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Frequently Asked Questions

Before you call the office, please review the frequently asked questions below:

Am I eligible to audition?
How do I choose for which orchestra to audition?
What if I choose the wrong orchestra when I fill out the application? Will I still receive placement?
Can I observe an ECYS rehearsal prior to auditioning?
What does it cost to be in ECYS?
Is ECYS a big time commitment?
When are auditions held?
Where are the auditions held?
What are the audition requirements?
Is there a specific audition piece I should prepare?
Is there an audition fee?
Are there warm-up rooms once I arrive at the audition site?
What should I bring with me to the audition?
Should I memorize the music for the audition?
What will the judges be listening for?
When should I arrive for my audition?
How long is the audition?
What should I wear for the audition?
Is parking available for auditions?
What if I cannot make my audition appointment?
If I only wish to participate in Summer Conservatory, do I still have to audition?
When will I find out if I have been accepted?

 


Am I eligible to audition?

Musicians ages 6 to 20 are invited to make an audition appointment with ECYS. Individual audition appointments are made year-round, based upon openings in the program. Candidates must study with a private teacher, and have had at least one year of lessons to be considered for placement.

 

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How do I choose for which orchestra to audition?

Review the audition requirements for each ensemble to determine which group you think you may be qualified for.

 

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What if I choose the wrong orchestra when I fill out the application? Will I still get placement?

You will be considered for all ECYS ensembles regardless of the orchestra selected on the application. You should be as accurate as possible when selecting an orchestra to audition for as it helps us send you to the correct faculty member.

 

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Can I observe an ECYS rehearsal prior to auditioning?

Yes! ECYS hosts Open House dates for each ensemble. See the auditions page for more info.

 

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What does it cost to be in ECYS?

ECYS offers scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need and will never refuse a student the opportunity to participate because of an inability to pay the membership fees. For each ensemble there is an annual tuition fee, which varies by group. In addition to the annual fees, students are also required to purchase tickets to all ECYS benefit concerts. The Senior Symphony attends a weeklong Summer Music Retreat and tours internationally every other summer, while the Sinfonietta Orchestra and Galbraith Honor Strings both hold mandatory mini-camps, local to Palo Alto.

 

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Is ECYS a big time commitment?

ECYS offers a wonderful opportunity for young musicians to develop their skills and learn about being part of an orchestra. An orchestra is a team that needs every player to pull his/her weight. To accomplish this, all musicians must be committed to the program. ECYS ensembles rehearse once a week for two to three hours, depending on the group. Members are expected to attend weekly rehearsals and concerts, and any dress rehearsals or progress checks as required by the conductor. All ECYS families will receive a detailed schedule from the Office at the beginning of the season.

 

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When are auditions held?

Auditions for the current season are held year-round, based on openings in the program. Auditions for the 2017-2018 season will be held in March and early April 2017. Please prepare accordingly.

 

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Where are auditions held?

All auditions are held in Palo Alto. Most auditions are held at the ECYS Administrative Office at 4055 Fabian Way in Palo Alto. Occasionally, auditions will be conducted at one of the ECYS rehearsal locations, either Sofia University at 1059 East Meadow Circle, Palo Alto or Terman Middle School at 655 Arastradero Rd., Palo Alto.

 

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What are the audition requirements?

At the very minimum, students auditioning for the first time will need to prepare a solo and/or etude of their choice, scales, and arpeggios (arpeggios for strings only). There will also be sight-reading. For more details for each group visit the requirements page.

 

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Is there a specific audition piece I should prepare?

Current members of the Chamber Players Orchestra and Camerata Orchestra (strings only) will receive specific audition music for the Spring promotion auditions.

All first time auditionees, and members of the Galbraith Honor Strings, El Camino Wind Orchestra, Sinfonietta Orchestra, and Symphony Violin IIs who wish to audition for promotion, must prepare their own solo piece under the advisement of a private instructor. Please see the requirements page for more information.

 

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Is there an audition fee?

Yes. ECYS requires a non-refundable audition fee of $25.00, which must accompany the application.

 

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Are there warm-up rooms once I arrive at the audition site?

Yes. At the ECYS Office there is one communal warm-up room. At the rehearsal locations, there is usually a small space available for warm-up.

 

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What should I bring with me to the audition?

Bring your instrument, music, and a stand for warm-up. Cellists should bring a cello stop or strap. Wind players and string plays should carry any necessary accessories (reeds, extra strings, rosin, etc). Percussionists are expected to bring their own sticks/mallets. You do not need to bring extra copies of your music for the audition panel, nor will you need a stand for the audition as there will be one in the room.

 

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Should I memorize the music for the audition?

If you would like to memorize your solos, you are more than welcome to do so. Memorization of music is not required.

 

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What will the judges be listening for?

The faculty will be listening for overall music impression, clarity of intonation, preciseness of rhythm, and scale & arpeggio preparation (arpeggios for strings only). Musicians should pay special attention to tone and articulations.

 

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When should I arrive for my audition?

Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your audition time. Look out for any possible traffic or weather delays.

 

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How long is the audition?

An average audition is 5-10 minutes long, though younger players may audition for a shorter time at the discretion of the audition panel. During your audition, you may be stopped by the panel and asked to go to another solo or excerpt. This is common and does not reflect upon your performance.

 

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What should I wear for the audition?

There is no formal dress code for the audition. Musicians are welcome to wear whatever they feel comfortable in.

 

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Is parking available for auditions?

Yes. There is a small parking lot and ample street parking at the ECYS Office. Both Sofia University and Terman Middle School have large parking lots.

 

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What if I cannot make my audition appointment?

Due to the high demand for auditions, we kindly request that you do not attempt to reschedule your appointment unless there is a true emergency or illness. If for some reason you absolutely cannot change your schedule to accommodate the appointment time, you must notify the office immediately. We cannot guarantee that we will have an alternate time available, but we will do our best to assist you.

 

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If I only wish to participate in Summer Music Conservatory, do I still have to audition?

Yes. Current ECYS members must audition for seating placement, and new auditionees must audition for correct class placement and seating assignments.

 

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When will I find out if I have been accepted?

Students auditioning for the current season will receive notification from the ECYS Office within a week of the audition. All results regarding placement for the 2017-18 season will be sent in early-May 2017. All auditioning students will receive correspondence, regardless of outcome.

 

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For any questions, concerns or feedback, please feel free to contact the ECYS Office by phoning 650.213.7111, or by emailing loribingham@ecys.org

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