Scales

Each audition will begin with scales. Scales are an important component of a musician’s development and preparing them teaches us intonation, dexterity, ear-training, and music theory. Scale practice helps with sight-reading, too! For this year’s video-recorded audition, you’ll choose and play scales from the ones listed below according to your level and the orchestra for which you are auditioning.

Read the complete instructions for 2021-2022 auditions here.

Below are the requirements for each instrument/orchestra group. Be sure to prepare all of the scales required for your instrument/desired orchestra.

Youth Orchestra Strings

Memorization not required. Select two major scales and one minor scale.

Philharmonia Orchestra Strings

Memorization not required. Select two major and one minor scale.

Concert Orchestra Strings

Memorization not required. Select three scales.

Sinfonietta Strings

Memorization not required. Select three scales.

Opus One Strings

Memorization not required. Select three scales.

Youth and Philharmonia Orchestra Woodwinds and Brass

Select one 2-octave major scale and one 2-octave melodic minor scale from criteria below. Additionally, play a chromatic scale of two or more octaves to demonstrate your performing range.

Memorized Scales (ascending and descending): All 2-octave major scales through three sharps and three flats; 2-octave melodic minor scales through two sharps and two flats; chromatic scale of two or more octaves to demonstrate your performing range. Note: Scales should be performed in eighth notes at a minimum tempo of quarter note=60, but not faster than you can play cleanly and evenly.

Concert Orchestra Woodwinds and Brass

Select two 1-octave major scales from criteria below. Additionally, play a chromatic scale of at least one octave to demonstrate your performing range.

Memorized Scales (ascending and descending): All 1-octave major scales through three sharps and three flats (2-octaves on the advice of your teacher); chromatic scale of at least one octave to demonstrate your performing range. Note: Scales should be performed in eighth notes at a minimum tempo of quarter note=60, but not faster than you can play cleanly and evenly.

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

Percussion

Please reference the percussion excerpts after April 15 for more information. Scales memorized and performed on xylophone, marimba, orchestra bells, or piano.

Youth/Philharmonia Percussion: 2-octave ascending/descending A-Flat Major and E-Major; 2-octave ascending/descending G melodic minor and C melodic minor.

Concert Percussion:  2-octave ascending/descending A Major and E-flat Major; 2-octave ascending/descending A melodic minor and D melodic minor.

Harp

Harpists do not need to complete scales for their auditions.

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