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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. 

Students may also register for our Steel Pan program. No audition or experience necessary for Steel Pan!

GCTYO Orchestras

GCTYO is made up of more than a dozen different ensembles, each with its own unique features. There are 3 full orchestras, 2 levels of string orchestras, a wind orchestra, 2 jazz orchestras, percussion, steel pan, flute choir, and chamber music. There are also a focused woodwind and a focused brass ensemble. Students are placed into the ensemble that is right for their development and interest.

String Orchestra

For younger string players and those new to an orchestra setting

Woodwinds Orchestra

For younger woodwind players and those new to an orchestra setting

Brass Orchestra

For younger brass players and those new to an orchestra setting

Wind Orchestra

For wind players and saxophones to reinforce fundamental skills

Sinfonia Orchestra

Second level orchestra for string players to reinforce fundamental skills

Virtuosi Orchestra

First level full orchestra for strings and winds

Philharmonic Orchestra

Second level full orchestra for strings and winds

Principal Orchestra

Top level full orchestra for strings and winds.

Percussion Orchestra

Percussionists support all the ensembles.

Jazz Orchestras

Two jazz ensembles for both experienced and newer musicians

Steel Pan Orchestra

Learn different musical genres through the mellow sounds of steel pan drums! No experience or audition necessary for this ensemble.

Chamber Music

Small, musician-led string ensembles coached by musicians from Stamford Symphony

Flute Choir

Advanced flute instruction for flutists in Virtuosi, Philharmonic, or Principal Orchestra

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

Mid-Season Audition dates:

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 5-6 PM – FULL

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 5-7:30 PM

Register to receive an audition time.

Auditions will be held in Fairfield.

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 Information and Recommendations

Audition Information

Each student should prepare a piece or pieces that demonstrates their proficiency on the instrument. Percussionists should include snare, timpani, and mallet selections. 

Jazz auditions are held separately. Students interested in Jazz should prepare 2 auditions, one for classical/wind and one for Jazz. Jazz musicians are required to also play in wind ensemble or a classical orchestra.

There is a non-refundable $25 registration fee to secure an audition appointment. No additional fee for a Jazz audition.

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!

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.