Audition Scales

Each audition begins with scales that are chosen specifically for each instrument and each orchestra.

Judges will listen for the following things in the scale portion:

  • Accuracy and steadiness of tempo
  • Sound quality throughout all ranges
  • Smooth shifting (strings)
  • Pitch accuracy

Be sure to prepare all of the scales required for your instrument and desired orchestra to be ready for your audition. You will be asked to play three scales and the first will be of your choosing.

If you have any questions regarding scales please reach out to WYSO Music Librarian Joseph Greer at

STRINGS- Memorization not required. 

Opus One Orchestra Scales

Opus One Orchestra Violin
Opus One Orchestra Viola
Opus One Orchestra Cello
Opus One Orchestra Bass

Sinfonietta Orchestra Scales

Sinfonietta Orchestra Violin
Sinfonietta Orchestra Viola
Sinfonietta Orchestra Cello
Sinfonietta Orchestra Bass

Concert Orchestra Scales

Concert Orchestra Violin
Concert Orchestra Viola
Concert Orchestra Cello
Concert Orchestra Bass

Philharmonia Orchestra Scales

Philharmonia Orchestra Violin
Philharmonia Orchestra Viola
Philharmonia Orchestra Cello
Philharmonia Orchestra Bass

Youth Orchestra Scales

Youth Orchestra Violin
Youth Orchestra Viola
Youth Orchestra Cello
Youth Orchestra Bass


NOTE for Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion:

If you are not sure which orchestra to apply for, the safest thing is to simply prepare the Philharmonia/Youth materials. Concert Orchestra requirements are encompassed within the Philharmonia/Youth audition materials, so in preparing the extra material, you will in effect be auditioning for all three orchestras.

If you audition using the Philharmonia/Youth materials and are not accepted into one of those ensembles, you will still be considered for Concert Orchestra.

Concert Orchestra
  • A, D, G, C, F, B-flat, E-flat major – 1 octave (2-octaves on the advice of your teacher)
    • Note: Scales should be performed in eighth notes at a tempo at which they can be played cleanly and evenly
Philharmonia and Youth Orchestras
  • E, A, D, G, C, F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat major – 2 octaves
  • C#, F#, B, E, A, D, G, C, F melodic minor – 2 octaves
  • Chromatic scale of two or more octaves to demonstrate your performing range
    • Note: Scales should be performed in eighth notes at a tempo at which they can be played cleanly and evenly


Note for Percussionists:

Depending on instrument availability, you may perform these scales on xylophone, marimba, orchestra bells or piano.
Please reference the percussion excerpts after March 9 for more information.

All Orchestras
  • 1) 2 octave, ascending/descending A Major and E flat Major
  • 2) 2 octave, ascending/descending A and D Melodic Minor


Please prepare the listed Scales with 2 hands and 3 octaves:

Youth/Philharmonia: All Major/Minor(natural, melodic, harmonic) Scales

Concert/Sinfonietta: A, D, G, C, F, B-flat, E-flat major. No minor scales