Youth Orchestra Auditions

*** COVID PROGRAM IMPACT ***

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DSSYO program will be held virtually beginning in September through December 2020. We will re-evaluate the status at that time and determine whether to continue in this manner or to begin to do some form of hybrid virtual/in-person rehearsals. The virtual program will offer regular sessions with conductors and coaches, working toward building our sense of community and improving musicianship with performance goals. Please be assured that the health and safety of all DSSYO members and staff are of paramount importance, and all decisions will be made in that context. Program details, including updated tuition rates, will be sent out in August to members accepted into the program.

20-21 DULUTH SUPERIOR SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRAS AUDITIONS

Auditions for the 20-21 Season 

Auditions will only be required under certain circumstances this year. Please read the instructions carefully! All auditions will be submitted electronically.

Applications and auditions are still being accepted and will be prioritized based on need. Please email [email protected] to inquire about openings for wind & percussion instruments.

REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE
Membership application: Please fill out and submit the DSSYO 20-21 Membership Application Form. The form may be submitted electronically, or downloaded, filled out, and mailed to: DSSYO, 130 W Superior St. Suite LL2 – 120, Duluth, MN 55802

AUDITIONS

  • Do I need to submit an audition?
    • If you are a new applicant of the DSSYO applying for Concert Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, or Youth Symphony, yes!
    • If you are a new applicant looking to join Sinfonia, no! – Click here for practice tips from DSSO Musicians! 
    • If you were a member of the DSSYO in the 19-20 season and want to stay within the same Orchestra, no!
    • If you were a member of the DSSYO in the 19-20 season, but are looking to switch to another orchestra (ex. Concert Orchestra to Youth Symphony or Sinfonia to Concert Orchestra), yes!
  • How do I submit an audition?
    • All auditions will be submitted electronically via email – see below for details. Please read the above details to confirm that you are required to submit an audition. 

Submitting Electronic Auditions

Make a video for yourself auditioning using whatever recording device you have available (smartphone, laptop, etc). You may submit one video with your entire audition, or separate videos for each section (solo, scales, excerpt). If you do not have a recording device available, please contact [email protected] to ask for alternative options.

Please make sure to show as much of your body as possible on the screen, so judges can see your instrument, fingers, face, etc. Please make sure your music stand is not in the way of the camera. Be sure to test the sound and picture before you record the entire audition.

Record your audition according to the instructions below for your instrument and orchestra.

Audition recordings can then be uploaded to YouTube or a preferred video platform. For YouTube, you must be at least 13 years of age or older to have an account.

Uploading video(s) to YouTube:

  1. Log into your YouTube or Google account
  2. Click on the video icon with the plus at the rop right side of the window.
  3. Click ‘Upload Video’
  4. Click ‘Select files to upload’ to find the video saved on your computer – or drag and drop into the window.
  5. Select the Privacy Setting to be ‘Unlisted’ in the Visibility Options. This will keep the video visible to you and the people whom you share the link with.
  6. Select Share Video, then copy the link.
  7. Create an email to [email protected] with the following information:
    a. Your Name
    b. Instrument
    c. Ensemble you are auditioning for (CO, YS, PE)
    d. Link to video
    e. Attach a scan or picture of your solo score.
    f. Make sure you have filled out a membership application prior to sending in your audition video.

How to submit your email:

Audition Requirements

STRINGS

  1. Solo: String players should prepare 1 or 2 short selections from a solo, etude or lesson book solo that demonstrates your playing ability. Selections should total less than two minutes. Selections do not have to be memorized and should be performed unaccompanied. Please attach a photo or scanned copy of your solo along with the link to your youtube audition video in your audition submission email.
  2. Major Scales: Prepare G Major and D Major scales according to your skill level, showing maximum number of octaves over which you can perform it.  Play with separate bows ascending and descending. Play at a tempo that demonstrates your technical ability within your control.
  3. Excerpts: Download, print and prepare the required excerpt, listed below, for your instrument and the orchestra level for which you would like to be considered. Hard copies of these excerpts are available on request from the DSSO office. Prepare the excerpt with help from your teacher and/or by listening to performances on YouTube or another source.
  4. Membership application form:Please fill out this membership application form prior to submitting your audition.

WOODWINDS & BRASS

  1. Solo: Players should prepare 1 or 2 short selections from a solo, etude or lesson book solo that demonstrates your playing ability.   Selections should total less than two minutes. Selections do not have to be memorized and should be performed unaccompanied. Please attach a photo or scanned copy of your solo along with the link to your youtube audition video in your audition submission email.
  2. Major Scales: Prepare two major scales as indicated for your instrument below in 1, 2 or more octaves, ascending and descending. The scales should be performed at minimum tempo of quarter note=80 for Concert Orchestra in quarter/eighths standard pattern and for Youth Symphony in eighth/sixteenths standard pattern.  Scales should be performed all tongued in one direction and all slurred in the other direction.
    • Flute: A Major, Bb Major
    • Oboe: C Major, D Major
    • Clarinet: F Major (2 or 3 octaves), G Major (2 or 3 octaves)
    • Bassoon: Bb Major, G Major (2 octaves or 1 octave on the staff)
    • Alto Saxophone: D Major (2 octaves), F Major (2 octaves or 1 octave on the staff)
    • All Brass: Concert C Major, Concert Db Major
      • French Horn: G Major, Ab Major
      • Trumpet: D Major, Eb Major
      • Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba: C Major, Db Major
  1. Chromatic Scale: Prepare a chromatic scale over the range of the instrument in which you can play using an excellent tone; ascending and descending and at a tempo in your control, but that shows your technical proficiency. The chromatic scale should be performed all slurredin the pattern of your choice.
  2. Excerpts: Download, print and prepare the required excerpt, listed below, for your instrument and the orchestra level for which you would like to be considered. Hard copies of these excerpts are available on request from the DSSO office. Prepare the excerpt with help from your teacher and by listening to performances on YouTube or another source.
  3. Membership application form:Please fill out this membership application form prior to submitting your audition

EXCERPTS TO DOWNLOAD:
If you are unsure which ensemble you should audition for, discuss the various excerpts for your instrument with your teacher. They can help you decide which orchestra you are likely to find most challenging and fulfilling. Play the excerpt for the most advanced orchestra for which you are interested. If you play the excerpt for the Youth Symphony, and you are not placed in that group, you are then eligible for acceptance in the Concert Orchestra. Likewise, if you play the Concert Orchestra excerpt are not placed in Concert Orchestra, you are then eligible for acceptance in Sinfonia.

Concert Orchestra (the intermediate orchestra that includes woodwinds and brass)
Violin
Viola
Cello
String Bass
Flute
Oboe
Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Bassoon
Alto Saxophone
French Horn
Trumpet
Trombone
Bass Trombone
Tuba
Percussion – See Percussion Ensemble 

Youth Symphony (the advanced orchestra that includes woodwinds and brass)
Violin
Viola
Cello
String Bass
Flute
Oboe
Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Bassoon
French Horn
Trumpet
Trombone
Bass Trombone
Tuba
Percussion – See Percussion Ensemble below

Percussion Ensemble
Players interested in auditioning for the Percussion Ensemble (which includes membership in both the Concert Orchestra and/or Youth Symphony) should prepare the melodic percussion* excerpt (for xylophone or marimba) and rhythmic percussion* excerpt for snare drum and timpani. You do not need to prepare an additional solo.

*You may perform the rhythmic percussion excerpt on a practice pad or other appropriate surface if you do not have access to a snare drum/timpani. You may perform the melodic percussion excerpt on keyboard or piano if you do not have access to a xylophone or marimba. If you also do not have access to a keyboard, you do not need to submit this portion of your audition at this time. Complete the snare/timpani portion and indicate in your email that you do not have access for the xylophone/marimba excerpt.

Pianists and Harp Players
Players interested in auditioning should e-mail Melanie Sever, Concert Orchestra conductor, at [email protected] for audition excerpts.

Ready to Submit your audition?

HERE’S YOUR CHECKLIST:

  1. Link(s) to unlisted YouTube video (Scales, solo, excerpt recorded in one or 3 separate Videos)
  2. PDF or picture of your solo 
  3. Full Name, instrument, and orchestra auditioning for stated clearly in body of email. 
  4. Send to [email protected]

REGISTER FOR AN AUDITION TIME

Email [email protected] to request an audition day. Please provide your full name, 2 or 3 requested days and times you are available on those days, instrument and phone number.  A 10 minute time slot will be assigned and you will be sent a confirmation.

If further assistance is needed or to ask any questions please call the DSSO office at 218-623-3776 or email  Melanie Sever, Concert Orchestra Conductor, at [email protected].

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARING AND TAKING THE AUDITION

STRINGS

  1. Solo: String players should prepare 1 or 2 short selections from a solo, etude or lesson book solo that demonstrates your playing ability.   Selections should total less than two minutes. Selections do not have to me memorized and should be performed unaccompanied. Please bring two copies of your solo for the audition committee.  (Photocopies are acceptable.)
  2. Major Scales: Prepare G Major and D Major scales according to your skill level, showing maximum number of octaves over which you can perform it.  Play with separate bows ascending and descending. Play at a tempo that demonstrates your technical ability within your control.
  3. Excerpts: Download, print and prepare the required excerpt, listed below, for your instrument and the orchestra level for which you would like to be considered. Hard copies of these excerpts are available on request from the DSSO office. Prepare the excerpt with help from your teacher and by listening to performances on YouTube or another source.
  4. Membership application form: Please fill out this membership application form prior to your audition and bring it with you, also.

WOODWINDS & BRASS

  1. Solo: Players should prepare 1 or 2 short selections from a solo, etude or lesson book solo that demonstrates your playing ability.   Selections should total less than two minutes. Selections do not have to be memorized and should be performed unaccompanied. Please bring two copies of your solo for the audition committee.  (Photocopies are acceptable.)
  2. Major Scales: Prepare two major scales as indicated for your instrument below in 1, 2 or more octaves, ascending and descending. The scales should be performed at minimum tempo of quarter note=80 for Concert Orchestra in quarter/eighths standard pattern and for Youth Symphony in eighth/sixteenths standard pattern.  Scales should be performed all tongued in one direction and all slurred in the other direction.
    • Flute: A Major, Bb Major
    • Oboe: C Major, D Major
    • Clarinet: F Major (2 or 3 octaves), G Major (2 or 3 octaves)
    • Bassoon: Bb Major, G Major (2 octaves or 1 octave on the staff)
    • Alto Saxophone: D Major (2 octaves), F Major (2 octaves or 1 octave on the staff)
    • All Brass: Concert C Major, Concert Db Major
      • Horn: G Major, Ab Major
      • Trumpet: D Major, Eb Major
      • Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba: C Major, Db Major
  3. Chromatic Scale: Prepare a chromatic scale over the range of the instrument in which you can play using an excellent tone; ascending and descending and at a tempo in your control, but that shows your technical proficiency. The chromatic scale should be performed all slurred in the pattern of your choice.
  4. Excerpts: Download, print and prepare the required excerpt, listed below, for your instrument and the orchestra level for which you would like to be considered. Hard copies of these excerpts are available on request from the DSSO office. Prepare the excerpt with help from your teacher and by listening to performances on YouTube or another source.
  5. Membership application form: Please fill out this membership application form prior to your audition and bring it with you, also.

EXCERPTS TO DOWNLOAD:
If you are unsure which ensemble you should audition for, discuss the various excerpts for your instrument with your teacher. They can help you decide which orchestra you are likely to find most challenging and fulfilling. Play the excerpt for the most advanced orchestra for which you are interested. If you play the excerpt for the Youth Symphony, and you are not placed in that group, you are then eligible for acceptance in the Concert Orchestra. Likewise, if you play the Concert Orchestra excerpt are not placed in Concert Orchestra, you are then eligible for acceptance in Sinfonia.