Sight-Reading

The fourth and final part of the audition is sight-reading. Sight-reading is only required for strings auditioning for Opus One, Sinfonietta, or Concert Orchestra. Many students struggle with sight-reading as it can be an intimidating task. There is no secret to learning how to sight-read well. Frequent practice sight-reading is the best solution. In addition, practicing scales is very useful, as you will be able to quickly identify the key of the sight-reading and use muscle memory from playing scales in that key.

This year, strings auditioning for Opus One, Sinfonietta or Concert Orchestra will receive an envelope with the sight-reading music. Sight-reading music will be provided after May 4, 2021. You may not open the envelope until you get to the sight-reading portion of your audition recording. You will need to show the camera that the envelope is still sealed. Do not open the envelope when it arrives, and do not open the envelope before you start recording. You will be asked to re-record the sight-reading portion if the envelope is opened before you record.

Take 15-20 seconds to look at the sight reading excerpt before you begin to play. Determine the key of the piece and quickly scan for any accidentals. Think about the meter and choose a slower tempo for improved accuracy rather than one that is too fast. If you make a mistake, keep going!

Note: This year, strings auditioning for Philharmonia or Youth Orchestra, woodwinds, brass, harp, and percussion will not have to complete the sight-reading portion.

Read the complete instructions for 2021-2022 auditions here.

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