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Auditions Requirements

OPEN AUDITIONS Each year, 400 children and youth audition for membership in SYS. Candidates are auditioning for a position within the entire SYS organization not for a specific orchestra or ensemble.  Musicians are scored and ranked against other musicians who audition in our blind audition process and are placed accordingly.  Entry to our orchestras and ensembles are based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: meeting minimum criterion for a given orchestra, ability (as determined by open audition score), the difficulty of repertoire selected, and previous attendance if applicable. There are often a limited number of spots within each ensemble. Musicians with the highest overall scores for each instrument are placed first.

SYS has established minimum audition requirements (see below) for each instrument including scales and suggested repertoire. Please examine these requirements and share them with your child’s music teacher. He or she can help you determine if your child is ready to audition for membership with SYS. Musicians hoping for our higher level orchestras should prepare material consistent with that orchestra or ensemble and that meet the requirements for that level.

Audition Applications for our
23-24 season were due
by April 30.
We are still accepting applications for some positions.  
Alternative Audition Arrangements will be made based on instrument type and availability.

Step 1. Contact the Business Office at 916-731-5777 or by email: to inquire about openings for your instrument/level.

Step 2. Pay Application Fee


Musicians should be prepared to present the required scales and a music selection (solo) for Open Auditions. There will also be a required sight-reading selection (standard or advanced) given on the audition date. 


Scales will be judged on types of scales presented, tone, tempo, intonation, and evenness. Prepared solos will be judged on tone & vibrato, rhythm, technique, intonation, and musicianship. Sight-reading will be judged on rhythm, note accuracy, and musicianship.

Step 3. Complete Audition Application

Students must re-audition each year to maintain membership.

Each instrument has minimum audition requirements for consideration at each level.  Click on your instrument below to look at the requirements. Presenting minimum requirements does not guarantee placement at the desired level.

Step 4. Audition via method you have been instructed to by the SYS staff (live or video)

Step 5. Wait for Audition Results - Announcements via email 

Step 6. Accept your position and set up your payment plan - priority registration period July 1 - July 10.

Harp (contact office)

Open Auditions for the 2023-2024 season were held at CSUS, Capistrano Hall. 

Auditions were held May 20-21 and May 27-28. 

Please contact Robert Vann, General Manager at: or call (916) 731-5777 for more information or for possible mid-season audition (depending on availability).


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