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Be a part of GCTYO!

Students in grades 5-12 who play orchestral or band instruments are eligible to audition for one of our developmentally appropriate orchestras and our Jazz Orchestras. Current members must also audition each year. Please note that in order to audition for our Jazz Orchestras, musicians are required to participate in one of the other GCTYO ensembles.


Your audition will give us information about which group is best for you. GCTYO has 10 different ensembles.

String Orchestra

For younger string players and those new to an orchestra setting

Wind Orchestra

For less experienced wind players and saxophones

Percussion Orchestra

Percussionists support all the ensembles.

Concert Orchestra

First level full orchestra for strings and winds

Symphony Orchestra

Second level full orchestra for strings and winds

Bravura Orchestra

Advanced string orchestra

Principal Orchestra

Top level full orchestra for strings and winds.

Chamber Orchestra

Small orchestra for the highest level musicians

Jazz Orchestras

Two jazz ensembles for both experienced and newer musicians

Audition Schedule
Audition registration is required! Audition fee is $25.

New Student Auditions

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
3:00pm – 7:00pm (auditions by Zoom)

Violins only
Saturday, August 29, 2020
9:00am – 5:00pm

All instruments
Monday, August 31, 2020 – Thursday, September 3, 2020
3:00pm – 9:00pm


GCTYO expects its members – string, woodwind, brass, and percussion – to remain in good standing as participants in their respective school music programs, where they exist. Private lessons alone are NOT a substitute for participation in school music programs.

Audition registration is required! Audition fee is $25.

Audition Information and Recommendations

Audition Information

The auditions are 6-8 minutes long (10-12 minutes for percussionists). Each student should prepare a piece that demonstrates his/her proficiency on the instrument. Sight reading and scales are also included in the audition. Percussionists should include snare, timpani, and mallet selections.

There is a non-refundable $25 audition fee to secure an audition appointment.

All current musicians are required to re-audition each year. Members are selected and seated by ability rather than age or grade.

Audition Dress Code: Business Casual: NO jeans, shorts sneakers or flip-flops. Dress for success and respect.

Parents/teachers/friends are not allowed in the audition area, but may wait in a designated waiting area.

Audition Recommendations

We want you to feel relaxed and perform at your best, so we encourage you to review the following requirements and recommendations:


String players: Entry level string players must be able to play one-octave scales in the keys of C, G, D and F. Two to three-octave major scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats may be asked of all other string players.

Woodwind and brass players: Entry level players must be able to play one-octave scales in concert keys up to 4 sharps and 4 flats. All other students may be asked to play two-octave scales in concert keys up to 4 sharps and 4 flats through their range.

Choose a solo you can play well. Have it well-prepared.

The adjudicator is not interested in when you started learning the solo; s/he will judge you on how well you play it. Choose a solo that shows off your ability. It should not be too easy, but if it is beyond your ability, it will hurt your audition score. Recognize that you will probably not perform your entire solo piece as audition time is limited. If the adjudicator asks you to stop, it is because s/he has heard what is needed.

Sight reading is a part of each audition.

Practice sight reading with your teacher at each lesson.

Be early for your audition

So that you can complete any necessary paperwork, warm up and be ready to do your best. We recommend that you arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled audition time.


GCTYO bases placement on an objective scoring process that measures scales, intonation, tone quality, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, phrasing, expression and technique on the instrument. The suggestions above serve only as guidelines. Eligibility for each orchestra/wind ensemble is ultimately determined by the student’s over all ability level and the adjudicators’ judgment as to where the student will have the best possible experience.

Audition Videos

Below are the first of the consecutive segments of Mr. Hisey’s audition seminar. Because YouTube has a 10-minute limit per video, the seminar must be viewed in multiple sections.