The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra holds competitive auditions each spring to form its membership for the following school year.  Auditions for the 2014-2015 season will be held May 27 through June 1, 2014 on the campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville, 11901 Beach Blvd (one mile east of the intersection of I-295 and Beach Blvd).  If you are interested in JSYO, please look at the Audition Guidelines document and the summaries below and  fill out an application.  You will hear back with an assignment for an available audition date and time (please give your application a few days to process).

 

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Start the audition process by filling out an application

If you have determined which orchestra you wish to audition for, complete this first step. If you still need to decide, check out each orchestra below for specific information and materials to prepare for your audition.

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AUDITION INFORMATION

Please refer to the “JSYO 2014-2015 Audition Guidelines” for the most complete information.  Each tab below gives a brief overview of the audition process for each ensemble as well as any required excerpts to download.  (If you have trouble seeing the excerpts,  try another browser and/or computer.)

PHILHARMONIC & REPERTORY ORCHESTRA
Philharmonic and Repertory String, Woodwind and Brass auditions will typically consist of:

  • A solo piece of your choice at appropriate proficiency level for group
  • Scales as designated for your instrument
  • Orchestral excerpts for your instrument
  • Possible Sight-Reading for your instrument

Philharmonic Harp and Keyboard auditions will typically consist of:

  • A solo piece of your choice at appropriate proficiency level for group
  • Orchestral excerpts for your instrument chosen by JSYO

(Please note that there are positions for Keyboard and Harp ONLY in Philharmonic)

Percussionists must audition on snare, mallets and timpani.

Percussion audition repertoire for the JSYO is listed by grade level (the school grade you will be ENTERING in Fall of 2014). All audition materials, including the required orchestral excerpts are included in the following books and may also be downloaded below

  • Modern School For Snare Drum by Morris Goldenberg
  • Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone by Morris Goldenberg
  • Modern Method for Timpani by Saul Goodman

Percussion auditions:

  • Middle school students will play the following major scales (and arpeggios) in one octave on Xylophone: C – D – Eb – F – G – A – Bb
  • High School students are expected to play ALL of the major scales (and arpeggios) in two octaves on Xylophone.
  • Applicants will be asked to demonstrate ability to tune timpani (use of a pitch pipe or tuning fork is encouraged).
  • Applicants are expected to use concert style (closed/buzzed) snare drum rolls.
  • Applicants are expected to provide their own music, sticks and mallets at the audition. JSYO will provideinstruments, but applicants are welcome to bring their own snare drum if desired.

Excerpts for Philharmonic and Repertory Orchestra auditions downloaded here.  It is HIGHLY recommended when preparing orchestral excerpts that the musician seeks out a number or recordings of the works represented here.  Fixing the context of the excerpts within the piece overall is of the utmost importance when trying to present the best possible performance at your audition. 

PREMIERE STRINGS

Premiere Strings auditions will typically consist of:

  • A solo piece of your choice at appropriate proficiency level for group
  • Scales as designated for your instrument
  • Sight Reading

Fill out an application to request an audition time and good luck!

ENCORE STRINGS

Encore Strings auditions will typically consist of:

  • A solo piece of your choice at appropriate proficiency level for group
  • Scales as designated for your instrument
  • Sight Reading
FOUNDATION STRINGS II

Foundation Strings II auditions will typically consist of:

  • A solo piece of your choice at appropriate proficiency level for group
  • Scales as designated for your instrument
  • Sight Reading

Please note that the Foundation Strings II program was called just “Foundation Strings” in previous seasons.  The change in name reflects the change in pedagogical approach to both Foundation Strings ensembles.

 

FOUNDATION STRINGS I

Students are introduced to the study of a string instrument with extended rehearsals and coaching at the beginning of the season. Foundation Strings I musicians meet weekly during the regular school year for weekly coachings and rehearsals.

Application for entrance to the Foundation Strings I program:

  • Beginners are welcome!
  • No audition is necessary.
  • Minimum of 2nd grade or age 7 by September 1st, 2014
  • Applications are accepted until the program has reached capacity.

It is expected that students entering the JSYO Foundation Strings program will aspire to progress on their instrument.  To progress on their instrument a private teacher is necessary; the once per week group ensemble experience alone is not enough.  Students entering the Foundation Strings program are encouraged to obtain a private teacher in conjunction with starting the program.

Please note that the Foundation Strings I program was called “Overture Strings” in previous seasons.  The change in name reflects the change in pedagogical approach to both Foundation Strings ensembles.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When are auditions held? Where are they held?
Auditions for the 2014-2015 season will be held at the end of May (27, 29, 30, 31, June 1). Easy steps to apply for an audition as well as audition requirements are posted on each ensemble tab below.

All auditions will be held at Florida State College at Jacksonville, South Campus (11901 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32246). Once on campus, proceed around (turn left at lake) to the West Parking lot. In the parking lot, turn right and proceed straight to Building M2. Auditions will take in the large ensemble room on the first floor.

What is the typical format of the audition?

Each ensemble has different requirements and thus has different formats for their audition. In general, auditions will consist of scales, a prepared solo of your choosing and/or prepared excerpt(s) supplied by JSYO, and perhaps sight-reading in some cases. Any required excerpts will be posted here on this site for download as well as bibliographic information to obtain your own original source material if you so choose. Auditions for instrumentalists will last generally 5-7 minutes. Philharmonic auditions will generally last a little longer, about 8-10 minutes. Percussion auditions will last 15 minutes. You do NOT have to have your audition material memorized and you do not need an accompanist (actually, nobody but the musician will be allowed into the audition room with the jury). You do not need to dress up for the audition. Most musicians dress in a dressy-comfortable manner (yes, we know it’s summer in Florida, but perhaps a step just above shorts and flip-flops…

Which ensemble should I apply for?

Please check out the descriptions of our ensemble programs which list some of the recent repertoire that they have performed. It would be helpful if you consulted this information along with the Audition Guidelines published here with you private teacher to arrive at an answer to this question. If you are still unsure, that is perfectly ok. You will be placed in an ensemble according to your abilities that you present through your audition.

Can I request a specific date and time for my audition?

Should you have an unavoidable conflict that will limit the days that you can possibly audition, please let us know on the application that you fill out. We do not audition all ensembles every day, so there may be some days that are not open at all for your level. If you submit your application early enough we might be able to accommodate your request.

When will I be notified of my audition date/time?

As soon as your application is successfully submitted, you should expect to receive an email from JSYO within 2 weeks after application indicating your appointment. If you submit an application and DO NOT hear from us by May 15, please contact Tony Kamnikar at the JSYO Offices at tkamnikar@jaxsymphony.org.

What does it cost to participate in JSYO?
JSYO charges a reasonable one-time tuition charge based on ensemble.  There are no additional charges for music or usage fees.   Charges for retreats are also built into this one-time tuition fee.

Philharmonic – $475
Repertory Orchestra - $375
Premiere Strings – $375
Encore Strings – $325
Foundation Strings II – $325
Foundation Strings I – $325

When can I apply for financial aid?
After you are accepted into JSYO, instructions for filling out applications prior to Orientation at the start of the year will be included. Please note that we expect all musicians to at least pay the required deposit before any financial awards are made. We do not award full tuition relief to any musician. We do give some relief for families with multiple children participating in JSYO as well as JSYO musicians that are in post-secondary education and college.
Am I expected to be a part of my school music program?

Yes. The JSYO expects all students to be enrolled and participating in their school music programs if there is one available to them on their instrument. JSYO ensembles are meant to compliment and enhance, not replace the school music program. School music programs provide daily instruction, opportunities for leadership, and teaches group and community cooperation. Exceptions to this policy are considered on a case by case basis.

Am I expected to be studying with a private teacher?

Yes. Musicians in JSYO are expected to be under the guidance of a private teacher while in JSYO. JSYO meets once per week and it is expected that the majority of the preparation for playing in JSYO successfully is done with one-on-one instruction by a qualified professional that knows the repertoire. Do not skip this important ingredient!