Must demonstrate performing the 1st movement of Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony (1st violin part for all violins, your instrument part for all others).

In addition:
Two pieces. Must be at the same difficulty levels as the pieces listed below or harder.

Violins
Vivaldi Concerto in A minor
Bach Double Concerto
Corelli La Folia
LeClair Sonata No. 3
Kreisler Preludium and Allegro
Lalo Symphonie Espanol

Viola
Seitz Concerto No.2 and 5
J.C. Bach Concerto in C minor
J.S. Bach Suite no.1 Prelude
Bartok Romanian Folk Dances
Eccles Sonata
Teleman Concerto in G major

Cello
Bach Suite no.1 Prelude
Faure Elegy
Breval Sonata
Vivaldi Sonata in E minor
Saint-Seans Allegro Apassionato
Brahms Sonata in E minor
Elgar Concerto in E minor (1st movement)

Bass
any two pieces

*All selections are expected to be performed with appropriate (and steady) tempo, articulations, dynamics, and vibrato, with good intonation and tone, strong rhythm, and musical maturity.