Percussionists seeking placement in our orchestras are required to audition on the following three instruments: snare, timpani, and mallets (xylophone). Given the scope of their requirements, percussion auditions typically take 12-15 minutes.

The audition repertoire for each of these instruments is as follows:

  • Snare drumprepared piece and the rudiments with underlined names in this document. Please also be prepared to play a buzz roll from piano to forte to piano
  • Xylophone – prepared solo and major scale and arpeggio
  • Timpani – prepared solo or suitable orchestral excerpt

A snare drum, xylophone and a set of four timpani will be available both at the audition site and in a warm up room. Please do not plan to audition on triangle, bass drum, or any other instruments not listed above.

The sight reading portion of the audition consists of a melodic passage (played on xylophone), a timpani sight reading exercise (which may include tuning changes), and a rhythmic exercise (played on snare). Download sight reading examples here.

You must bring your own mallets and sticks!

Students who demonstrate the necessary skills will be placed in one of our two full orchestras and may have the opportunity to play in both orchestras (including the VYO) when concert repertoire calls for larger percussion sections.