2016-17 Orchestra Audition Performance Requirements

All students will be assessed based on their performance of:

  • Orchestral excerpts
  • Prepared solo: This needs to be an ENTIRE piece or a movement (prepared in full!) from a sonata/concerto/etude. Musicians will only be asked to play sections from it (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Sight reading
  • Selected scales
  • Be sure to carefully look over memorized scale and arpeggio and melodic minor requirements for each orchestra. (arpeggios are for strings only and are required for BOTH the major and minor scales.
  • All scales are to be played ascending and descending.
  • Conductors will determine orchestra placement and seating for the mutual benefit of the musicians and the orchestras.
  • Musicians should provide an extra copy of their solo for review during the audition.

Chamber Strings (Strings only)

Grade in school (in Fall)

4th-6th grade

MINIMUM SOLO LEVEL *Please read the NOTES at bottom

Difficulty grade level 3 – 4
Students should show ability to shift and vibrato in their solo piece.

ORCHESTRA EXCERPTS Download Excerpts Here
SIGHT-READING Sight-read parts which are comparable in difficulty to the orchestra repertoire
SCALES and ARPEGGIOS
for STRINGS
NOTICE: Adjudicators may ask musicians to play the scales:

  • Faster, slower, staccato, and/or legato.
  • Off the string spicatto (Each note four times)
  • Martele (one note per stroke, middle to tip of bow)
  • Hooked bows (each note once or twice)


Scales should be performed slurring two eighth notes per bow, followed by arpeggio in the same note pattern at the same tempo. (Minimum tempo of quarter = 72)

VIOLIN Major scales:
2 octaves / C G D A Bb;
Melodic minor scales:
2 octaves / C D
VIOLA Major scales:
2 octaves / C G D A;
Melodic minor scales:
2 octaves / A G
CELLO Major scales:
2 octaves / C G  D A;
Melodic minor scales:
2 octaves / A G
BASS Major scales:
1 octave / C G A D F Bb
Melodic minor scales:
1 octave / E G
*  Students may audition with material exceeding the minimum requirements, although it is recommended that students only perform music that highlights their best technical and musical ability.  No accompanist required.   “Difficulty level” refers to the difficulty ranging from Grades 1 (easy) through 6 (most advanced).  Please consult a school or private teacher for more info.  You can also find grade level listings on the Maryland Music Educators Association and American String Teachers Association web sites