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. The exact date and time will be announced on the website at the beginning of each new year.
  • To apply, fill out an online application.
  • Once the SJYS office receives your audition application you will receive an email within 48 hours confirming 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 in contacting you regarding your audition. If you do not get an email confirmation please contact the office.
  • $30 non-refundable application fee is required for all new and returning members no later than the date of the audition. Make checks payable to the San Jose Youth Symphony. Please print the MUSICIAN’S NAME clearly on the check along with “AUDITION FEE”.
  • 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.

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

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 2-3 octaves. The key, mode (major or minor), and number of octaves will be determined by the adjudication panel.
    • 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. Applicants who audition during the General Auditions will be notified of their results in 2-3 weeks following their auditions. Applicants who audition outside of the General Auditions will be notified of results in 1-2 weeks following their auditions.
  • All decisions made by the artistic staff are final.

Re-auditions and Seating Auditions

  • All returning members, with the exception of the Philharmonic 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 Orchestra members will audition at the summer camp for the next season.
  • 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 assignments for for all ensembles for the new season will be made after the summer camps, if applicable.
  • A $30 fee is required to process the audition for all new and returning musicians.