Audition FAQs – Academy String Program

What is a “string orchestra”?

“String Orchestra” refers to an ensemble that includes only string instruments (violin, viola, cello & bass). HYS has two string orchestras that require auditions: Concert String Orchestra (CSO) and String Orchestra Ensemble (SOE).

What instruments are accepted?

HYS holds auditions for violin, viola, cello and bass for its String Program.

Am I eligible to audition?

Audition applicants must have turned 8 years old before August 1. HYS accepts students through grade 12 only. In order to ensure fairness, we do not make exceptions to age eligibility. Most CSO/SOE students have a minimum of two years of experience. However, this is NOT a requirement. Consult with your private teacher to determine if you are ready to audition.

How do I apply to audition?

An audition application will be made available for download online in mid June.

How much does the audition cost?

The audition fee is $10. If your application is received after the first scheduled due date the audition fee increases to $20. If you previously auditioned for the Symphony Orchestra Program your fee will be waived.

Can I audition for two instruments?

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

What group do I audition for?

You do not have to choose which group to audition for as the String Program has only one audition. Based on your audition score you will be placed in either CSO or SOE.

What music do I play?

At the CSO/SOE auditions you will play only one set of audition music. The music will be avaiable on the website. Based on your audition score you will be placed in either CSO or SOE.

When are the auditions?

The auditions will be held on August 12th.

How will I know when my audition is?

The audition application will specify the date of auditions. After your application is received you will be sent a specific time to show up on the scheduled audition day.

Where are the auditions held?

The auditions will be held at the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Spalding Clubhouse, 1704 Waiola St., Honolulu, HI 96826

Can I audition late?

No. Late auditions are not allowed.

What if I can’t audition on the scheduled day? / What if I need to send a taped audition?

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 ( 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.

If I am accepted, how much does it cost?

Cost to HYS per student = Approximately $1200
Cost to you per season = Approximately $375

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 website. All financial aid is on a reimbursement basis.

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.

When are rehearsals?

Rehearsals are held every Saturday afternoon from September through April at the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Spalding Clubhouse. Students are expected to attend all rehearsals and concerts.

Do I have to take private lessons?

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

What if I played in CSO or SOE last year?

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