AYSO's Guide to Selecting Audition RepertoireAYSO’s Guide to Selecting Audition Repertoire

Auditioning for a youth orchestra like the American Youth Symphony Orchestra (AYSO) is a thrilling opportunity for young musicians to showcase their talents and potentially join a community of like-minded peers. One of the most critical aspects of preparing for an audition is selecting the right repertoire. This guide aims to help you navigate this crucial step, ensuring you make choices that not only highlight your skills but also meet AYSO’s standards and expectations, outlining AYSO’s guide to selecting audition repertoire.

Understand the Audition Requirements

Before choosing your pieces, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific audition requirements. These can vary depending on the instrument and the ensemble you’re auditioning for. AYSO asks for one piece or movement appropriate for your level that is up to 5 minutes in length, and highly encourages memorization. 

Showcase Your Strengths

Select pieces that showcase your technical abilities and musicality. Your repertoire should highlight your strengths, whether that’s your precision in fast passages, your tone quality, or your expressive phrasing. Consider pieces that challenge you but also allow you to play confidently and accurately. 

Balance Between Technical and Musical

A well-rounded audition includes music that is technically demanding and allows for musical expression. For instance, a fast, virtuosic piece can demonstrate your technical prowess, while a slower, lyrical piece can showcase your ability to convey emotion and dynamics.

Consider Variety

Including a variety of musical styles and periods in your repertoire can demonstrate your versatility as a musician. For example, you might choose a Baroque piece to showcase your understanding of historically informed performance practice, coupled with a Romantic or contemporary piece to display your expressive range.

Seek Guidance

Consult with your music teacher or a mentor to choose pieces that are appropriate for your skill level and suitable for the audition. They can provide valuable insights into the repertoire that will best showcase your abilities and help you stand out.

Practice Performance

Once you’ve selected your repertoire, practice performing it as if you’re in the audition. This includes announcing your pieces as you would in the audition room, which helps with memorization and can make the actual audition feel more familiar and less daunting.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right audition repertoire is a strategic process that can significantly impact your audition’s outcome. By selecting pieces that highlight your strengths, balance technicality with musicality, and demonstrate your versatility, you’ll be able to present yourself as a well-rounded musician ready to contribute to AYSO’s dynamic ensembles.

Remember, the audition is not just about playing notes correctly; it’s about sharing your passion for music and your desire to be part of the orchestra. Good luck, and let your music speak for itself!

For more information and detailed guidelines, always refer to AYSO’s official audition requirements – AYSO AUDITIONS