The Audition Process

A Joyful Pursuit of Musical Excellence
ESYO meets each student where they are and matches them to the best ensemble to nourish their growth and musical development.

Current and prospective members audition each season before a panel of independent judges and ESYO Conductors in order to determine the best placement based on demonstrated technique, skill, and aptitude.

Audition Basics
  • Auditions take place in June with additional opportunities in August and September to fill any vacancies
  • All musicians, including current members, must audition each season
  • Audition opportunities for youth of all ages through high school
  • Do not let economic hardship be a barrier: financial aid and scholarships are available

Auditions are scheduled by instrument and not by an ensemble.

Hover over the images below for a list of instruments:


Classical & Jazz
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass (Classical)
  • Guitar (Jazz)
  • Bass (Jazz)- Acoustic preferred, electric accepted)
ESYO jazz musicians play saxophone


Classical & Jazz
  • Flute/piccolo 
  • Clarinet
  • Oboe/English Horn
  • Bassoon
  • Saxophone- Alto, Tenor, and Baritone (Wind Orchestra & Jazz)
middle school girl and boy playing mallet percussion


Classical & Jazz

Should be able to play all of the following:

  • Snare drum
  • Cymbals
  • Xylophone
  • Tambourine
  • Bells
  • Triangle
  • Bass Drum
  • Timpani (after consultation with conductor)
  • Drumset (Jazz)
Members of ESYO's Symphony Orchestra's brass section performing at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall


Classical & Jazz
  • French Horn
  • Trumpet (Classical & Jazz)
  • Trombone (Classical & Jazz)
  • Euphonium (Wind Orchestra)
  • Tuba
Member of ESYO's repertory jazz ensemble playing the piano.

Piano & Harp

Classical & Jazz

ESYO welcomes auditions for classical piano and harp as well as jazz piano. Placement for classical piano and harp may vary year to year and is determined by the repertoire.

Melodies of Christmas Chorale performing with ESYO's Symphony Orchestra at the Melodies of Christmas


Melodies of Christmas Chorale

The Melodies of Christmas Chorale is formed annually to perform with the ESYO Symphony Orchestra at the annual Melodies of Christmas concerts at Proctors in Schenectady.  Chorus members must apply and successfully complete a competitive audition.

Voice auditions for the 2020 Melodies of Christmas have been postponed until September.

Tips to a Successful Online Audition

Do the best you can, but don't worry! Here are tips to help you prepare for your ESYO audition.

Before You Record Your Audition
  • Work with your private instructor to prepare audition materials that match the expectations and requirements of the level you hope to join.
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Perform and record “mock” auditions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the audition video submission guidelines.
  • Be sure you know how to upload your audition videos to Acceptd. 
The Night Before You Record
  • Practice, but not too much. 
  • Schedule smaller practice sessions during the day. Run through your excerpts or scales.
  • Don't stay up late and get a good night's sleep.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast.
Audition Day
  • Treat an online audition, like you are auditioning in front of a panel.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to record your audition video submissions.
  • Schedule a specific time to record your audition video submissions.
  • Set up your camera and music stand, you do not need to memorize your solo piece.
  • Remember that your audition begins the moment you press record, 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 camera.
  • 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.