Audition FAQ

When will auditions be held? When can I apply for an audition?

Audition for the 2019-2020 season will be held Tuesday, June 4, 2019 through Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

When will excerpts be made available?

Audition excerpts for the 2019-2020 season are available as of April 1, 2019 here.

I am a current WYSO member who wishes to remain in my current orchestra. Can I do this?

YES! For all current members, you may choose to remain in your current orchestra, or you may audition. If you audition and are not placed in the next orchestra, you will receive an offer to remain in your current orchestra. There is a $50 fee (plus a 3% transaction fee) to reserve your current seat if not auditioning. This fee is applied to next season’s tuition.

What is the fee to audition?

There is a $30 fee for each audition, with a 3% transaction fee added for credit cards.

Is it possible to skip orchestras?

While WYSO is usually thought of as a sequential orchestra program, yes, it is possible to skip or bypass an orchestra. Audition for the orchestra for which you feel most suited. Conductors will place you where they feel you would both benefit and contribute the most. Unlike previous years, there is no need to schedule auditions for each orchestra or perform a preliminary audition. Please remember that bypassing an orchestra is rare and remaining in the same orchestra for more than one year is a very common occurrence.

Note: Current Sinfonietta members are not eligible for Youth Orchestra and current Opus One members are not eligible for Philharmonia and Youth Orchestras.

Will WYSO hold violin sectional auditions after placements are made?

No. WYSO will not hold sectional auditions. The conductors will be hearing the violin auditions in person, eliminating the need for a second audition.

Can I audition on two different instruments?

Yes. After selecting your first audition, you will be taken to the “Cart.” Click the button that reads SCHEDULE SECOND INSTRUMENT. You may add as many secondary instrument auditions as you wish. There is a $30 fee for each audition, with a 3% transaction fee.

What should I play for my audition?

You will be asked to play, in this order, a solo of your choosing (2 min.), three scales from the required list, the excerpts for your instrument and orchestra level, and sight reading.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move and perform. Dressing up is nice and standard practice for auditioning, but don’t feel obligated to purchase new clothing.

What should I bring?

Bring your instrument in proper working condition along with any accessories. Bring your solo and two photocopies for the judges. Bring your printed excerpts (and scales for strings).

On what criteria will the audition be judged?

Each student will be judged on tone quality, rhythm, intonation, technique/fundamentals, interpretation, and overall performance.

How and when will orchestra placements be made?

Most auditions will be heard directly by WYSO artistic staff, each of whom are familiar with the different orchestra levels and their required skills and demands. As such, it is the WYSO artistic staff who make the orchestra placements. Results will be mailed to everyone the week following the auditions.

When should I arrive?

Plan to arrive between 20-30 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time. This will allow for time to get checked in and warmed up.

Where will I audition?

All auditions will take place in the UW Madison Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St., Madison, WI. Report to room 1621 in the lower level (floor 1) to check in. From there, you will be given your audition room number and directions to practice rooms.

Rates for University garages can be found at

Parking at the State Street Campus Ramp is $1.30 per hour, up to a maximum of $8 on nights and weekends.  Occasionally during special events, parking fees may be $8, paid upon entry. For more information, visit

or check out real-time parking availability at


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