2017-18 Auditions: June 6-11, 2017

Deadline to apply: May 15, 2017. 

Click here to submit your application. 

Click here for excerpts

Who Can Audition?

Audition Eligibility:

·      School-age musicians who will be high school seniors or younger fall 2017

·      Current members must audition each year to secure a position in an ensemble

·      Applicants may audition in one or more categories: Classical, Jazz or Percussion

·      Applicants (both new and current members) must submit an online form. Additional instructions regarding the audition process and a link to the application form are below.

Note: Acceptance into ESYO is based solely on musical ability as demonstrated at the audition, without regard to sex, race, religion, disability, or national origin. Final decisions regarding placement in an ensemble are made by the Music Director in consultation with the Conductors after reviewing the findings of the Audition Judges. 

Classical Instruments


Violin
Viola
Cello
Bass
Flute/Piccolo
Clarinet
Saxophone
Oboe
English horn
Bassoon
French Horn
Trumpet
Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
Harp
Piano

Jazz Instruments


Saxophone (alto, tenor, bari-)
Trumpet
Trombone
Drumset
Bass (acoustic preferred; electric accepted)
Guitar
Piano

Percussion Instruments


Should be able to play all of the following:
Snare drum
Cymbals
Xylophone Tambourine
Bells Triangle
Bass Drum
Timpani (after consultation with conductor)

 

Audition Expectations & Requirements for ESYO Ensembles

Click below for the audition requirements and skill level expectations for each ensemble.

Note: auditions are scheduled by instrument; musicians will be placed in the most appropriate ensemble based on their demonstrated skill level.

Click for descriptions of ESYO performing groups

Classical Auditions

Youth Orchestra

Youth Orchestra

  • All instruments:
    • Solo:
      • Should be from the standard repertoire
      • Should be equivalent to NYSSMA Level VI
      • Should demonstrate both slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing.  You may play one work with contrasting passages/movements or two separate pieces.
      • Does not have to be listed in the NYSSMA Manual
      • Does not have to be memorized
      • Be prepared to play any section of your solo as requested by the judge (e.g., learn the entire solo)
  • Orchestral excerpts – should prepare ALL excerpts even though you may not be asked to play all of them during your audition. 
  • Sight-reading – Applicants will be given a brief musical example to sight-read.  The specifics of the sight-reading will be determined and explained by the adjudicator.
  • Specific Instruments:
    • Violins – be comfortable playing in 1st through 7th positions
    • Violas – be comfortable playing in 1st through 7th positions
    • Cellos & Basses – be comfortable playing in 1st through 7h positions and thumb position; should be able to play in three clefs (working knowledge of treble clef); should be able to sight-read in tenor clef and 1st through 5th positions
    • Clarinets – be able to transpose clarinet in A
    • Horns – be able to transpose; be familiar with bass clef
    • Trumpets – be able to transpose
    • Trombones – be able to play both tenor and alto clef

Repertory Orchestra

Repertory Orchestra

  • All instruments:
    • Solo:
      • Should be from the standard repertoire
      • Should be equivalent to NYSSMA Level V or VI
      • Should demonstrate both slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing.  You may play one work with contrasting passages/movements or two separate pieces.
      • Does not have to be listed in the NYSSMA Manual
      • Does not have to be memorized
      • Be prepared to play any section of your solo as requested by the judge (e.g., learn the entire solo)
  • Orchestral excerpts – should prepare ALL excerpts even though you may not be asked to play all of them during your audition.
  • Sight-reading – Applicants will be given a brief musical example to sight-read.  The specifics of the sight-reading will be determined and explained by the adjudicator.
  • Specific Instruments:
    • Violins – be comfortable playing in 1st through 5th positions
    • Violas – be comfortable playing in 1st through 5th positions
    • Cellos – be comfortable playing in 1st through 7th positions; should understand and beginning to work in thumb position; should have strong knowledge of tenor clef and beginning knowledge of treble clef
    • Basses – be comfortable playing in 1st through 6th positions; be comfortable playing in tenor clef; should have beginning knowledge of thumb position and treble clef (but not required for solos)
    • Clarinets – be able to transpose clarinet in A
    • Horns – have working knowledge of transpositions; be familiar with bass clef
    • Trumpets – working knowledge of transpositions
    • Trombones – be comfortable reading tenor and have a working knowledge of alto clef

Wind Orchestra

Wind Orchestra

  • All instruments:
    • Solo:
      • Should be equivalent to NYSSMA Level IV
      • Should demonstrate your current level of accomplishment
      • Should demonstrate both slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing.  You may play one work with contrasting passages/movements or two separate pieces.
      • Does not have to be listed in the NYSSMA Manual
      • Does not have to be memorized
      • Be prepared to play any section of your solo as requested by the judge (e.g., learn the entire solo)
  • Orchestral excerpts – should prepare AS MANY as you can. 
  • Sight-reading – Applicants will be given a brief musical example to sight-read.  The specifics of the sight-reading will be determined and explained by the adjudicator.
  • Specific Instruments
    • Flutes/piccolos must play at NYSSMA Level V or above

String Orchestra

String Orchestra

  • All strings:
    • Solo:
      • Should demonstrate clear tone and accurate pitch
      • Should demonstrate both slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing.  May play one work with contrasting passages/movements or two separate pieces.
      • Does not have to be listed in the NYSSMA Manual
      • Does not have to be memorized
      • Be prepared to play any section of your solo as requested by the judge (e.g., learn the entire solo)
  • Be prepared to demonstrate some use of vibrato
  • Orchestral excerpts
    • for viola, cello, & bass: prepare as MANY as you can. 
    • Violins: NO excerpts required.
  • Violins only2 scales from memory of your choice. The scales chosen should coincide with playing ability
  • Sight-reading – Applicants will be given a brief musical example to sight-read.  The specifics of the sight-reading will be determined and explained by the adjudicator.
  • Specific Instruments
    • Violins – solo should be equivalent to NYSSMA Level IV or Suzuki Book 4; should be able to demonstrate shifting through 3rd position
    • Violas – solo should be equivalent to Suzuki Book 3; should be able to demonstrate shifting through 3rd position
    • Cellos, Basses – solo should be equivalent to Suzuki Book 3; should be able to demonstrate shifting through 4th position

Concertino Strings

Concertino Strings

  • 10 months of playing experience
  • One solo of your choice
  • 2 scales from memory of your choice. The scales chosen should coincide with playing ability

Jazz & Percussion Auditions

Jazz Auditions

  • Youth Jazz – reserved for advanced, more experienced students with a focus on performance literature equivalent to NYSSMA levels V and VI+
  • Repertory Jazz – reserved for developing jazz students with a focus on performance literature equivalent to NYSSMA levels III – V
  • Specific Instruments
    • Saxophones; Trumpets; Trombones
      • Prepared jazz solo and/or transcription equivalent to NYSSMA Level III or above
        • Possible sources for solos: Charlie Parker Omnibook, Jim Snidero series;Greg Fishman études; Bob Mintzer études.
      • Improvisation not required but the ability to improvise may increase the chance of acceptance
      • Sight-reading
    • Drumset
      • Prepared jazz solo and/or transcription equivalent to NYSMMA Level III or above
        • Possible sources for solos: The Art of Bop Drumming by John Riley or Jazz Drumset Solos by Rich Thompson
      • Demonstrate proficiency in various styles including rock/funk, swing, Latin (salsa/Cuban, samba, bossa nova), waltz, and ballad (with brushes) at various tempos.
      • Trade 4’s – Play four measures of time followed by four measures of a solo in a style and tempo selected by the adjudicator
      • Sight-reading (may/may not be required for rhythm section)
      • Provided at the audition:
        • Drumset; please bring your own sticks/brushes and cymbals
    • Piano / Guitar
      • Prepared jazz solo equivalent to NYSSMA Level III or above that demonstrates ability to comp chord changes and interpret a melodic line (swing, Latin, ballad, fund, etc.)
      • Improvisation not required but the ability to improvise may increase the chance of acceptance
      • Sight-reading (may/may not be required for rhythm section)
      • Provided at the audition:
        • Guitar Amp (only); please bring your instrument and needed cable(s)
        • Acoustic piano
    • Bass Guitar – Acoustic bass preferred but electric bass may audition
      • Prepared jazz solo equivalent to NYSSMA Level III or above that demonstrates ability to V or above that demonstrates ability to walk a standard swing written bass line or a bass line from chord changes
      • Ability to demonstrate other styles (Latin, ballad, funk, etc.)
      • Improvisation not required but the ability to improvise may increase the chance of acceptance
      • Sight-reading (may/may not be required for rhythm section)
      • Provided at the audition:
        • Bass amp (only); please bring your instrument and needed cable(s)

NOTE: A sound system will be provided for ANY applicant who may wish to use it for a “play-along” solo.

Percussion Auditions - for placement in Youth and Repertory Percussion ensembles AND placement in Youth, Repertory or Wind Orchestras

The audition process for percussionists differs from those for classical and jazz as it includes two rounds of auditions being held on consecutive days. Excerpts will be sent to the applicant for preparation for the preliminary and final rounds of auditions; only applicants who are invited to the final round of auditions will be asked to sight-read. No prepared solo is required.

Applicants are asked to contact Richard Albagli at (518) 272-7828 after they have submitted their online application and paid the audition fee to ESYO. Mr. Albagli will cover the audition process in detail, will make arrangements for a coaching session for percussionists new to ESYO, and will arrange to send you the required excerpts.

Although you are NOT auditioning for a specific ensemble, the following parameters will give you an idea of the skill level expected of musicians on specific instruments:

  • Youth Percussion Ensemble / Youth Orchestra
    • Expected to be able to play all excerpts for all percussion instruments (except timpani)
  • Repertory and Junior Percussion Ensembles
    • Should prepare as much of the excerpts as able at your current skill level.
  • For all percussion instruments EXCEPT timpani: snare drum, xylophone, bells, bass drum, cymbals, tambourine and triangle (see below if interested in auditioning on timpani)
    • Prepared percussion music excerpts
      • Excerpts will be sent to you after you have submitted the online application and paid the audition fee, and called Richard Albagli at (518)272-7828.
      • Recommended that you review excerpts with your private teacher; and/or schedule a pre-audition coaching session (for new members) with Mr. Albagli
    • Instruments provided at the audition: All percussion instruments and specialty mallets are provided; applicants should bring their own sticks and may, if they wish, bring smaller instruments e.g., snare drum, triangle, cymbals, tambourine)
  • Timpani
    • Must demonstrate some knowledge of how to play the instrument to Mr. Albagli before being invited to audition

 

How To Apply For An Audition

Follow these steps to apply for an ESYO audition:

Read

the Audition Expectations and  Requirements

Submit

A completed Audition Application Form

Payment of the audition fee.

A separate application is required if auditioning on more than one instrument.

If you are auditioning for Percussion Ensembles, please submit the online Audition Application Form, pay the required fee, and then call Richard Albagli at (518) 272-7828 for audition materials.

Pay

the non-refundable Audition Application Fee of $45. Payment options are handled through the application form.

Receive

Email notification containing further instructions after submitting your audition application

Email receipt of payment immediately after submitting a credit card payment. Please call the ESYO office, 518-382-7581, if you have not received an email.

Prepare

all required material.

Excerpts, if applicable. Please see requirements for each ensemble.

The Audition

Breathe, perform, breathe and wait for results to be emailed to you (see below).

Audition Length: 10 minutes

Audition Music: Bring an extra, clean, copy of your audition solo for the judges; this does not have to be an original.

Audition Results: Results will be emailed to you by the end of June. Final decisions regarding placement in an ensemble are made by the Music Director in consultation with the Conductors after reviewing the findings of the Audition Judges. All decisions are final and re-auditions are not permitted

 

Tuition Rates

Rates published here are for the 2016-17 season and are subject to change for 2017-18.

Youth Orchestra $1,250*

Repertory Orchestra $990*

Wind Orchestra $620

String Orchestra $620

Youth Jazz Ensemble $570


Repertory Jazz Ensemble $560

Youth Percussion Ensemble $650

Falcons Repertory Percussion Ensemble $630

Eagles Repertory Percussion Ensemble $630

Concertino Strings $500

*Tuition includes cost of Frost Valley rehearsal retreat for Youth & Repertory Orchestras.

Tips for Auditions

Preparing for the Audition

Private Study

Private music instruction can only help your chances for a successful audition. If you have not studied privately you are strongly encouraged to get some private lessons with a music teacher before you audition.

Choosing repertoire

Select and develop audition repertoire as far as possible in advance of your audition.

Be sure to understand the audition requirements for your instrument.

Choose repertoire that demonstrates your ability to perform in a variety of styles and tempos. Fast movements that demonstrate your technical abilities as well as slow movements that demonstrate good tone quality, intonation, and vibrato (if appropriate) would be a good combination.

Choose repertoire that is appropriate to your level of expertise. An easier piece played well will be more successful than a more difficult piece played poorly.

Practice

performing mock auditions for your music teacher(s) and your friends.

sight-reading so you will be able to sight-read effectively at your audition.

BUT. . . Don’t over practice the day before your audition. You want your “chops” to be at their strongest.

Listen

Get a recording(s) of the repertoire you will be performing. Recordings of most traditional repertoire can be located via online resources such as YouTube, Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, etc. Listen to the recording(s) many times while you follow your written music. Try to perform along with the recording until you feel secure performing it on your own.

At the Audition

Starting your audition

Choose something to begin your audition that you feel comfortable with. You will probably be most nervous at the beginning of your audition so start with something you are most confident with.

First Impressions

Remember that your audition begins the moment you enter the audition room, not just when you begin performing your audition repertoire. Dress appropriately to indicate your seriousness of purpose and to show respect for the judge, music, and process, speak confidently and respectfully, smile and make eye contact with the adjudicators.

Mistakes happen

Don’t worry about minor mistakes during the audition. The adjudicators are not expecting a perfect performance-they are mainly interested in your future potential.

 

Audition Locations:

Classical – Brown School, 150 Corlaer Ave., Schenectady

Percussion – Brown School, Schenectady

Jazz – Massry Center for the Arts, The College of Saint Rose, Albany