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

Note that auditions are progressive, and so although all audition elements must be prepared you will not necessarily be asked to present them all. Please also note that if an applicant is not deemed ready for audition to a particular orchestra, the NJSYO will automatically consider the applicant for a group suitable to the student’s age, experience and ability.

**  IMPORTANT: STUDENTS WILL REMAIN IN THE ORCHESTRA FOR WHICH THEY AUDITIONED AND INTO WHICH THEY WERE ACCEPTED FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON, UNLESS MOVED INTO A MORE FOUNDATIONAL GROUP BY CONDUCTOR REQUEST.  **

I. Preparatory String Orchestra

The Preparatory String Orchestra (PSO) is open to string players who are in the 2nd grade and above. The PSO is designed to introduce students to playing together and listening to one another. Students will gain foundational skills in orchestral playing and further develop their music reading ability. Accepted students are required to be taking private lessons on their instrument and/or participate in their school orchestra program.

General Information:

● Students should have completed book 1 of the string method book (i.e.
Essential Elements for Strings 2000, Strictly Strings, All for Strings, etc.)
● Students should be able to read music without writing in note names or basic
fingerings.
● Students should be familiar with basic durations including whole, half, quarter,
and eighth notes and rests.
● Students should be able to understand and count in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time
signatures.
● Students should be able to sight read simple music examples and identify
notes in keys of C, G, and D Major.

Audition Requirements:

1. SCALES: C, G, D, F, Bflat Major

a. Minimum one octave required, two or three octaves encouraged
b. Slurred 2 eighth notes a bow, played from memory, quarter note = 72mm at minimum. (Example below)

2. SOLO: a selection demonstrating fundamental string techniques and
musicianship, no longer than 5 minutes in length. Please refer to the latest ASTA
(American String Teachers Association) Curriculum Guide.

3. SIGHT READING: provided at the time of the audition, corresponding to
Sightreading Factory Levels 1 and/or 2.

II. Intermediate String Orchestra

The Intermediate String Orchestra (ISO) is open to string players who are able to proficiently sight-read music and are in the 5th grade and above. The ISO is designed to expose students to the orchestral repertoire, and to hone skills in orchestral playing. Accepted students are required to be taking private lessons on their instrument.

Audition Requirements:

1. SCALES: C, G, D, A, E, F, Bflat, Eflat, A flat Major

a. Minimum two octaves required, three octaves encouraged. b. Slurred 4 eighth notes to a bow, played from memory, quarter note = 92mm at minimum. (Example below)

2. SOLO: a selection from standard string repertoire that best demonstrates
student’s technical skills and musicianship, no longer than 5 minutes in length.
Please refer to the latest ASTA (American String Teachers Association)
Curriculum Guide.

3. SIGHT READING: provided at the time of the audition, corresponding to
Sightreading Factory minimum Level 3

III. Symphonic Youth Orchestra/Chamber Ensemble

The Symphonic Youth Orchestra (SYO) is open to string, woodwind, brass, and percussion players in the 9th grade and above. The SYO performs the full symphonic repertoire, and provides advanced orchestral experience for young musicians. Accepted students are required to take private lessons in their instrument.

The Chamber Ensemble gives advanced string instrument students the unique experience of playing in a small group with more individual responsibility. Students learn to play together using cues and focused listening. Participants must be in grade 7 and above and must be taking weekly private lessons.

Audition Requirements:

1. SCALES:

a. Strings: Major Scales up to 4 flats and 4 sharps plus C Major

i. Violin: G, A flat, A, B flat, C – in 3 octaves; D, E flat, E, F – in minimum 2 octaves. Eight eighth notes slurred to a bow, played from memory, quarter note = 100mm at minimum
ii. Viola/Cello: C, D, E flat, E, F – in 3 octaves; G, A flat, A, B flat – in minimum 2 octaves Eight eighth notes slurred to a bow, played from memory, quarter note = 100mm at minimum
iii. Bass: 2 octaves, no octave drop, 4 eighth notes slurred to a bow, quarter note = 96mm at minimum

b. Woodwinds and Brass:

i. Major scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats plus C major, played in even octaves, memorized, and played as follows:

ii. A chromatic scale played slurred in even sixteenth notes, encompassing even octaves, starting pitch will be given at the audition.

c. Percussion: Please refer to the NJ ALL STATE PERCUSSION RUDIMENTS

2. SOLO: a selection from standard repertoire (i.e. movement of a concerto or
sonata, concert etude) that demonstrates students highest level of technical skills
and musicianship, no longer than 5 minutes in length (as guideline please refer to
the current solo list of the NJ All State High School Orchestra).

3. SIGHT READING: provided at the time of the audition, corresponding to
Sightreading Factory minimum Level 4