The Acadiana Conservatory of Music accepts applications and conducts auditions annually, from young musicians interested in joining one of two youth orchestras: Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra (ages 13+) and Acadiana Symphony Preparatory Orchestra (for ages 8+). All new musicians must audition. Applications and auditions are now closed for the 2021-22 season. Scroll down to learn how to prepare for next year.
Both orchestras meet every Monday (excluding holidays) at The Ovey Comeaux Highschool Strings Room in Lafayette. Prep orchestra rehearses 5:30pm-6:15pm, while Youth Orchestra rehearses from 6:20pm-8:00pm. Each year we have 3 planned performances. One of these is alongside the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, and our final performance is for Festival International!
Calendar of Events
Yearly Tuition upon acceptance is as follows:
ASYO - $200 + Fees
ASPO - $100 + Fees
The audition process lasts for 8-10 minutes, and requires you to prepare and adequately implement four musical components:
Each audition will begin with a short solo of your choice which demonstrates your playing ability. Solos should be a 2-3 minute selection performed without an accompanist, so be sure to play the part of the solo which puts your best foot forward. Solos may come from Suzuki books, etudes, concertos, solo repertoire, or any other source. Be sure to consult with your private music teacher or school music teacher for help selecting an appropriate solo. Practice, practice, practice! When preparing play your solo for others and get feedback. Video record yourself and listen with a critical ear. Look at your posture, body language, and technique. It's required to bring one copy of your solo for the judges. Before you begin, state the title, composer, and movement you will be performing. Play confidently and have fun! Everyone there, including the judges, want you to play well.
(Two - posted below) After performing your solo, the audition will proceed to scales. Scales are an important component of a musician's development and preparing them teaches us intonation, dexterity, ear-training, and music theory. Practicing scales helps with sight-reading, too!
(Posted below) In the third phase of the audition, you will be expected to play your required excerpts assigned to your instrument. These excerpts are designed to provide the judges with a basis for adjudicating students on the same materials with the same length of preparation. Excerpts may change from year to year. Count through all rests in excerpts, unless they are cut out via brackets or X. The rests are part of the music! If possible, obtain or look up a recording of each work so you can learn the context of the excerpts. Most can be found with a quick search of YouTube or Google.
(Will be provided) The fourth, and final, part of the audition is sight reading. Many students struggle with sight reading, as it can be an intimidating task. There is one secret to learning how to sight read well. In addition, practicing scales is very useful, as you will be able to quickly identify the key of the sight reading and use muscle memory from playing scales in that key. Take 30-60 seconds to look at the sight reading excerpt before you begin to play. Determine the key of the piece and quickly scan for any accidentals. Think about the meter and choose a slower tempo for improved accuracy rather than one that is too fast. If you make a mistake, keep going!
Eligibility requirements and string proficiency levels have been developed in order to ensure the highest quality musical, educational and social setting for all members. ASYO encourages students (and parents) to have realistic expectations and to apply for an audition at the level most appropriate for their musical development, the options are ASYO and ASPO (preparatory) . Consulting with a private teacher or school music teacher is highly recommended.
Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra is open to string, woodwind, brass and percussion students who will be age 13 or older by September 1. This group is ASO's premiere youth orchestra, performing advanced orchestral literature. Applicants should have several years of band or orchestra experience and perform individually at a pre-college or college level.
Acadiana Symphony Preparatory Orchestra emphasizes technique development, incorporating instruction on fundamentals of scales, shifting, and bowing, in addition to formative ensemble skills experience. ASPO is open to string players who will be age 8-13 by September 1.