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Orchestra Program

Audition Info

Applications for the 21/22 Orchestra Program is now closed

Applications for the 2021/22 season are closed. Please check back in June 2022 for the 2022/2023 season application.

With its sophisticated programming, performances in one of the world's greatest concert halls, superb musical leadership under Music Director Michael Repper, new works commissioned of the nation's best young composers, outstanding soloists, and professional-level attitude, the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra sets itself apart as one of the finest ensembles in the nation.

Auditions will be online, however all other activities will be in-person, including Kickoff on September 10-12 at Camp DeWolfe in Wading River, NY, and concerts at Carnegie Hall on November 21, 2021, March 13, 2022, and May 22, 2022. All dates are subject to change per CDC guidelines.

Orchestra auditions will be held online via Zoom on August 23-31.

We encourage each applicant to review the guidelines on this page to make sure that they can fulfill the commitment to the program before applying. If you have questions, please email info(at)nyys(dot)org. Please allow 2-3 business days for a response as staff are working remotely.

Age Eligibility

New York Youth Symphony serves students between the ages of 12 and 22. In order to participate in the 2021/2022 season, the applicant's birth date must be no earlier than May 31, 1999 and no later than August 6, 2009, inclusive. Please do not apply if your birth date falls outside of these dates as you will not be eligible for the program and we are not able to refund your application fee.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

  • The New York Youth Symphony will require all Students to be vaccinated with an FDA emergency use authorized vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) in order to participate in any of our programs during the 2021/22 season. 
  • Proof of completed vaccination must be uploaded within the 2021/22 season application.
  • The reason for our vaccination requirement is to protect the health and safety of our NYYS community to the fullest extent possible.  
  • The NYYS will continue to rely on the most up-to-date medical information available and governmental guidance to make informed decisions about our vaccination requirement.
  • Individuals may request religious or medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements which will be assessed on a case by case basis.
  • Questions?  For more information, email info[at]nyys[dot].org.

Audition Dates

Orchestra auditions will be held August 23-31 via Zoom - please download the Zoom app for free here. Upon completing the online application, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to schedule your audition online as well as the supplemental form, which must be completed before your audition.

Rehearsal and Concert Information

Rehearsals are held on Sundays from 2-6pm at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, located at 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY. The first rehearsal will take place on September 10th at Camp DeWolfe in Wading River, NY.

Carnegie Hall Concerts:

  • Sunday, November 21, 2021 @ 2PM
  • Sunday, March 13, 2022 @ 2PM
  • Sunday, May 22, 2022 @ 2PM

Kickoff Weekend

The Orchestra will begin its season by traveling on a retreat at Camp DeWolfe in Wading River, NY from September 10-12. Students will engage in rehearsals and bonding activities in this picturesque setting. Please note that attendance to Kickoff is mandatory, and parent chaperones are needed.

Attendance Guidelines

Students are allowed a maximum of two excused absences during each concert cycle, up to a total of five absences for the season. Please note that there are mandatory rehearsals and performances for each concert cycle. Mandatory dates are noted in the program calendar which is distributed upon acceptance to the program. Absences from mandatory events will result in dismissal from the concert and/or program, with the possible exception of a death in the family or a serious medical emergency, including COVID-19 related illness.

Fees & Financial Aid

There is a non-refundable application fee of $95. Upon acceptance to the program, there is a $605 registration fee.

The NYYS recognizes that the cost of application and registration fees may be prohibitive for some students, and that access to technology may be a barrier to participation in online activities. Financial aid, application fee waivers, work-study, and technology funds are available to help offset these expenses. Financial need is the major consideration when awarding assistance. We ask that students seek funding through their personal networks in addition to completing the financial aid application as funds are limited.

Application fee waivers and additional financial aid are available. Apply FOR BOTH within the NYYS program application.

What to Expect at Your Audition

Orchestra auditions will be held August 23-31 via Zoom - please download the Zoom app for free here. Upon completing the online application, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to schedule your audition online. You will also receive a link to complete a supplemental form which must be sent in prior to your audition.

Auditions are 10 minutes long, and are heard by the Music Director and Assistant Conductor. Please join the Zoom Waiting Room 5 minutes prior to your scheduled audition. Please test your sound settings prior to your audition.

During your audition you will be asked to play orchestral excerpts per instrument as well as solo repertoire. Due to time limitations at the audition, you may not be asked to perform each excerpt or your solo repertoire. Please place the highest priority in your preparation on the excerpts.

You may also be asked to sight-read, and demonstrate basic techniques on your instrument, which may include knowledge of major and minor scales and/or bowing/tonguing techniques.


If you do not have live access to your percussion (glock, xylophone, snare, tambourine, triangle, cymbals) or timpani, you may submit up to four (4) previously recorded videos of your playing on those instruments within your application (excerpts or ensemble videos are acceptable.) Please include the name of the ensemble you are playing with if in an ensemble setting and the composer and piece title in the video file.

If you do not have live access to your percussion, nor have a video of your playing, then please reach out to info(at)nyys(dot)org.


Excerpts for each instrument for the 21/22 season can be found here.

Applications for the 2021/22 season are closed. Please check back in June 2022 for the 2022/2023 season application.