General Audition Information
Auditions for MYSO membership for each season are held in the spring. Auditions for 2013-14 will be held April 24-28, 2013. There is no charge to audition. You need to make an appointment to audition; please call our audition line, 414-267-2912. Current MYSO students may call for appointments beginning March 25; we will take audition appointments for prospective students beginning April 1.
All MYSO groups (with the exception of Progressions and some Jazz Studies students) rehearse once a week during the school year. The MYSO season begins in September and continues through May. MYSO musicians are expected to be active members of their school music programs on the same instrument they play in MYSO.
Participation Fee: Fees for the 2012-13 season were $495. Fees for 2013-14 will be announced by April 24. The participation fee includes auditions, music, rehearsal and concert space rental, sectional and ensemble coaching, concerto competitions, use of MYSO equipment, masterclasses, etc.
Students who participate in the Jazz Studies program and another MYSO ensemble pay the regular registration fee (or the reduced U-WAY fee) and a reduced additional ensemble fee (offered in 2012-13 at $150) to Jazz Studies.
Scholarship assistance is available: no student musician will be denied participation because of financial need but, please be sure to apply for a scholarship if you need financial assistance. Scholarship forms will be available at the auditions and must be completed and returned to our office by the due date (mid-June).
We're looking for players of the following instruments:
Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Harp
Winds: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone (alto, tenor, bari)
Brass: Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone, Tuba.
Percussion: All equipment supplied. Bring own sticks and mallets.
Jazz Studies: All instruments listed above AND piano, guitar, electric bass
Your MYSO Audition
In a 5-10 minute audition, musicians are judged on intonation, interpretation, tone, rhythm (particularly in the sightreading), overall technique and scale proficiency. Placement into a specific ensemble is based primarily on achievement in these areas—but also on the difficulty of the solo played; prior orchestral or band experience; age; musical, social and emotional maturity; instrumental need in the ensembles, etc.
Our intent is to do what will be in the best interests of both the student and the overall MYSO program. The audition judge, the MYSO music directors and the administrative staff all work “in concert” for what we hope will be the best result.
The audition experience will probably begin with some scales. While scales are NOT the most important part of an audition, they are required for a variety of reasons. Scales can indicate a student’s ability to play in different registers of their instrument, their knowledge of music theory (key signatures, etc.) and their general facility on their instrument. Scales can also serve as an “ice breaker” for warm-up in the judge’s room. Judges typically factor age/grade into which scale is initially asked of the musician. All students will be asked to play major scales in as many octaves as possible or comfortable, at the student’s prepared rhythm and articulation, in one or more of the following keys: C, G, D, A, B-flat, E-flat. Students who play wind, brass, or percussion instruments should also be prepared to play A-flat and E major scales (basically anything up to 4 sharps or flats in the key signature). The scales we ask are specific to your instruments and not “concert pitch.”
After the student plays a requested scale, the student may be asked to play it again with a different rhythm and/or articulation. Advanced musicians may be asked to perform other major and minor scales or arpeggios. Please know that a great majority of the students in our advanced ensembles play all of the major scales and know the minors too. But remember, too, that we welcome younger, less experienced musicians as well!
Everyone must present a prepared solo or etude, three to four minutes in length, preferably with contrasting tempos and/or styles (no piano accompaniment). We certainly want to hear you play music that is challenging and shows your ability, but whatever you choose should be played well. Because of time limitations, judges may stop students before the end of what the student has prepared. They may also ask that students jump to other sections of the piece.
Young Violinists: As a very general guideline, please know that you should probably be comfortable playing a piece similar to those found in the Suzuki books 3-4 or “Fun with Solos” and that most violin students start in MYSO at the “B” level or equivalent for WSMA solo contests.
Percussionists: Students must present a prepared solo or etude on either the snare drum, xylophone, marimba or timpani (something brief on snare, timpani and a keyboard instrument is best ). It is perfectly OK if you have not yet played these instruments. Come with what you know! Most players do not know all the instruments when they start in MYSO.
This is a short section of a piece which you haven't seen that helps judges see how you process “new” printed music.