Answers to your questions about auditions, eligibility, preparation, and placement.
Who may audition?
- Any student from beginning to pre-professional ability, ages 8 to 18.
- String players usually have two years’ playing experience before their first GTCYS audition, and woodwind, brass, and percussion players typically have at least one year of playing experience before auditioning for GTCYS.
- Any orchestral instrument: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, and harp.
- Everyone auditions each season regardless of previous GTCYS participation.
- GTCYS’ nine orchestras range from beginning to pre-professional, and we have a high placement rate for students of all abilities.
When are GTCYS’ auditions?
- GTCYS’ main auditions take place each year in late May/early June and mid-December.
- Click here for detailed information about dates, times, and locations for 2019 auditions.
What do I need to prepare for an audition?
- Students need to prepare three items: a short solo, specific scales, and sight-reading.
- String students who wish to be considered for Camerata or Concert Orchestra and all students who wish to be considered for Philharmonic or Symphony must also prepare specified orchestral excerpts.
- Be sure to review the specific audition requirements for each instrument.
What orchestras may I audition for?
GTCYS has nine academic-year orchestras which range from beginning to pre-professional. While there are specific audition requirements for each orchestra, your audition is for entry into the program and adjudicators will place you based on your ability (see placement info below).
They are, in order of proficiency:
Philharmonia East (strings only): GTCYS’ entry-level, strings-only orchestra which focuses on basics of ensemble playing and listening skills. Students have an average of 2 to 4 years’ experience playing their instruments. Conducted by Mary Sorlie. Rehearses in St. Paul.
Philharmonia West (strings only): GTCYS’ entry-level, strings-only orchestra which focuses on basics of ensemble playing and listening skills. Students have an average of 2 to 4 years’ experience playing their instruments. Conducted by Mary Sorlie. Rehearses in Edina.
Sinfonia East: GTCYS’ first full orchestra with strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion focuses on development of ensemble playing and listening skills. String players in Sinfonia have an average of 3 to 5 years’ experience, and woodwind/brass/percussion students have been playing their instruments for 1 to 4 years. Conducted by Ernesto Estigarribia. Rehearses in St. Paul.
Sinfonia West: GTCYS’ first full orchestra with strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion focuses on development of ensemble playing and listening skills. String players in Sinfonia have an average of 3 to 5 years’ experience, and woodwind/brass/percussion students have been playing their instruments for 1 to 4 years. Conducted by Laura Hebert. Rehearses in Edina.
Concertino: An intermediate orchestra which focuses on the development of technical and ensemble skills through a variety of repertoire. String players have an average of 4 to 7 years of experience and wind/brass/percussion students have been playing their instruments for 1 to 4 years. Conducted by Dan Mollick. Rehearses in South Minneapolis.
Camerata: An intermediate-advanced orchestra which focuses on more developing technical and ensemble skills. Repertoire includes arrangements and original compositions. String players in Camerata have an average of 5 to 7 years of experience and winds/brass/percussion students have been playing their instruments for 3 to 7 years. Conducted by Kent Musser. Rehearses in Edina.
Concert Orchestra: An advanced orchestra which performs original classical repertoire and focuses on advanced technique and musicianship. String players in Concert Orchestra have an average of 6 to 8 years of experience and winds/brass/percussion students have been playing their instruments for 4 to 8 years. Conducted by Mark Gitch. Rehearses in South Minneapolis.
Philharmonic: A highly advanced orchestra which performs the standard professional repertoire and focuses on individual musicianship. String players in Philharmonic have an average of 7 to 10 years of experience and winds/brass/percussion students have typically been playing their instruments for 5 to 8 years. Conducted by Gary Wolfman. Rehearses in South Minneapolis.
Symphony: GTCYS’ flagship, pre-professional orchestra which performs major symphonic repertoire. String players in Symphony have an average of 7 to 12 years of experience and winds/brass/percussion students have typically been playing their instruments for 5 to 8 years. Conducted by Mark Russell Smith. Rehearses in Minneapolis.
Where are auditions?
GTCYS is holding auditions at three locations this year to offer greater accessibility to students all over the metro area. Please carefully note the location when you schedule your audition.
106 Diamond Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN 55419
West Metro (Percussion only)
Good Samaritan Church
5730 Grove St
Edina, MN 55436
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
1669 Arcade Street
St. Paul, MN 55106
How do I register for an audition?
- Audition registration for the second semester of the 2019-20 season will open later this fall. Please note that these auditions are only for instruments where there is availability, and for students who did not already audition in the spring. Register for an audition »
- A $35 audition fee (non-refundable and not applicable to tuition) is due with your registration.
- If this $35 fee is a barrier for your family, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive information about the reduced fee.
What should I bring?
- Any necessary accessories (bow, reeds, mouthpieces, rockstops, etc.)
- Percussion: please bring your own snare drum and sticks for warming up
- Copy of solo music for judges
When should I arrive for my audition?
Please arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled audition time so that you may check in, 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. It is also a good idea to practice in the clothes you plan 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?
- String, woodwind, and brass auditions take up to ten minutes, and timing is at the discretion of the adjudicators.
- Percussion auditions are approximately fifteen minutes.
- During your audition, the adjudicators may stop you before the end of your piece. This is common and does not reflect on your performance.
What do I need to memorize?
- Strings: Scale memorization for the Philharmonia and Sinfonia levels is preferred but not required. Scale memorization for all other levels is required.
- Woodwinds, brass, and percussion: Scale memorization for the Sinfonia and Concertino levels is preferred but not required. Scale memorization for all other levels is required.
- Click here for scale resources.
- Memorization is not required for solos or orchestral excerpts.
How are musicians placed?
- The primary criterion for placement is the student’s playing; other factors such as instrumentation needs may be considered as well.
- All qualified students are offered placement in the appropriate GTCYS orchestra, space permitting.
- Previous participation in GTCYS does not guarantee placement.
- All placements are final.
When will I receive my results?
- Placement results for the August auditions will be emailed by August 30.
- Please do not inquire for results.
What does participation entail?
- Review the orchestra pages for information about the orchestra experience, weekly rehearsal schedule, retreats and performances.
- 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 audition fee (non-refundable and not applicable to tuition) is due with the Audition Registration. (Need-based reduced fee available.)
- Tuition amounts for the 2019-20 season range from $705 – $995, plus a $100 retreat fee.
- Tuition for new students joining in January is 60% of the listed amount, plus a $50 retreat fee.
- GTCYS offers multiple installment plans to accommodate families’ needs. See scholarship information below for more about affordability.
- GTCYS offers sibling discounts in the amount of $75 per additional child.
Are scholarships available?
GTCYS is highly committed to making our programs accessible for families, regardless of financial constraints. We provide $85,000 in need-based scholarships annually. Click here to learn more or call us at 651.602.6800.