EYSO Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra
Elgin, Illinois 60121-6508

EYSO Audition Requirements
For the EYSO 2014-15 Season


About the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra

EYSO is 6 ensembles and the Chamber Music Institute (CMI), each with their own requirements.
  • Primo: training string ensemble for beginning players with little auditioning experience
  • Prelude Orchestra: string orchestra for early intermediate level students
  • Sinfonia: full orchestra for intermediate level students
  • Philharmonia: full orchestra for advanced students
  • Youth Symphony: full orchestra for advanced students
  • Brass Choir: includes brass musicians in Youth Symphony, Philharmonia, and additional strong brass students
  • Chamber Music Institute (open to both EYSO and non-EYSO members at Prelude Orchestra level and up): provides an opportunity to work closely with professional coaches in groups of 3-5 students. An audition for the CMI is required if not auditioning for a large ensemble. Chamber Group assignments will be made in the fall..
Respective requirements for each ensemble are HERE. Please observe the minimum age and/or grade requirements for each ensemble.


The Audition Application

EYSO Audition Applications and Scheduling should be completed online (link at bottom of page). After submitting an online application to audition, you will be able to select a specific audition time. There is a $35 audition fee for current EYSO members and a $45 audition fee for non-EYSO members. All auditions fees are non-refundable. The audition fee may be paid online by credit card. Checks (payable to EYSO) should be mailed with an online payment voucher OR with a completed paper audition application (you will be contacted regarding an audition time) to:

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 6508, Elgin, IL 60121-6508

Double check your assigned audition time to make sure your calendar is clear. We understand that schedules change and things happen-we will gladly alter an audition time up to one week (7 days) before your scheduled audition. After this, you will be charged an additional $25 for changing audition times. Audition dates and times are subject to change.


What to Prepare

  • Solo Repertoire
    Prepare two contrasting selections totaling 2-3 minutes: one should be faster and more technical in nature to demonstrate your facility on the instrument and the other should be slower and more lyrical to illustrate your musicality and expressively. Selections may include solo literature, etudes or appropriate orchestral excerpts (if the two selections are from the same concerto, two different movements are preferred). Choose these selections carefully with guidance from your instrumental teacher, as they must show your abilities on the instrument. Selections that are beyond or beneath your skill level will not enhance your audition results. Selections do not need to be memorized. No accompanist is required. Please bring two photocopies of each piece for the adjudicators' reference. Harp and piano players are requested to call the EYSO Administrative Office (847-841-7700) for audition requirements.
  • Scales
    Every audition will include a demonstration of your knowledge of scales. For specific information, see the requirements.
  • Sight reading
    Every audition will include appropriate-level sight reading of rhythms and orchestral excerpts.

The Day of Your Audition

Please arrive at Elgin Community College Arts Center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time. You will register at the check-in table, receive your audition room assignment, and have a chance to warm-up. Your audition will be approximately ten minutes in length.


You will receive your results from the May 29 - June 1 auditions no later than June 15.


Student placement in EYSO is based on playing ability and age. Students are ranked by audition and placed in the orchestra most closely matching their musical skills, including superiority of tone, technical ability, intonation, vibrato, dynamic contrast, range, articulation, phrasing, rhythmic integrity, expressive style and overall accuracy. Meeting the printed requirements of an orchestra does not guarantee placement.