Audition FAQs and Resources


Who is eligible to be a GTCYS member?
• Any student from elementary to highly advanced ability, 2nd grade through 12th grade.
• Any orchestral instrument.
• Everyone auditions each season regardless of previous GTCYS participation.
• Because GTCYS’ eight orchestras range from beginning to pre-professional, we have a high placement rate for students of all abilities.  

When are GTCYS’ auditions?
• Auditions take place each year in late May/early June and mid-December, click here for more details.

What do I need to prepare for an audition?
• Students need to prepare three items: a short solo, specific scales and sight-reading. 

• Students interested in being considered for Philharmonic or Symphony must also prepare an excerpt ; excerpts are available 0n our audition requirements page.

• Be sure to review the specific audition requirements for each instrument.

What orchestras can I audition for?
GTCYS has eight academic-year orchestras, which range from very beginning to highly advanced. They are, in order of proficiency:

Philharmonia East and Philharmonia West (strings only): GTCYS’ entry-level, strings-only orchestra which focuses on basics of ensemble playing and listening skills. Students are typically in grades 3 – 7 and there are two different rehearsal locations for students who live in the east or west metro. Conducted by Mary Sorlie.

Sinfonia: GTCYS’ first full orchestra with strings, winds, brass, and percussion, focuses on development of ensemble playing and listening skills. Students are typically in grades 5 – 9. Conducted by Amanda Kremer.

Concertino: an orchestra which focusing on the development of technical and ensemble skills through a variety of repertoire. Students are typically in grades 6 – 10. Conducted by Dan Mollick.

Camerata: an intermediate orchestra which focuses on more developing technical and ensemble skills. Repertoire includes arrangements and original compositions. Students are typically in grades 7 – 11. Conducted by Barbara Flooding.

Concert Orchestra: an advanced orchestra which performs original classical repertoire and focuses on advanced technique and musicianship. Students are typically in grades 8 – 12. Conducted by Benjamin Klemme.

Philharmonic: an advanced orchestra which performs the standard professional repertoire and focuses on individual musicianship. Students are typically in grades 9 – 12. Conducted by Gary Wolfman.

Symphony: GTCYS’ premiere orchestra which performs major symphonic repertoire at professional-style concerts. Students are typically in grades 11 – 12. Conducted by Mark Russell Smith.

Where are auditions?
Mayflower Church
106 Diamond Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Directions to audition location

When should I arrive for my audition?
Please arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled audition time so that you may register, receive your audition room assignment and warm up.

What should I wear?
Neat dress is appreciated! Wear nice clothes which are comfortable to perform in. This is the first impression you will make on those who will evaluate you. It is also a good idea to practice in the clothes you are planning to wear for your audition at least once.

Is there a place to warm-up when I arrive at the audition location?
Yes. There is one group warm-up room shared by all auditionees.

How long is an audition?
• An average string, woodwind, or brass audition is 5-10 minutes, though younger players may be shorter and are at the discretion of the audition panel.
• Percussion auditions are approximately fifteen minutes.
• During your audition, you may be stopped by the panel and asked to go to another solo or excerpt. This is common and does not reflect upon your performance.

Should I memorize the music?
Memorization is not required for solos. However, scales must be memorized.  

How are musicians placed?
• The primary criterion for placement is the student’s playing; other factors such as instrumentation needs or age may be considered as well.
• All qualified students are offered placement in the appropriate GTCYS orchestra, space permitting.
• All placements are final.
• Previous participation in GTCYS does not guarantee placement.

When will I receive my results?
• Placement results for the Spring Auditions will be emailed the week of June 16, 2014.
• Placement results for the Winter Auditions will be emailed the week of December 15, 2014.
• Please do not call or e-mail for results.

What does participation entail?
• Review the orchestra pages for information about rehearsals, retreats, and cost.
• Participation in GTCYS means an unforgettable experience of musical and personal growth in energizing rehearsals and inspiring concerts, with friends old and new!.

What does it cost to be in GTCYS?
• A $35 application fee (non-refundable and not applicable to tuition) is due with the Audition Registration.
• Fees for tuition and retreats are listed in the orchestra pages.
• Full year 2014-15 tuition ranges from $595 – $730, full year retreat fee is $100.
• Tuition for new students joining in January is 60% of the listed amount, plus $50 retreat fee.
• GTCYS offers sibling discounts in the amount of $65.00 per additional child.

Is financial aid available?
Scholarships are available. GTCYS is committed to serving talented, dedicated students, regardless of financial constraints. Download an application or call us at 651.602.6800 for more information.


FREE AUDITION MASTERCLASS: Audition Tips from the Pros!
Saturday, March 21, 2015
10:00 – 11:30am
Mayflower Church
106 East Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis.
This year’s Masterclass teachers are Mary Sorlie, violin, and Barbara Flooding, violin.

Take the fear out of auditioning! GTCYS audition experts and conductors Mary Sorlie and Barbara Flooding lead an informative class and answer questions about audition preparation. Students, parents, and teachers are encouraged to attend this free session! No registration necessary.


AUDITION STRATEGIES: “How to play well when it counts” by Michele Frisch

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