About the Orchestras
Auditions for new students are held in late Summer / early September for all instruments, and throughout the season by appointment. Returning members of the top orchestra (YAP) are expected to audition every year, in a non-judgmental setting in order to evaluate their individual progress and offer advice for the upcoming year.
Members of the Young Strings Ensemble and Young People’s Symphony may schedule an audition in order to ‘graduate’ to the next level ensemble. Anyone who has not succeeded in joining their intended group may re-audition during the next concert cycle.
Young Artists Philharmonic:
The Young Artists Philharmonic (YAP) is a full symphony orchestra performing advanced orchestral literature. As the flagship ensemble, the Young Artists Philharmonic is recognized for its high level of professionalism and musicianship. Students are expected to be able to play in all keys, have much technical facility and demonstrate mature musicianship. Violinists should be able to play in five to seven positions. Violists should be familiar with treble clef as well as alto clef. Cellists should know some thumb positions and have familiarity with the tenor clef. Transposition may be necessary for winds. Trombonists will need to be able to play in tenor clef.
Young People’s Symphony
The objective of the Young People’s Symphony (YPS) is for its members to learn the standard orchestral literature and eventually graduate to YAP. String players should have knowledge of the first five positions. They should be able to use vibrato, have a sense of phrasing and tone production, and have a familiarity with all the basic rhythms and meters. Wind and brass players must be able to demonstrate endurance and flexibility, as well as good tone production, as there is an emphasis on solo passage work.
Young String Ensemble:
The Young String Ensemble (YSE) provides an introduction to the principles of ensemble and string technique that are crucial to beginning musicians. Members of this string group are expected to be able to play material up to three sharps and three flats. A minimum amount of position work is required. Knowledge of rhythms should include dotted halves, dotted quarters and dotted eighths. Students should be familiar with the following meters as well: 2/2, 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, and 6/8 time.
Youth orchestras and music programs in the school are mutually beneficial and complement one another. On the one hand, school music programs are the backbone of a student’s music education; on the other hand, the opportunity for serious music students to strive for excellence in a youth orchestra should inspire them to go back to their schools with leadership potential and increased enthusiasm for music. It is for these reasons that we require orchestra members to participate in their school groups if such groups exist.