Audition FAQ

When can I apply for an audition? When are video-recorded auditions due?

This year, WYSO will only accept video-recorded auditions. 2021-2022 audition registrations will begin April 1. Video-recorded auditions can be submitted beginning  June 1, 2021. The deadline is 11:59 PM on June 7, 2021.

Note: If your internet connection is slow you can also submit your video by mailing us a DVD or flash drive by the audition deadline to:

WYSO      |      PO Box 258039      |      Madison, WI 53725

When will excerpts be made available?

Audition excerpts for the 2021-2022 season will be posted on April 15, 2021

I am a current WYSO member who wishes to remain in my current orchestra. Can I do this?

YES! For all current members, you may choose to remain in your current orchestra, or you may audition. If you audition and are not placed in the next orchestra, you will receive an offer to remain in your current orchestra. If not auditioning you will need to submit a seat registrations form by May 31.

Please note a $50 fee to reserve your current seat is required. This fee will be applied to your next season’s tuition.

What is the fee to audition?

There is a $35 fee for each audition, with a 3% transaction fee added for credit cards.

Is it possible to skip orchestras?

While WYSO is usually thought of as a sequential orchestra program, yes, it is possible to skip or bypass an orchestra. Audition for the orchestra for which you feel most suited. Conductors will place you where they feel you would both benefit and contribute the most. Unlike previous years, there is no need to schedule auditions for each orchestra or perform a preliminary audition. Please remember that bypassing an orchestra is rare and remaining in the same orchestra for more than one year is a very common occurrence.

Note: Current Sinfonietta members are not eligible for Youth Orchestra and current Opus One members are not eligible for Philharmonia and Youth Orchestras.

Will WYSO hold violin sectional auditions after placements are made?

No. WYSO will not hold sectional auditions.

Can I audition on two different instruments?

Yes. After submitting and paying for the first application, you may go back to the auditions page and complete another form. You may complete as many secondary instrument applications as you wish. There is a $35 fee for each audition, with a 3% transaction fee.

What should I play for my audition?

You will be asked to play, in this order, three scales from the required list, a solo of your choosing (2 min.), the excerpts for your instrument and orchestra level, and sight reading. Audition preparation information may be found at the bottom of this page.

Where can I find audition instructions?

Instructions will be sent on a separate email after the application form is submitted.

You may also take a look at the document below that was used for last year. Remember you’ll need to submit a copy of your solo music.

2020 Vide0-Recorded Audition Instructions

Where do I get the sight reading music?

The 2021 Sight reading process has not yet been determined. Stay tuned for more information.


What can I use to record the video and who can record it?

You may use any device that creates a digital video. Smart phones and tablets have good sound recording capabilities. The video may be recorded by anyone that is comfortable with a recording device.

Watch this WYSO Recorded Audition Tips Video 

On what criteria will the audition be judged?

Each student will be judged on tone quality, rhythm, intonation, technique/fundamentals, interpretation, and overall performance.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move and perform. Dressing up is nice and standard practice for auditioning, but don’t feel obligated to purchase new clothing.

How and when will orchestra placements be made?

Most auditions will be heard directly by WYSO artistic staff, each of whom are familiar with the different orchestra levels and their required skills and demands. As such, it is the WYSO artistic staff who make the orchestra placements. 


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