2023-2024 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

Auditions for all ensemble types are being accepted and placements will be made on a rolling basis.

We will be offering Live and Video Auditions for the 2023-2024 season. Students may select which type of audition they prefer when registering.

All new and returning students, except those who are pre-registered for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble by June 9th, must audition for their 2023-2024 ensemble placement, either via live or video audition. Contact the MYS office with questions.

Woodwind/Brass/Percussion players: You may audition for jazz and wind ensemble/orchestra! If you are auditioning for both jazz and wind ensemble/orchestra, you should schedule 2 audition times*, or submit two audition videos; one for wind ensemble/orchestra and one for jazz.

*To schedule a second audition time on the same date as the first audition, choose both audition types and dates and one audition time, then email [email protected] and we will add the second time on that date. A second audition on a separate date may be selected within the registration form, if desired.

Live Auditions

Students may schedule their Live Audition date in the Registration Form. A confirmation email with the selected live audition date & time will be emailed after the registration process has been completed. String students may audition at any location, wind, brass, percussion or Jazz students may select from the Portland audition dates/times. Students should schedule a second audition time* if auditioning on 2 instruments.

*To schedule a second audition time on the same date as the first audition, choose both audition types and dates and one audition time, then email [email protected] and we will add the second time on that date. A second audition on a separate date may be selected within the registration form, if desired.

Live auditions will include:

  1. Scales and Solo repertiore
  2. Sight Reading

Custom dates for Live Auditions may be requested via the registration form. A member of the MYS Staff will reach out to you to schedule a date and time for your student to audition. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Video Auditions

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

Video auditions will be accepted starting June 1st and should be submitted by August 23rd for guaranteed placement by the 1st rehearsal of the Fall term. Auditions will continue to be accepted after August 23rd and placements will be made on a rolling basis into the Fall Term. Self-recorded video auditions will consist of 2 recordings: 1) Scales and solo repertoire and 2) Scheduled Excerpts. Smartphone videos are okay!

  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 scheduled days to students who have completed the registration process. If none of the date windows offered are 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.
    • Excerpts should be recorded with a metronome.
    • 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 the scheduled due date.
    • The Scales and Solo Repertoire audition video (Step 1) is not required to be submitted prior to completing the scheduled excerpts, however, an ensemble placement will not be made until both components are completed.

Custom dates for Scheduled Excerpts may be requested via the registration form. A member of the MYS Staff will reach out to you to schedule a date and time for your student to complete their audition. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Important Dates & Information

Live Auditions DATES

  • June 10, 2023
  • June 17, 2023
  • August 12, 2023
  • August 19, 2023 – Live Auditions, Hillsboro (strings only)
  • August 21, 22, 23, 25 & 28, 2023 NEW dates Live Auditions, Portland (all instruments, incl. Jazz)
  • November 18, 2023 – Live Auditions for Winter term

Live Audition LOCATIONS

Video Auditions

  • May 26-28, 2023 – 1st Scheduled Excerpt Dates for Video Auditions
  • June 23-25, 2023 – 2nd Scheduled Excerpt Dates for Video Auditions
  • August 4-6, 2023 – 3rd Scheduled Excerpt Dates for Video Auditions
  • August 23, 2023 EXTENDED Date – Video auditions DUE (For guaranteed placement by the 1st rehearsal of Fall Term. Auditions will continue to be accepted and placements will be made on a rolling basis into the Fall Term.)

Season Dates

September 1, 2023 – Tuition Due

September 9, 2023 – Fall Term Begins

December 2, 2023 – Winter Term Begins


Orchestra and Wind Ensemble Audition Requirements (Live or Video)

  1. 2 Scales: 1 major and 1 minor (melodic or harmonic). Students may choose to play their scales in 1, 2, or 3 octaves, depending on their skill level and whichever they can execute best. Beginning and early intermediate students may present a second major scale instead of a minor scale.
    Woodwinds and brass should also play a chromatic scale.
  2. 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 or performed without accompaniment.

Percussion Audition Requirements (Live or Video)

ALL students should play 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 $99 (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 (Live or Video) Audition PDFs updated 6/14/23

Live Jazz Auditions will take place in Portland on June 10th and August 12th.

(Note for all students: You may audition for both jazz and band/orchestra! If you are also auditioning for band/orchestra, you should schedule 2 audition times or submit two audition videos; one for band/orchestra and one for jazz.)

Pitched Instruments (brass, woodwinds, piano, bass, etc):

  1. Scales – record or prepare each of the scales below, up & down 2 octaves, at the fastest tempo you can execute with clarity. Memorization is not required.
  2. Repertoire – record or prepare each of the 4 tunes below, at the fastest tempo you can execute with clarity. Chordal instruments (piano, guitar) should accompany themselves with chords throughout.

Notes from our Jazz Director:

Scales

The three iterations of the Db scale were chosen for their degree of difficulty and their implications. Meaning, however well a student can play these scales, it’ll be an indication as to how well they can play 90% of the rest of their scales. Not to mention, even if a student were to only learn these three iterations for the purposes of this audition (and has no other scales memorized), they’ll inadvertently be setting themselves up to play so many other scales with minimized effort anyway.

Repertoire

a) “C Jam Blues” is to evaluate “time feel,” as the melody only has two different notes.
b) “All Blues” is (once again) to evaluate “time feel,” but in an odd meter, as the melody is quite simple to learn.
c) “Straight No Chaser” is to evaluate technical fluency.
d) “Blue Bossa” is (once again) to evaluate technical fluency, but over a different stylistic feel. 

Drums

Record or prepare for live audition each of the rhythms and etude below.

  • Swing in 4/4 (16 bars)
  • Bossa in 4/4 (16 bars)
  • Funk/Rock in 4/4 (16 bars)
  • Swing Ballad in 4/4 (8 bars)
  • Any rudimental snare etude   *Attach or a pdf with submission or bring a printed copy of your etude to your live audition.

*Play each requirement at whatever tempo is most comfortable.

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