Auditions FAQs – Symphony Program

What is a “full orchestra”?

“Full orchestra” refers to an ensemble that includes string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. HYS has three full orchestras of varying levels: Youth Symphony I, Youth Symphony II, and Concert Orchestra.

BACK TO TOP

What instruments are accepted?

HYS holds auditions for violin, viola, cello, bass, flute (piccolo), oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone (euphonium), tuba, percussion, and harp. Auditions for piano and saxophone are not held, but HYS offers a summer program (Pacific Music Institute) that accepts these instruments.

BACK TO TOP

Am I eligible to audition?

This table outlines age eligibility for the 2017-2018 season. HYS accepts students through grade 12 only. To ensure fairness, we DO NOT make exceptions to age eligibility.

Group
Age
Which means…You must be born in or before
Youth Symphony I
13 years by 12/31/16 AND grade 9 in the 2017-2018 school year
2003
Youth Symphony II
12 years by 12/31/16 AND grade 8 in the 2017-2018 school year
2004
Concert Orchestra
10 years by 12/31/16 AND grade 6 in the 2017-2018 school year
2006

BACK TO TOP

How do I apply to audition?

Download the audition application and return it to the HYS office with your fee by the deadline.

BACK TO TOP

How much does the audition cost?

The audition fee is $25.  If your application is received after the first scheduled due date the audition fee increases to $45.  NO FEE WAIVERS ARE ALLOWED.

BACK TO TOP

Can I audition for two instruments?

No. HYS will only allow auditions on one instrument per student.

BACK TO TOP

How do I know which group to try out for?

Refer to our age eligibility criteria and consult with your private teacher. The following short descriptions may help.

  • YSI students tend to have 4 to 6 years of experience. This group performs major symphonic works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, etc.
  • YSII students tend to have 3 to 5 years of experience. This group performs less difficult symphonic works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, etc.
  • CO students tend to have 2 to 4 years of experience. This group performs abridged versions of symphonic works.

BACK TO TOP

What music do I play?

You are responsible for making sure that you have the correct audition excerpts, which will be made available on our web site. You can determine your requirements by referring to the following table:

 Choose one from each row, then column
Trying out for CO. I must play audition excerpts for:
Trying out for YSII. I must play audition excerpts for:
Trying out for YSI. I must play audition excerpts for:
I’m a new student
CO
CO & YSII
CO, YSII & YSI
I’m currently in CO
CO
CO & YSII
CO, YSII & YSI
I’m currently in YSII
n/a
YSII
YSII & YSI
I’m currently in YSI
n/a
n/a
YSI

Example 1: I am a new student and would like to audition for YSII. I must play both CO & YSII music on my audition date.

Example 2: I am currently in CO and would like to audition for YSI. I must play CO, YSII and YSI music on my audition date. You may download the audition music here.

BACK TO TOP

When are the auditions?

Auditions are held the last two weekends in May. May 20 & 21 (Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion) and May 27 & 28 (Strings).

BACK TO TOP

How will I know when my audition is?
The audition application will outline the days each group and instrument will be auditioning. After your application is received you will be sent a specific time to show up on your scheduled audition day.

BACK TO TOP

If  I am trying out for more than one group, do I have to audition more than once?

No. Use the HIGHEST group you are trying out for to determine your audition day. You will play all the required audition music at one audition appointment. For example, if you are trying out for YSI and YSII, you will be assigned an audition time during the YSI group.

BACK TO TOP

Where are the auditions held?

All auditions are held at Niu Valley Middle School, located at 310 Halemaumau Street in Honolulu.  

BACK TO TOP

Can I audition late?

No. Late auditions are not allowed.

BACK TO TOP

What if I am taking the SAT on my audition date?

If  your audition time is scheduled for the same day you are taking the SAT, please include this information on your application. You will be scheduled later in the afternoon.

BACK TO TOP

What if I can’t audition on the scheduled day?

If you live on Oahu, and know that you can’t make the scheduled audition day, you will need to call the office to arrange a taped audition before the audition date. An audition taped by HYS will require an additional $10 fee. 

Proof of travel (copy of receipt or ticket showing student’s name and date of travel) is required and should be sent with your application. After you have submitted your audition application with request for a taped audition, the HYS office will call you and schedule an appointment. All recorded auditions will be played for the judges during live audition times.

If you do not live on Oahu, you will need to record yourself playing the audition music selections and submit the recording (.mp3, .m4v, .mov, or .aac only) to HYS via email (randy@hiyouthsymphony.org) before your audition day. Please allow ample time for HYS to receive your recording. There is no additional charge for self-recorded auditions. DO NOT speak on your recording. 

BACK TO TOP

If I am accepted, how much does it cost?

Cost to you per season = Approximately $550
Cost to HYS per student = Approximately $1,200

BACK TO TOP

Is financial aid available?

Need-based financial aid is available for registration fees, private lessons or instrument rental. You may request a financial aid application upon registration or download the application from our Financial Aid page. All financial aid is on a reimbursement basis.

BACK TO TOP

If I am accepted, what is expected of me?

Joining HYS means that you are making a year-long commitment. You must: 1) attend all rehearsals and concerts, 2) practice and prepare your music, and 3) abide by all rules of conduct and HYS policies.

BACK TO TOP

When are rehearsals?

Rehearsals are held every Sunday afternoon from August through May. Students are expected to attend all rehearsals and concerts. The 2016-2017 rehearsal schedule is outlined below:

Orchestra
Concert Orchestra
Youth Symphony II
Youth Symphony I
Rehearsal Location
Niu Valley Middle School
310 Halemaumau Street
Honolulu, HI 96821
Kaimuki Middle School
631 18th Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
UH Music Department
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Rehearsal Schedule
Winds/Percussion Sectional
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Full Orchestra Rehearsal
12:30 – 2:00 pm
Strings Sectional
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Winds/Percussion Sectional &
Strings Sectional
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Full Orchestra Rehearsal
12:30 – 2:00 pm
Winds/Percussion Sectional
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Full Orchestra Rehearsal 
12:00 – 2:00 pm
Strings Sectional
2:00 – 3:00 pm

BACK TO TOP

Do I have to take private lessons?

We highly recommend you take private lessons to enhance your HYS experience.

BACK TO TOP

What if I played in YSI, YSII or CO last year?

You must re-audition for your seat in the orchestra. Acceptance into YSI/YSII/CO will be based on your current level of playing, not prior membership in the orchestra.

BACK TO TOP