When and where are auditions?

  • Almost all VYOA placement auditions are heard during the month of May for the upcoming season
  • Auditions may be heard at other times of year based on our ensembles’ personnel needs and at their conductors’ discretion
  • Mid-season auditions in December are available for students seeking to join VYOA ensembles in the winter/spring semester. Placements from these auditions are offered on a space-available basis
  • All instrumental auditions are held at the VYOA’s home in the Elley-Long Music Center at St. Michael’s College in Colchester (map)

Who can audition for instrumental ensembles?

  • Students who will be in grades 3-12 in the 2014-15 school year are eligible to audition for our full season ensemble programs
  • Students in 2nd grade and below may be placed in an ensemble if their participation can be supported by the level of musical and social development they display. A private instructor or school music teacher recommendation is helpful in these cases.
  • Students eligible for our orchestras typically have at least one year’s experience on their instrument; the majority have been playing two or more years
  • For wind, brass, and percussion players not yet ready for orchestra placement, the Vermont Youth Winds program provides excellent training and preparation for future orchestra participation. Students who audition but aren’t placed in an orchestra are welcome to join VYW to hone their ensemble skills.
  • For string players not yet ready for placement in Vermont Youth Strings, the Presto program provides an excellent introduction to ensemble playing over a five week session. These students are welcome to audition if they wish (as an introduction to the audition process and to receive feedback) but no audition is required for Presto participation
  • Post-secondary students (finished with high school and/or 19 years of age or older) are not eligible to participate in VYOA ensembles

What are the objectives of the VYOA placement audition process?

  • To place each student in the ensemble program where he or she can learn and benefit the most from the experience
  • To place each student in the ensemble that can benefit the most from the student’s skills
  • To provide a means of tracking development of our students over time
  • To help our students to gain experience in preparing for and succeeding in auditions and other high-demand situations