Frequently asked questions:

When will I find out if I have been accepted?

Results are emailed to applicants no later than the end of June.

When are auditions held?

Auditions take place from June 4-June 9, 2019 with additional opportunities in August and September to fill any vacancies.

Where are auditions held?

Auditions are held at Brown School in Schenectady located at 150 Corlaer Ave with the following exceptions:

  • Melodies of Christmas Chorale auditions will be held at the Heldeberg Reformed Church in Guilderland Center located at 435 NY-146.
  • Piano auditions will be held at The Massry Center for the Arts at The College of St. Rose located at 1002 Madison Ave in Albany.
When is the audition application available, and where?

The audition application will be posted on our website every Spring.

Is there an application fee?

Yes and it must be paid before your audition will be scheduled.  For June 2019 the fee is $45.

Can I specify which ensemble or orchestra I would like to join when I sign up to audition?

Because of ESYO’s progressive program, you don’t specify on your application for which group you are auditioning. Instead, you choose an instrument by genre, e.g., trumpet – classical, or alto saxophone – jazz.  Placement in a particular group within those categories is based upon your audition results.  If you choose to audition on two instruments, you must submit two applications.

Can I request a specific audition day/time?

You will choose an audition slot online during the audition application process. 

What do I do if a conflict comes up after I've chosen my audition time?

Call us immediately at 518-382-7581 and we will try and work with you to find an alternate time.  The sooner you call, the more possibility exists that we can help you.

Where can I find information about tuition rates and financial aid?

2019-2020 Tuition Rates can be found here and information on financial aid can be found here.

Do I need to memorize the solo or excerpts?

No.  You should bring two copies of the music with you (one for you and a clean copy for the judge); you may use the music during your audition.

How do I find the online orchestral excerpts?

Excerpts can be found here. Your audition confirmation email will also include information about how to find the online orchestral excerpts.

Which orchestral excerpts do I prepare?

To be considered for the more advanced groups, you need to prepare all the excerpts which can be found here.

What should I wear for my audition?

First impressions are important.  You do not have to wear a suit or fancy dress – we want you to be comfortable, but looking neat, clean, and put together is important.

How long is the audition?

Usually about 10 minutes.  You may be asked to only play certain portions of your prepared solo ( be sure to learn the whole solo!)  and/or the excerpts and/or the sight-reading, and the judges may stop at any time during the audition and ask you to play a different section or nothing more. This is quite common and is not an indication of how you are doing.

What time should I get to the audition?

Plan to arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled audition time.  Give yourself extra time if you are not familiar with the area.

What should I bring to the audition?

Instrument and related supplies (strings, reeds, valve oil, etc.); music – 2 copies; music stand.  NOTE for Jazz:  we will provide amps; keyboard/piano; drumset (but not sticks).  NOTE for Percussion:  we provide most instruments.

Do I have to bring an original of the music for the judges?

No, copies are fine – one for you and one clean copy for the judges.

What will the judges be listening for?

Judges will be listening for tonality, intonation, rhythm and expression.

Do I have to have a private teacher?

If accepted into an ESYO ensemble, you are strongly encouraged to take private lessons so that you can keep up with the music.

Do I have to belong to a school orchestra or band while a member of ESYO?

If accepted into an ESYO ensemble, you are strongly encouraged to participate in your school music groups to the extent your schedule permits.  Mandatory school music activities do take precedence over ESYO rehearsals and concerts, so you will not be penalized if you have to miss an ESYO event because of a mandatory required activity.

This is something that you would discuss at the beginning of the season with your ESYO ensemble manager.

If you have other questions, please email Sue Lascoe, Director of Operations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.