Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra Auditions
We are delighted that you are auditioning for BYSO 2017-18 and we hope that you will enjoy preparing, practising and performing for your audition panel this year.
The standard of music making achieved in BYSO continues to improve year on year, evident in Maestros' showcase concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and their international tour to China in July 2016. We have a hugely exciting 2017-18 coming up with a European tour and intensive work with professional conductors, Jonny Lo and Stephen Threlfall. As a result, every member of the orchestra is recruited anew each year to ensure the very highest level of music making in all sections.
100% attendance at BYSO courses is vital and any absences must be pre-agreed by the BYSO staff team. Please click here for the orchestra’s schedule for the 2017-18 season. Please click here for the terms and conditions of county group membership for 2017-18.
The entry standards* for BYSO 2017-18 are:
Woodwind: Grade 7 (minimum standard).
Brass: Grade 7 (minimum standard).
Percussion: Grade 6 (minimum standard).
Strings: Grade 7 (minimum standard).
* You do not need to have taken the relevant exam but must be able to demonstrate that you can play to the required standard in the audition
Everyone who auditions will be required to:
- Perform a short (2-3 minute) unaccompanied piece of their own choice. Percussionists should perform a tuned percussion piece.
- Prepare a selection of orchestral excerpts (see links below)
- Sight read a short unprepared orchestral excerpt
- Talk informally with their panel of family instrument specialists about their musical activities and ambitions.
Top Tips (for getting the most out of your audition)
- Arrive in time for a good warm up (bring spare strings/reeds and accessories as needed)
- Choose a piece which you can play really well and have performed before – the panel want to hear what you can do, not what you can’t, so that you can show off your true potential
- Remember to realise the music, not just the notes!
- Take time to thoroughly prepare all aspects of the audition, not just your solo piece. Good preparation means that you will be less anxious on the day and more able to perform at your best
- Present yourself and your performance professionally – think about how you will stand/sit, take time to compose yourself before you perform and consider what you might wear
- You are allowed to make mistakes! It is your overall ability and general musicianship which the panel will assess – so enjoy the performance and take every opportunity to share your own musical ideas
Please click on the relevant link below to register for an audition:
String Auditions (incl. harp)
Specific audition dates can be viewed within the section registration forms on the links above. If you have any questions at all do ask before your audition by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Filming: Berkshire Maestros reserves the right to make a video recording of all Academy and County Group auditions. This is because we have different teams of assessors and we need to make sure that marking is consistent. Moderation is done by the Curricular Head and specialised instrument tutors; they are the only people who will see the videos which will be destroyed once the assessment has concluded.
For your audition, you will be required to play orchestral extracts. Please see below the list of extracts for each instrument and the PDF download with all the required sections.
Strings: All instruments – Letter D to F inclusive.
Woodwind: Sections as marked
Brass – Sections as marked
Trumpet (Pines of Rome)
French Horn (Espana)
French Horn (Pines of Rome)
Trombone (Pines of Rome)
Tuba (Pines of Rome)
Percussion – Sections as marked
Timpani, Triangle, Bass Drum, Cymbals and Basque Drum
Timpani and Campanelli