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.
- Any orchestral instrument: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion.
- Everyone auditions each season regardless of previous GTCYS participation.
- GTCYS’ eight 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.
- December auditions for new students for the 2017-18 season will be held on December 9.
What do I need to prepare for an audition?
- Students need to prepare three items: a short solo, specific scales, and sight-reading.
- Students who wish to be considered for Symphony and Philharmonic must also prepare specified orchestral excerpts.
- Be sure to review the specific audition requirements for each instrument.
Audition Score Sheet Examples
What orchestras may I audition for?
GTCYS has eight 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: GTCYS’ first full orchestra with strings, winds, 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 wind/brass/percussion students have been playing their instruments for 1 to 4 years. Conducted by Kent Musser. Rehearses in South Minneapolis.
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 Edina.
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 Barbara Flooding. Rehearses in South Minneapolis.
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’ premier, 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 Edina.
Where are auditions?
106 Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis, MN 55419
How do I register for an audition?
- Registration for December auditions for new students will be available soon!
- A $35 audition fee (non-refundable and not applicable to tuition) is due with your registration.
What should I bring?
- Any necessary accessories (bow, reeds, mouthpieces, rockstops, etc.)
- 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. 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 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?
- Scales must be memorized.
- 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.
- 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 19, 2017.
- Please do not inquire for results.
What does participation entail?
- Review the orchestra pages for information about the orchestra experience, weekly rehearsal schedule, retreats, performances, and tuition.
- 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.
- Tuition amounts are listed on each orchestra’s page and range from $665 – $845 for the full 2017–18 season, 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 $65 per additional child.
Are scholarships available?
GTCYS is highly committed to making our programs accessible for families, regardless of financial constraints. We provide $50,000 in need-based scholarships annually. Click here to learn more or call us at 651.602.6800.