General Information

  • Membership to the San Jose Youth Symphony is by audition and/or invitation only. Each new applicant or returning member must pass the audition to be enrolled.
  • Our program is a supplement rather than a substitute to school music programs and we expect our members to participate in their school music program.
  • While SJYS membership is for the complete season, students who participate in school marching band will be able to audition and join our program starting in January. 
  • Applicants from 8 – 21 are eligible to apply. Exceptions to this age range may be made at the discretion of the artistic staff.
  • Auditions are held each spring.  Auditions for the 2018-19 season will take place the first two weekends in April 2018. The exact dates and times will be announced on the website at the beginning of each new year.
  • Auditions at other times throughout the year are not guaranteed and will be arranged on an individual basis at the discretion of SJYS staff & conductors.
  • To apply, fill out and submit an online application.
  • Once you submit your audition application, you will receive an email confirmation that your application was successfully received. It is very important that you list a valid email address (preferably a parents email address) on the application since this is our main way of contacting you regarding your audition. If you do not get an email confirmation please contact the office.
  • A $30, non-refundable application fee is required for all new and returning members no later than the date of the audition. Once you submit your application, you will receive an email request for payment.
  • Applicants will be notified of their audition date and time approximately one week prior to the audition. Missed auditions will not be rescheduled. Each applicant may only audition once per season.

Benefit as SJYS Members

  • Professional training under our conductors and artistic staff
  • Concert performances in the most prestigious venues locally and internationally
  • Sectional coaching and master classes from world-class musicians
  • Chamber music programs
  • Weeklong music summer camps
  • Community service via music outreach

Artistic Requirements

  • Musicians must meet these requirements to be enrolled in SJYS.

Audition Process

  • Applicants should arrive at the audition venue at least 20 minutes before their audition time.
  • They need to bring their instrument, all necessary accessories (mouth piece, rock stop, etc.), and the score for their solo piece.
  • They should check in with the staff on site when they arrive. A warm-up room will be provided for their preparation.
  • When their scheduled time arrives, they will be led from the warm-up room to the audition room to perform for one or more of our artistic staff. Their audition consists of three parts and will take no more than 10 minutes:
    • Solo: Candidate must play two contrasting sections of music: one fast section to demonstrate technical ability and one slow section to demonstrate lyricism. Candidate may prepare either two solo pieces of contrasting styles or one that includes both fast and slow sections.
    • Scales: Candidate will be asked to demonstrate a scale in accordance with the technical requirements of the group/instrument for which he or she is being considered (See Artistic Requirements for specific details).
    • Sight-reading: The candidate will be expected to sight-read and accurately demonstrate recognition of key and time signatures, rhythm, and accidentals.
  • Our artistic staff will match the skill and artistic level of each applicant to the best ensemble as they see fit. Applicant will be notified of their results in one to two weeks after their audition.
  • All decisions made by the artistic staff are final.

Re-audition and Seating Audition

  • All returning members, including the new Chamber Orchestra, must submit their audition application and re-audition for the next season. This will enable us to determine which ensemble and seating placement is best fit for the musician. Returning Philharmonic members also need to submit their audition applications to secure their membership for next season, but they will be auditioned at the summer camp.
  • After each concert performance, a seating audition during a regular scheduled rehearsal will be held. The seating assignment may change based on the progress of the musicians.
  • The seating assignment for for all ensembles for the new season will be held at the summer camp.
  • A $30 fee is required to process the audition for all new and returning musicians for the season.