Click the link at the bottom of the page for the Audition Application Form. We suggest you read this page before applying for an audition.


Students are accepted into the SMYOC Orchestral Program through an individual audition, by appointment only, with an Orchestra Conductor. Entry to all SMYOC groups is by audition.

There are 2 orchestras:

  • Our Preparatory Strings Orchestra
    • For less experienced strings musicians who play at Level 2 and higher.
  • Our Youth Orchestra
    • For more experienced musicians who play at Level 4 and higher.
    • This is a FULL symphonic orchestra with strings, woodwind, brass and percussion sections.

Who is Eligible

Any student who meets the entry requirements, shown below, to the satisfaction of the Conductor, is eligible for SMYOC membership and a place in an orchestra. There is no minimum age, but students must be capable of sitting still and following instructions. Our youngest students are generally 8 years old.

  • Most of our Youth Orchestra students take private music lessons and are already accomplished musicians, having been playing their instruments for significantly longer than a year.
  • Our Prep Strings Orchestra students tend to be younger than our Youth Orchestra students, but most still take private lessons; some may have been playing their instruments for as little as a year.

We accept students up to the age of 20.

Audition Dates

Auditions are held throughout the year. They are usually held immediately before orchestra rehearsals on Monday afternoons for the Youth Orchestra and Tuesday afternoons for the Preparatory Strings Orchestra. Once you have submitted your online application form, you will be invited, by email, to revisit our website and choose an audition date from a list. If you are unable to make any of the date(s) or time(s) of the auditions, please contact SMYOC. An additional audition may be granted at the discretion of the Conductor.


Orchestra rehearsals usually take place on Monday evenings in Lusby. Preparatory Strings Orchestra rehearsals are on a Tuesday evening in Lusby. We publish our rehearsal dates, times and venues on this website and via Google Calendar, which you will be invited to view once you've joined us.

MusicianThe Audition

  • Please plan on arriving at the audition venue at least 15 minutes before your audition start time in order to warm up and tune your instrument.
  • Expect the audition to take approximately 10 minutes.

Entry Requirements

  • If you are auditioning for Prep Strings Orchestra:

    • You should perform the Level 2 audition piece appropriate to your instrument. Click here to see the Level 2 audition pieces.
    • You will be asked to play some major scales over a single octave in the keys of C, G, D or F.
    • Expect to be asked to sight-read an unfamiliar piece of music.
  • If you are auditioning for Youth Orchestra:

    • Perform a prepared piece of music of your own choosing, one which you have studied and which demonstrates your ability. If you do not have a prepared piece, the Level 4 sample audition piece appropriate to your instrument may be used. Click here to see the Level 4 sample pieces.
      • Strings should be able to play in first, second and third position and extensions; experience with higher positions will be noted. Bowing styles may include staccato, hooked, slurs, bounced and spiccato.
      • Percussionists must provide their own sticks and mallets.
    • Play at least 2 scales of your choosing, one major and one minor. Percussionists will be asked to play a 2 octave scale on pitched percussion, demonstrate pp-ff rolls on snare and timpani.
    • Expect to be asked to sight-read an unfamiliar piece of music.

Tuition/fees (see notes below)

  • Preparatory Strings Orchestra

    • Annual fee is $310 per student.
  • Youth Orchestra

    • Annual fee is $335 per student.


The fee covers both the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 seasons, from August 2018 until the end of June 2019.
There are discounts for siblings and for those that join for a single season. If you would like to know more about discounts, please email us at
The fee is budgeted to cover less than 40% of SMYOC’s annual operating expenses. We rely on grants, corporate sponsorship, ticket sales and individual contributions to cover our remaining expenses.

Financial Aid

It is our policy that no student be discouraged from participating due to financial hardship. An application form for need-based financial assistance can be accessed by clicking this link: Financial Aid Form. Once it is complete, please seal it in an envelope and hand it to your group manager or post it by mail to SMYOC.

MusicianSMYOC Resolution on Cooperation with School Music Programs and Instructors

SMYOC recognizes, personally and publicly, the importance of music education within our schools. SMYOC wishes to work in partnership with schools and private music instructors to the greatest extent possible to facilitate the musical development of our young people. In expanding and strengthening both school and community musical resources, our youth are offered the opportunity for optimum growth.

In recognition of the importance of these partnerships, we strongly recommend that all members of our Choral and Orchestral Programs participate in their schools' choral and/or instrumental programs.

SMYOC Statement of Non-discrimination

SMYOC admits students of any race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, and activities generally available to students in the orchestra. SMYOC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, national and ethnic origin or any basis prohibited by law in administration of its admissions, access, or treatment in its programs and activities.

Application Form

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