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, 2018.
  • 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 30, 2018.

Audition Requirements

Below you will find the requirements for each instrument. Please note that for the 2018/2019 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 Monday, April 23, 2018.


Violin | Viola | Cello | Bass | Harp


Flute | Oboe | Clarinet | Bass Clarinet | Bassoon


Horn | Trumpet | Trombone | Bass Trombone | Tuba



2018/2019 Audition Excerpts

Below you will find the excerpt packets for each instrument. Please download and print your respective excerpts in addition to the audition requirements linked above. 


Violin | Viola | Cello | Bass | Harp


Flute | Oboe | Clarinet | Bassoon


Horn | Trumpet | Trombone | Bass Trombone | Tuba


Percussion Excerpts | Percussion EtudesPiano

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.

2018/2019 Auditions - Important Dates

NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the previously published dates and venue for the preliminary auditions - April 18 & 19 at Clayton High School - are no longer viable. Preliminary auditions will now take place the evenings of April 16 & 17 at Ladue High School. We apologize for any inconvenience.

January 22, 2018 Application opens
March 30, 2018 Application deadline
April 2, 2018 Applicants are notified of which instruments will need to take a preliminary audition
April 16-17, 2018 Preliminary auditions; Ladue High School
April 23, 2018 Preliminary audition results are announced; orchestral excerpts for final auditions are released
June 5-7, 2018 String final auditions, Powell Hall
June 11-14, 2018 Woodwind, brass, and percussion final auditions, Powell Hall
June 18, 2018 Final audition results are announced

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