Youth Orchestra Audition Requirements & Procedures

Musician Requirements

In order to participate in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, musicians must:

  • Be enrolled in their applicable school music program, if one exists, i.e. string players must participate in their school orchestra program, etc.
  • Be no younger than 12 and no older than 22 on September 1, 2019.
  • Adhere to the attendance policy and other policies as outlined in the Musician Handbook.
  • Submit an online audition application and non-refundable application fee by March 29, 2019.

Audition Requirements

Below you will find the requirements for each instrument. Please note that for the 2019/2020 season, the requirements may differ slightly from previous years. It is recommended that you print your instrument's requirements and keep them for your records. The orchestral excerpts for the final auditions will be released no later than Friday, May 3, 2019.


Violin Viola Cello Bass Harp


Flute Oboe Clarinet | Bass Clarinet | Bassoon


Horn Trumpet Trombone Bass Trombone | Tuba


Percussion Piano

2019/2020 Audition Excerpts

Audition excerpts will be released on May 3, 2019. 


Violin | Viola | Cello | Bass | Harp


Flute | Oboe | Clarinet | Bassoon


Horn | Trumpet | Trombone | Bass Trombone | Tuba



Audition Process

Preliminary Audition

  • Applicants not currently in the Youth Orchestra should be prepared for a preliminary audition.
  • Not all instruments will need to take a preliminary audition. This is determined annually based on the number of applicants on each instrument. Applicants will be notified which instruments are required to take a preliminary audition shortly after the application deadline.
  • If it is required, applicants must pass the preliminary audition in order to advance to the final audition.
  • Preliminary auditions are not blind.

Final Audition

  • Current Youth Orchestra members, current substitute players, and applicants who advanced from the preliminary audition must take a final audition.
  • Final auditions will take place on stage at Powell Hall.
  • Final auditions are blind.
  • Orchestral excerpts for the final auditions will be provided shortly after the preliminary auditions have concluded.

Judging and Results

All auditions are judged on intonation, rhythm, sound production and overall musicianship. The Music Director of the SLSYO and members of the SLSO serve as the judges for auditions. Audition results will be posted on the Youth Orchestra website shortly after auditions for all instruments conclude.

2019/2020 Auditions - Important Dates

January 22, 2019 Application opens
March 29, 2019 Application deadline
April 1, 2019 Applicants are notified of which instruments will need to take a preliminary audition
April 15, 17, 2019 Preliminary auditions; Clayton High School
April 22, 2019 Preliminary audition results are announced
May 3, 2019  Final Audition excerpts released 
June 10-14, 2019 Final auditions, Powell Hall
June 16-20, 2019 Final auditions, Powell Hall
June 24, 2019 Final audition results are announced

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G.A., Jr. and Kathryn M. Buder Charitable Foundation

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