Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule an audition? (all applicants)

Complete the application form. After the application form is submitted and audition fee is processed, you will receive an email that includes a link to all available audition dates and times for your instrument. You will schedule your audition date and time yourself through this link.

How long will the audition take? When should I arrive?

Auditions are 10 minutes long. We suggest you arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled audition time.

Where do auditions take place?

Saturday auditions take place at Rice University?s Shepherd School of Music. Sunday auditions take place at Pershing Middle School. Detailed information will be emailed after you schedule your audition.

What if I’m a current member? Do I have to audition?

All current members are required to re-audition each year. You must submit the application form and audition fee each year. Please note that current orchestra assignment level is not guaranteed. Do not take the audition for granted.

How do I know which orchestra I should audition for?

Refer to the orchestra descriptions page and consult with your private lesson teacher to determine the orchestra that best suits your skill level.

What if I don't make it into the orchestra I audition for, will I be considered for the next level orchestra down?

Musicians are ranked by their audition score. If they do not place in the orchestra they auditioned for, they may be offered a position in a different orchestra.

What should I wear to the audition?

Please dress appropriately. Remember that how you present yourself is the first impression you give to the judge.

Do I need to memorize my music?

Memorization is not required unless specified in the audition requirements.

Can my parents come into the audition room with me?

No. Auditions are closed to the public.

When do I find out my audition results?

Audition results are sent by June 30. Audition results will not be given over the phone.

Do I need an accompanist for the audition?

No. Piano accompaniment is not permitted.

How much do scales or sight reading count on my audition score?

Auditions are made up of several components, and each one is an important part of your audition. In general, the different audition components are weighted as follows:

  • Scales - 20%
  • Prepared Excerpts - 25%
  • Prepared Repertoire (your selection/s) - 35%
  • Sight Reading - 20%


(Percussion and harp scoring differs slightly. For details, contact HYS.)

What are the judges looking for in an audition?

Audition adjudicators are assessing/scoring on such factors as rhythm, intonation, musicality, tone and technique.