Tag Archives: Wind Ensemble

Audition season is here!

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As the days get longer, and (hypothetically) warmer, opportunities for musical growth have also arrived. If you and/or your child are looking for an extra-curricular ensemble for next fall, now is the time to sign up. Here is a list of opportunities available in the Greater Boston area:

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (formerly known as GBYSO)

BYSO has four large ensembles to choose from for middle and high school students: 3 orchestras (Boston Youth Symphony, Repertory Orchestra, and Junior Repertory Orchestra), and a preparatory wind/brass group. Rehearsals take place on Sundays at the Boston University West campus College of Fine Arts.

Registration begins in mid-March, with auditions taking place during the last two weeks in May. The requirements are:

  • Two contrasting pieces or movements
  • Scales from memory. See page 6 of this year’s audition brochure for details.
  • Selected orchestral excerpts, available shortly here.
  • Sight reading

Chamber music is also available either separately, or in addition to large ensembles.

New England Conservatory Preparatory School

NEC Prep has eight large ensembles for students in grade 7 and up: 4 orchestras (Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Youth Symphony Orchestra, Youth Repertory Orchestra, and Junior Repertory Orchestra), 3 wind ensembles (Senior Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble Concert Band, and Junior Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble), and a Youth Brass Ensemble. Rehearsals generally take place on Saturday, and are held in the downtown area between Symphony Hall and NEC.

Registration begins in March, with auditions taking place in mid-May (except for Brass Ensemble, which auditions in September). The requirements are:

  • Two contrasting pieces or movements: grades 6-10 at the Junior District Level, grades 10-12 at All-State Level
  • Scales – requirements differ depending on the ensemble being auditioned for
  • Excerpts – only for the senior orchestras (YPO and YS)
  • Sight-reading

Note that auditions for the different types of ensembles are scheduled separately. Chamber music is also available either separately, or in addition to large ensembles.

Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

BPYO is for students ages 12 to 21 (with an emphasis on high school and above for the winds and brass). It is a tuition-free ensemble, with rehearsals on Saturdays in the downtown area near Symphony Hall and NEC.

Registration begins in March, with auditions taking place in mid-May (except for Brass Ensemble, which auditions in September). The requirements are:

  • Two contrasting pieces or movements of the highest level that showcase musical and technical abilities
  • Excerpts
  • Auditions also include an informal interview

The Rivers School Conservatory

Rivers has two ensembles for high school students: the Rivers Youth Orchestra, and the Rivers Youth Wind Ensemble. Orchestra rehearsals are Fridays from 4-5:30pm, and Wind Ensemble rehearsals are Mondays from 7-9pm, both at The Rivers School in Weston.

Auditions take place from mid-May to mid-June. The requirements are:

  • Two contrasting pieces or movements of a larger work at the Senior District Level
  • Full range chromatic scale and 2 octave major scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • Sight-reading

Tufts University Community Music Program

The Tufts Youth Philharmonic is a relatively new ensemble, open to students aged 13 and up. Rehearsals are Fridays from 4-6:30pm at the Granoff Music Center on Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus.

Auditions are held in mid-May, but are also accepted via YouTube link or DVD. The requirements are:

  • Two contrasting solo pieces of your choice that demonstrate musical and technical ability
  • 2 octave scales, up to four sharps and four flats

Powers Music School

Powers is home to the Massachusetts Youth Symphony Project, a chamber orchestra for students aged 12-18. Rehearsals are on Saturdays from 3-5pm at the music school in Belmont.

Auditions are held in late May. The requirements are:

  • 2 octave major scale through 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • 3 octave minor scale of your choice
  • 2 contrasting pieces or movements
  • Sight-reading

Winchester Community Music School

WCMS offers an excellent chamber music program for students of all ages. Rehearsal dates and times are arranged according to the schedules of participants and coaches, and are held at the music school.

Placement auditions are generally held in the spring and fall. The requirements are:

  • Two contrasting works (or one larger work with contrasting sections
  • Sight reading

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