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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Auditions

General audition questions:

When are auditions?
Auditions are generally held every spring. Auditions for the 2020-21 season will take place in August 2020.

What instruments do you accept?
Violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet in B-flat, clarinet in E-flat, bass clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone, French horn, trumpet, tenor and bass trombones, euphonium, tuba, harp, piano and percussion. (We do not accept vocalists).

Can my student audition for your ensembles?
Students who meet the eligibility requirements may audition.

What are the eligibility requirements?
All students must participate in their school music program, take private lessons on their instrument and meet the age requirements for the ensemble they wish to audition for.


Questions about the registration and audition process:

Do you audition for only open spots when seniors graduate or do you audition for the entire ensemble each season?
We hold open auditions for the entire group each season. Current members are required to re-audition each season.

How do I register for an audition?
Candidates must complete the online registration, available in spring 2020.

Is there a fee for auditions?
Yes. A $25 audition fee will be collected on the day of your audition. Payment may be made in the form of cash or check made payable to Pacific Symphony.

What is an auxiliary instrument?
An auxiliary instrument is an instrument which is related to a primary instrument. For example, the flute has several auxiliary instruments in its family, including the piccolo, alto flute and bass flute (to name a few). Likewise, the E-flat clarinet and bass clarinet are auxiliary instruments to the B-flat clarinet. A harp is not an auxiliary instrument to the clarinet.

Can I audition on two different instruments?
Students may audition on unrelated instruments. Doing so will require two audition fees and two different audition times, potentially on different days. This scenario does not apply to auxiliary instruments (i.e. piccolo, English horn, bass clarinet). Flutists auditioning on both flute and piccolo will take one audition time.

Where can I get the excerpts for my instrument?
Excerpts for the 2016-17 season will be available in spring 2020. Please click HERE to see the audition excerpts for 2020-21.

How are audition dates/times scheduled?
You will indicate a first and second choice audition date/time when you register online. PSYE staff will follow up with you either confirming one of your preferred times, or providing you with other available times should your original choices be unavailable. Please understand that due to the volume of applicants, not all requests for specific dates/times may be able to be honored, however our staff will do our very best to accommodate your request as much as possible.

I’m playing Cello Sonata No. 3 by Punky Brewster, is that solo ok?
Solo selections should be approved by your private teacher. Staff will not provide guidance on your choice of solo.

When will I find out if I have been accepted?
All audition results will be sent via mail upon completion of all auditions. All students will receive correspondence, regardless of outcome.


On the day of the audition:

Where are auditions?
Auditions will take place at the University of California, Irvine.

Is parking available at the audition site?
Parking is available in the Mesa Parking Structure. The cost for parking is $10 for the full day.

Are there warm-up rooms once I arrive at the audition site?
Yes. There is one communal warm-up room available.

Can a parent accompany a student into the warm-up room?
As a means to provide students the opportunity to prepare with no distraction, parents are not allowed into the warm up room for any reason at any time.

How long is the audition?
Your audition for the judges will last approximately 6-10 minutes. Harp and percussion auditions are usually 10-15 minutes. 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.

Should I memorize the music?
Memorization is not required.

What should I wear for my audition?
Wear nice clothes which are comfortable to perform in. This is the first impression you will make on those who will evaluate you. It is also a good idea to practice in the clothes you are planning to wear for your audition at least one time.

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