2022-2023 Audition Information

MYS Ensemble Guide

This MYS Ensemble Guide includes more information about our organization and our ensembles. Including detailed information about the skills required for each group.

Guidelines for Auditions

Tip: be sure to check out “Recommendations for a successful audition video” before recording your audition!

Auditions for ensemble placement in the 2022-2023 season will be conducted via self-recorded video (smartphone videos are okay!) and will consist of two video recordings: (1) scales and solo repertoire and (2) scheduled excerpts.

Recordings are due Sunday, August 7 for guaranteed placement by the first rehearsal of Fall Term. Early submissions are encouraged. However, auditions for all ensemble types will continue to be accepted and placements will be made on a rolling basis into the Fall Term. Students who register after August 7 for Orchestra or Band will receive updated instructions to complete the audition process. Video auditions will begin to be accepted on June 1, 2022.

  1. Scales and solo repertoire (All instruments and ensembles) This audition recording may be submitted anytime after June 1 and is a separate recording from the scheduled excerpts below. Please see the requirements below and the recording tips. Detailed instructions will be sent via email upon registration.
  2. Scheduled Excerpts (all ensembles except Jazz) This part of the audition replaces the sight-reading element of in-person auditions. It helps MYS faculty evaluate the ability of a student to read and learn music in a timely manner.
    • MYS will email excerpts on 2 scheduled days to students who have completed the registration process: June 20th at 9:00am and August 8th at 9:00am. If neither of these date windows is possible, you may request alternate dates, see registration form for details.
    • Students will receive an e-mail with a link to a PDF along with information for how to submit recordings. This document will contain several musical excerpts in order of difficulty. Students are asked to select and record the two most advanced excerpts that they can perform accurately at the indicated tempo. 
    • An accurate performance includes correct pitches, rhythm, dynamics and phrasing.
    • We ask that students prepare excerpts without assistance. The goal is to give students the best possible placement based on their current abilities. For example, if a student is placed in an ensemble that is too advanced for their current musical level, they might be overwhelmed with the level of music and their experience will suffer. Conversely, we do not want a child to be placed in an ensemble where they are not challenged enough. Our hope is that each applicant adheres to this guideline so that they receive the most appropriate placement.
    • Students will have 3 days to record and send in their excerpts. Excerpts will be due by midnight on June 22 and August 10th.
    • The solo audition videos (Step 1) are not required to be submitted prior to completing the scheduled excerpts, however, an ensemble placement will not be made until both components are completed.

Important Dates

June 1, 2022 – Audition submissions open. Deadline for returning Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble students to re-register without auditioning.

June 19, 2022 – Last day to register to receive June excerpts

June 20, 2022 – June excerpts emailed at 9:00am

June 22, 2022 – June excerpts due at midnight

August 7, 2022Auditions due for guaranteed placement by 1st rehearsal of Fall Term. Last day to register for August excerpts.

August 8, 2022 – August excepts emailed at 9:00am

August 10, 2022 – August excerpts due at midnight

September 10, 2022 – Fall Term Begins

Instructions for submitting a video audition will be emailed after the registration process has been completed. If you are unable to submit a video audition, please complete the registration process and check the box at the end of the registration form that indicates you need an alternate way to audition and you will be contacted by the MYS staff.

All returning students, except those who are pre-registered for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, must submit a video audition or select an alternative audition. Contact the MYS office with questions.

Woodwind/Brass players: You may audition for jazz and band/orchestra! If you are also auditioning for jazz, you should submit two audition videos; one for band/orchestra and one for jazz.

Orchestra and Band Audition Requirements

  1. 2 Scales: 1 major and 1 minor (melodic or harmonic). Students may choose to play their scales in 1 or 2 octaves, depending on their skill level and whichever they can execute best. Younger students may present a second major scale instead of a minor scale.
    Woodwinds and brass should also play a chromatic scale.
  2. Record 4 minutes of solo repertoire: this may be one or two pieces, or multiple selections from the same piece. The music you choose should display contrasting styles and show your highest level of achievement.
    Auditions should be recorded without accompaniment.

Percussion Audition Requirements

ALL students should record a prepared solo of their choice and a selection of rudiments (See below) on the snare drum. All rudiments should be played slow-fast-slow (without stopping). Students should also play scales and a prepared solo of their choice on a mallet instrument (preferably xylophone, if available).

Snare Drum Rudiments:

  • Orchestral (multiple bounce) Roll
  • Paradiddle
  • Flamtap

Beginning students: Prepared mallet instrument solo is optional. 

As MYS Percussionists, students are expected to bring their own set of sticks to every rehearsal. Conductors recommend that students purchase the Vic Firth pack for $80 (at Beacock Music) that includes two sets of snare sticks (SD1 and SD2), a pair of yarn mallets (M3), xylo/glock mallets (M6), staccato timpani sticks (T3), and a stick bag.

Jazz Audition Requirements

(Note for all students: You may audition for both jazz and band/orchestra! If you are also auditioning for band/orchestra, you should submit two audition videos; one for band/orchestra and one for jazz.)

Pitched instruments (brass, woodwinds, piano, bass, etc):
1. Two major scales, two octaves (if possible); chromatic scale, two octaves (if possible)
2. 2-3 minutes of standard jazz repertoire of your choosing
3. Short improvisation on a jazz standard or a blues (for students wishing to be considered for Jazz Ensemble. See group descriptions below)

Please record:

  • 8 bars of time
  • 4 bars of improvising/soloing/fills
  • 4 bars of time

Using the following styles:

  • Swing in 4/4
  • Bossa/latin in 4/4
  • Funk/rock in 4/4

Jazz Band (beginning/intermediate): A student in this group should know five major scales, a two-octave chromatic scale, and should be able to create a transcription of a jazz solo. Sight-reading skills are required.  

Jazz Ensemble (advanced): A student in this group should know all major scales and a two-octave chromatic scale. Good transcription, sight-reading and improvisation skills are required. Students in this group are able to improvise a melodic solo over a basic blues progression and repertoire with basic tonal centers (e.g.: ii-V-I).

Suggested Blues Examples:

  • Now’s the Time
  • Billie’s Bounce
  • Straight, No Chaser
  • Blue Monk
  • Bags’ Groove
  • Au Privave
  • Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens (aka Blues in the Closet)

Suggested Basic Jazz Chord Progressions:

  • Autumn Leaves
  • Satin Doll
  • Take the A Train
  • Scrapple from the Apple
  • Just Friends
  • Pent-Up House
  • Tune-Up

Tip: be sure to check out “Recommendations for a successful audition video” before recording your audition!