Audition Requirements

MYS Ensemble Guide

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


Part 1: Guidelines for Auditions

Be sure to read Part 2: Video Requirements and Tips before recording your audition video

Auditions for the 2020-2021 season will be submitted via video (smartphone videos are okay!). 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 auditions will consist of:

  1. 2 Scales: 1 major and 1 minor (melodic or harmonic). 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.
  3. Sight-reading will not be required for summer video auditions for the 2020-2021 season.

All returning students, except those who are pre-registered for Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, 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.


Percussion Auditions

ALL students will be asked to 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. Students will also be asked to play scales and a prepared solo of their choice on a mallet instrument (preferably xylophone, if available). There will be no sight-reading requirement for the 2020-2021 summer audition.

Snare Drum Rudiments:
o Double Stroke Roll
o Orchestral (multiple bounce) Roll
o Paradiddle
o Flam
o 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 Auditions

2020-2021 Season Video Audition Requirements

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)

Drummers should record the following:
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

Woodwind/Brass players: You may audition for 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.

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

Jazz Ensemble (advanced): A student in this group should know all major scales and a two-octave chromatic scale. A jazz transcription of their choice plus good sight-reading and improvisation skills are required. Ability 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

*MYS will provide a drum kit for the audition, however students should bring their own sticks. (live auditions only)