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Quad City Symphony Youth Ensemble Auditions

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in the QCSYE. The following information is intended to assist students in preparing for, scheduling, and performing a QCSYE audition. Also available is an Audition Guide to print or share with others. Audition Registration Forms and Prelude Strings Applications are still being accepted for the 2020-2021 Season. You will find a list of specific instrument openings below.

COVID-19 UPDATE
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, QCSYE Auditions will be moved to online submissions. This decision is being made with the health and safety of students, staff, and families in mind.

Students will submit a video recording of their audition materials. All students who complete the Audition Registration Form will receive the Audition Submission Form, which includes all directions for recording. Questions regarding the change to electronic submissions can be directed to Chelsea Sammons at csammons@qcso.org. Audition materials have not changed, and we encourage all students to prepare as they would a live audition.

Registering for an Audition

Students interested in auditioning for the 2020-2021 season should complete the online QCSYE Audition Registration Form. A non-refundable $10.00 audition fee is required of all applicants.

PREPARING FOR YOUR AUDITION

Youth Choir Singers

Singers participating in Youth Choir will learn good vocal singing habits, basic performing skills, and music theory introduced through age appropriate classical voice training in a fun, high energy environment. The audition will take approximately 10 minutes. Please bring a parent to the audition to meet the Youth Choir conductor and accompanist. All singers will perform a simple vocal audition that consists of the following:

String Players
  1. String students should prepare a solo of 1 – 2 minutes in length. Solos may be school contest solos, excerpts from larger solos, or any solo selection which demonstrates your skill. Solos do not have to be memorized and should be performed unaccompanied.
  2. Prepare the scale(s) indicated below for your instrument (and the orchestra level for which you would like to be considered for membership):

    Youth Symphony Orchestra Scales
    Violin: 3-octave C, G, D, A, and B-flat major scales
    Viola and Cello: 3-octave C, G, D, and F major scales
    Bass: 2-octave C, G, D, F, and B-flat major scales
    Scales should be played at quarter note = 80, slurring two quarter notes per bow with a full and sustained sound, ascending and descending.

    Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Scales
    Violin: 2-octave D major and 3-octave G and C major scales
    Viola and Cello: 3-octave C major and 2-octave D major scale
    Bass: 2-octave G and F major scales
    Scales should be played at quarter note = 80, slurring two quarter notes per bow with a full and sustained sound, ascending and descending.

    Youth String Ensemble Scales
    Violin, Viola, and Cello: 2-octave G and C major scales
    Bass: 2-octave G major and 1-octave F major scale
    Scales should be played with separate bows on quarter notes at a tempo equal to or faster than quarter note = 60, ascending and descending.

3.  Download, print, and prepare the required excerpt for your instrument (and the orchestra level for which you would like to be considered for membership). Audition Excerpts are available as PDF downloads below and must be brought by the applicant to the audition.

Woodwind and Brass Players

1. Woodwind and brass students should prepare a solo approximately 2 minutes in length. Solos may be school contest solos, excerpts from larger solos, or any solo selection which demonstrates your skill. Solos do not have to be memorized and should be performed unaccompanied.

2. Prepare two major scales of your choice in 2 or more octaves, ascending and descending. The scales must be performed in eighth notes at a tempo equal to or faster than quarter note = 80 for YSO OR in quarter notes at a tempo equal to or faster than quarter note = 80 for YPO membership consideration. Scales should be performed all tongued in one direction and all slurred in the other direction.

3. Prepare a chromatic scale over the range of the instrument in which you can play using an excellent tone, ascending and descending. The chromatic scale must be performed in eighth notes at a tempo equal to or faster than quarter note = 80 for YSO OR in quarter notes at a tempo equal to or faster than quarter note = 80 for YPO membership consideration. No specific articulation pattern is required.

4.  Download, print, and prepare the required excerpt for your instrument. Audition Excerpts are available as PDF downloads below and must be brought by the applicant to the audition.

Percussionists

1. Prepare a solo or etude on the percussion instrument of your choice (snare drum, timpani, or keyboard percussion) that demonstrates your greatest skill, talent, and confidence. The solo/etude should be approximately 2 minutes in length.

2. Download, print, and prepare the required excerpt for your instrument. Audition excerpts are available as PDF downloads below and must be brought by the applicant to the audition.

3. Demonstrate the following techniques on the following instruments:

Snare Drum: Play a multiple bounce (orchestral) roll at the performer’s maximum, controlled speed from soft to loud to soft. Play a double stroke (rudimentary) roll from slow to fast to slow at a constant volume. Keyboard Percussion: Play 2-octave C and D major scales, ascending and descending, in eighth notes at quarter note = 100. Play a chromatic scale the full range of the instrument, ascending and descending, in eighth notes at quarter note = 100.
Timpani: Perform a glissando roll ascending and descending. Tune to a required pitch.
Crash Cymbals: Perform crashes at various volume levels.
Tambourine: Perform shake and thumb rolls

AUDITION EXCERPTS

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. (Violinists must be familiar with 5th position for Youth Symphony Orchestra and at least 3rd position for Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and Youth String Ensemble.)

If you would like to be considered for more than one ensemble, play the more advanced excerpt.

Youth Symphony Orchestra & Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (2020-21)
Youth String Ensemble (2020-21)

There are no Youth String Ensembles openings at this time.

APPLYING FOR PRELUDE STRINGS

Students who wish to be considered for membership in Prelude Strings (entry-level string orchestra) are not required to perform an audition. Instead, prospective Prelude Strings members complete an application and request a referral from a school music teacher or private instructor. Prelude Strings is still accepting students!

Prelude Strings (2020-21)

1.  Complete an online membership application.
2.  Ask a school music teacher or private lesson instructor to complete an online reference form.
3.  Pay a $10 non-refundable application fee.

Placement emails indicating acceptance status will be sent to each applicant after review. Teacher recommendations forms need only be submitted for prospective Prelude Strings members. Students auditioning for YSO, YPO, YSE, or YC are not required to submit a teacher recommendation.

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