Live auditions for the 2023-2024 season are being held on June 3, 2023 and June 10, 2023 on campus at McMaster University. Audition times will be provided closer to the date, once the live audition schedule has been set. When that email goes out, players will also be provided with details on the location for auditions. Players are only required to audition on one of the audition days, and can choose which date best suits them.
If you would like to register for a live audition, please fill out the Register to Audition form.
Video auditions will be accepted until June 10. Please fill out the Intent to Submit Video Audition Form below and then send your video audition to email@example.com.
If you would like to submit by video, but are unsure about the correct process, there are guidelines below to help you navigate the process.
Late auditions will be accepted until the third rehearsal of each term. (September 30, January 13, April 6)
Those with successful late auditions will be placed within the pee-existing structure of the orchestra; no seating will be changed to accommodate late entries.
There are no in-person late auditions. Anyone wishing to join the orchestra after June 10 will be required to submit their audition by video. Please fill out the Intent to Submit Video Audition form, and send your video to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Determine which orchestra you would like to audition for.
2. Ensure you have registered to audition, or have indicated your intent to submit a video.
3. Solo and scale requirements for the Concert Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra.
The solo and scale requirements are the same for each orchestra.
All players will be asked to play a solo or etude of 2-5 minutes in length.
Players for both orchestras will be asked to play a solo or etude that represents their best playing. It is recommended that this be a piece that is comfortable and familiar to the player, and not necessarily the most difficult or impressive piece in their repertoire.
All players will be asked to play 2 contrasting scales that best demonstrate their level of technical ability.
- The scales should be in different keys.
- Please play as many octaves of the scale as you are currently able to.
- Consider demonstrating contrasting articulations.
- Consider making one of your scales minor.
- When deciding on tempo, only go as fast as you are able to play the scales cleanly and accurately. A slower accurate and clean scale is always more impressive than a fast but sloppy scale.
4. Philharmonic Orchestra Orchestral Excerpts
There is an additional requirement for players auditioning for the Philharmonic Orchestra. You will also be required to prepare orchestral excerpts. There are a minimum of two excerpts per instrument. Please make sure you scroll through to find all required excerpts.
Orchestral Excerpts are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge of orchestra repertoire, style and playing. It is advised that you find a recording of the piece and listen to ensure you understand the tempo and style of the piece.
Click on your instrument name below to open the excerpt package.
Who can audition?
Any musician 24 years of age or younger may audition. Former HPYO members must re-audition each season, so that we can determine their placement in the orchestra.
What is the minimum skill level or RCM grade level required for the HPYO?
There is no minimum age or grade level required to audition or participate in the HPYO. Applicants are accepted into the orchestra based on their performance in their audition. Excerpt packets may include repertoire excerpts from the upcoming season’s planned repertoire as well as pieces that may not be performed in the upcoming season.
To prepare and get a sense for the required skill level, our coaches recommend that you:
- Look up videos, recordings and scores of the orchestral repertoire from the excerpts in your audition packet
- Watch and listen to these pieces to gain an understanding of the level of skill required to play these pieces
What is the difference between the Concert Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra?
Designed for musicians in the earlier stages of their music education, the Concert Orchestra provides a supportive environment for musicians to learn about the orchestra and develop their musical skills.
The Philharmonic Orchestra is designed for more experienced musicians performing at a high musical level, and who have had past orchestral or ensemble experience.
Placement in either of the orchestras is at the discretion of the coaching faculty and will be determined once auditions are completed. Players who audition for the Concert Orchestra will only be considered for the Concert Orchestra. Players who audition for the Philharmonic Orchestra may be offered a seat in the Concert Orchestra if the panel feels they will meet with more success in that ensemble.
What is required for an HPYO audition?
Players auditioning for the 23-24 HPYO Season may choose to perform in person or by video submission. All players are asked to prepare a solo, and a selection of scales. Players may also be asked to sight read a selection. In addition, players auditioning for the Philharmonic Orchestra are asked to prepare the provided orchestral excerpts. Please see above for instrument specific details. Your audition will be reviewed by HPYO faculty.
How do I know which orchestra I should audition for?
Private music teachers are an excellent resource when preparing for an audition – we encourage musicians to ask their teachers before beginning audition preparation which orchestra they would be best suited to audition for. Musicians are welcome to prepare the materials for the Philharmonic Orchestra if they wish, but coaching faculty reserves the right to make placement decisions based on the audition results. Please feel free to reach out to the HPYO General Manager, Megan Benjafield if you have questions regarding audition preparation and the two orchestras.
If you have further questions, please email HPYO General Manager Megan Benjafield at email@example.com
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