Audition Information

2021-2022 Season
Current and prospective members audition each season before a panel of independent judges and ESYO conductors in order to determine the best placement to nourish their personal and musical development. 


Auditions are scheduled by instrument and not by an ensemble. Except in cases to fill a vacancy. Scroll down for a list of vacancies, application, excerpts, and guidelines.

ESYO Audition Season is Here!

Virtual Auditions Open Monday, April 19, 2021

Open auditions for ESYO Classical and Jazz ensembles will take place online, while ESYO Percussion auditions will take place in person. Young musicians interested in ESYO Roots Music do not take an audition, but rather submit a placement video. 

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Virtual Auditions Open | Monday, April 19, 2021
  • Virtual Auditions Close | Wednesday, June 9, 2021
  • Online Registration Begins | Thursday, July 8, 2021

Attention ESYO Classical & Jazz Players!  Be sure to view the ESYO Virtual Auditon Video Guidelines before recording your audition.

Questions? Email Sue Lascoe, Director of Operations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Classical Auditions

Start an online audition application using GetAcceptd.com, a virtual audition platform. Review the video submission guidelines, submit your audition video, and pay the $50 audition fee.

Jazz Auditions

Start an online audition application using GetAcceptd.com, a virtual audition platform. Review the video submission guidelines, submit your audition video, and pay the $50 audition fee.

 Percussion Auditions

Apply for an in-person audition before Wednesday, June 9, 2021.  Pay the $50 audition fee. Check your email for the date and time of your audition. Prepare for your audition and arrive for your scheduled audition early.

Roots  Music Placement Audition

Sign up for a virtual placement audition before Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Check your email and join the Roots Music Google Classroom.  Submit your placement video via Google Drive.

DOWNLOAD ESYO CLASSICAL EXCERPTS

Some ESYO Classical players are expected to prepare excerpts.

Excerpts are short passages from important pieces in the classical repertoire and are the foundation of any orchestral audition. String players with NYSSMA Solo's levels 5 & 6 must prepare excerpts. All woodwind & brass players should prepare as many excerpts as possible.

Audition Expectations & Requirements 

In preparation for an audition, you should familiarize yourself with the expectations and requirements of each performing group. Although auditions are scheduled by instrument not by ensemble, in order to be considered for an intermediate or advanced group, you must be prepared to meet the audition expectations and requirements described below.

Audition requirements may vary based on instrument and skill level.

NEW | ESYO ROOTS MUSIC
Folk, Bluegrass, and Old-Time Music
Membership in ESYO Roots Music is open to young musicians of all levels. Each year, new and current musicians complete a placement audition and are placed in a breakout band that challenges them as musicians, nourishes their continued growth, and engages them in a joyful pursuit of musical excellence.
 
Placement Audition Video Requirements:
  • One tune showcasing both the lead and rhythm playing that you are capable of in your favorite and/or most accomplished style.
    • Instrumental/Fiddle Tune.
    • Classic Bluegrass, Old-Time or Folk song.
    • Contemporary Bluegrass, Old-Time or Folk song.
Audition Video Options:
  • Singing is optional but encouraged.
  • Recorded accompaniment is optional but encouraged.
  • Improvisation is optional but encouraged.
    • Students who choose to improvise should use a recorded accompaniment for their improvisation.
  • A second contrasting tune of your choice.

CLASSICAL ORCHESTRAS
Symphony 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 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)
  • 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 7th 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
  • 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 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)
  • 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 be 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
  • 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 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)
  • Specific Instruments
    • Flutes/piccolos must play at NYSSMA Level V or above
String Orchestra
  • NO Excerpts are required.

  • Solo
    1. Prepare one or two pieces that best demonstrate your current level of playing. Be prepared to demonstrate some use of vibrato.

      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.

    2. Should be able to demonstrate bow control, accuracy of tune and ability to make tune corrections as necessary.
    3. Solos do not have to be memorized.

  • ScalesStudents must play 3 scales. One scale must be two octave (except for bass). Only one scale can start on an open string.
Concertino Strings
  • NO Excerpts are required. 

  • Solo
    1. Prepare one or two pieces NYSSMA level 2 or 3 or the equivalent that best demonstrate your current level of playing. 
    2.  Should be able to demonstrate bow control, accuracy of tune and ability to make tune corrections as necessary.
    3. Solos do not have to be memorized.

  • ScalesStudents must play 3 scales.  One scale must be two octave (except for bass).  Only one scale can start on an open string.

JAZZ ORCHESTRAS
Youth Jazz Orchestra | Repertory Jazz Orchestra
  • Repertory Jazz Orchestra: Reserved for developing jazz students with a focus on performance literature equivalent to NYSSMA levels III – V
  • Youth Jazz Orchestra: Reserved for advanced, more experienced students with a focus on performance literature equivalent to NYSSMA levels V and VI

  • All Instruments
    • Recorded accompaniment is optional. 
    • Improvisation is optional. Students who choose to improvise should use a recorded accompaniment for their improvising portion of the audition.
      • Click here to access accompaniment options.
      • Students are welcome to use another song of their choice.

  • 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
    • 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 
    • Piano / Guitar/ Bass
      • 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
    • 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


PERCUSSION 
Percussion Ensembles
The audition process for percussionists differs from those for classical and jazz as it includes two rounds of in-person auditions being held on consecutive days. Auditions are open to percussionists of all levels. 
 
2021-2022 Auditions are to be held on June 12-13, 2021 at Proctors in Schenectady.
 
Requirements to audition for all Percussion Ensembles
  • Prepare snare drum and mallet excerpts or
  •  A solo of your choice that best demonstrates your current level of playing. Your NYSSMA solo or band part is fine.
  • Sight-reading
Requirement for Timpani Audition
  • Prepare excerpts

CHORALE
Melodies of Christmas Chorale
  • Auditions will be held in September 2021.
  • Must be in grades 10, 11 or 12 by September 2021.
  • Prepare all the excerpts.  The audition will include a NYSSMA level 5 sight-reading selection.
  • Must be able to attend all performances (TBD).
  • Must be able to attend Tuesday evening rehearsals beginning in October. 
  • Teacher evaluation required.