PYSO Auditions

Live auditions for new members (except for Percussionists** and Harpists***) in the 2018-19 season will take place in May, 2018. They will be by invitation only based upon the results of preliminary recorded auditions (which were due on March 15, 2018 and are now closed for all instruments except for French horn). Notification of acceptance should follow within a couple of weeks.

The posted excerpts have been updated and they are current for 2018 auditions.

**Percussion players: Please follow the instructions on the video audition guidelines that is part of the Percussion Audition Excerpts

***Harpists: Please notify us if you are interested in a (possible) future audition by sending an email to and typing “harp audition” in the subject header.  Include your full name and phone number in the body of the text. We will keep your information on file.



Advanced students up to and including college age can apply.

Audition Procedure
  1. Complete the online application form and submit a preliminary audition MP3 by March 15, 2018.
  2. You should hear within a couple of weeks whether you are invited to come to the live auditions.
  3. If accepted/invited, you will be asked to pay a $25 audition fee. Here is a link if you wish to pay the audition fee online.

    Audition Fee for:

  4. Come to the live auditions in May 2018.
Preliminary Audition (for French horn)

PYSO Preliminary auditions for the May 2018-2019 season are closed except for French horn. French horn players, please email and follow the procedure below for submitting an audio audition.

The PRELIMINARY round will consist of two excerpts that are listed here and are the first two excerpts in the pdf file. No solos are requested for the preliminary round. All applicants are required to submit a recorded audio audition (MP3 format) consisting of two excerpts. The preliminary round will be blind; in other words, the judges will not know the identity of the players, only a number.

There is no fee for the preliminary round of recorded auditions.

  • Audio auditions should be submitted in an mp3 or mp4 format. Recording with personal or home devices is perfectly acceptable. Professional recordings are not necessary.
  • Ensure that acoustics are adequate.
  • Play excerpts in the order listed. Play them one after the other without pausing the recording.
  • Do not edit after recording. Recordings that are not continuous or that are edited will be disqualified.
  • Email your mp3 audition as an attachment to Your mp3 file should be labeled with your firstname-lastname-instrument. Your email should also have your firstname-lastname-instrument in the subject header.
    Example subject header: preliminary audition for John-Smith-Violin
    Example labeling of mp3 file: John-Smith-Violin.mp3

Mp3s/4s will be reviewed by the Music Director and Instrument Coach. If invited to submit a video audition or for a live audition, you will be asked to pay an audition fee of $25.





Live Audition

Live auditions will be at Heinz Hall for:
Violin on Tuesday, May 1 starting at 4 PM.
Cello and brass on Saturday, May 5 starting at 10 AM.
Bass, viola and woodwind on Monday, May, 7 starting at 4 PM.

If invited to take a live audition, please prepare a solo piece and excerpts. Scales and sightreading may be asked for during the live audition.

  • Bring a prepared solo from the standard repertoire, appropriate for your level of proficiency.
  • Do not bring an accompanist.
  • Please have an extra copy of the solo part, should they be requested by the adjudicators. Normally there is only enough time to hear about 1 minute of your solo, so please plan accordingly with cuts, playing only the exposition, etc.
  • While the solo is important, the judges are more interested in how well you play the required excerpts.
  • If you are playing multiple instruments within one category (flute-piccolo, various clarinets, oboe-English Horn, etc.) you only need to prepare and play ONE solo on your main instrument.
  • Scales: You should be able to play all scales in all major and all melodic minor keys. However, scales are usually not asked for during the live auditions.
  • Sightreading: The judges may ask you to sightread a very short excerpt during the live audition.
  • Excerpts: Please print your own copies of the excerpts following the links below. Here is a link to a list of excerpts for the LIVE auditions. Click on the instrument name to follow the link for PDF’s of the excerpts. If you have difficulty downloading or printing the excerpts, please contact the PYSO office so that the excerpts can be mailed to you. There may not be time to hear all of the excerpts during the live auditions, but you should be prepared to play them all, if asked. Please pay particular attention to correct tempo, following the dynamics, and accurate intonation. It is advisable to listen to professional recordings to hear the excerpts in context (particularly for proper tempo), and to work on the excerpts at lessons with your private teacher.



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