Thank you for your interest in auditioning for Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras of Strathmore!

Each season, all musicians (returning and new) must audition for the MCYO Orchestras. Our auditions takes place in mid to late August (a week or two before MCPS school system resumes in fall). Registrations will go online in mid-June, and all audition requirement updates and new orchestral excerpts will be posted at that time.
– We take auditions from all “common” orchestral instruments. (Harp is included, but does NOT includes piano or saxophone.)

Step 1 –  Membership Eligibility

Please be sure that your child can meet our MCYO eligibility requirements.

  • Each orchestra rehearses weekly throughout the school year on either Tuesday/Wednesday evenings at the Music Center at Strathmore (and various satellite locations).  Each ensemble also receives regular sectional coaching by professional string, woodwind, brass, and percussion coaches.
  • MCYO strongly encourages its musicians to participate in their school music programs.  The daily ensemble experience greatly enhances our program.
  • MCYO requires that all musicians be currently taking private lessons on their orchestra instrument.  It is essential that musicians receive this guidance throughout the entire season.
  • Each musician is assessed an annual tuition/membership fee in range of $ 695 – 975. (Need based scholarships are available for musicians to help pay for private lessons and/or MCYO membership fees.)

Step 2 – Audition Guidelines and Requirements

  • An audition administrative/registration fee (NON-REFUNDABLE) is charged per audition.  New and returning musicians must audition every year.  Auditions will be held at the Music Center at Strathmore unless specially noted. A special audition day handout can be downloaded here with parking info and general reminders about the procedures in Strathmore.
  • Musicians may audition for two orchestras when there is a grade overlap.  Conductors will decide placement and seating for the mutual benefit of the musicians and the orchestras.  To increase the chances of being accepted into MCYO, it is highly recommend that each musician schedule an audition for each orchestra in which he/she is eligible.   Musicians can only be considered for orchestras for which they have auditioned.
    • Only exception to above is: Conductors have the discretion to recommend musicians to a different orchestra than that they’ve auditioned for.
  • All 6th grade strings will have a choice to audition for “Chamber Strings ONLY” auditions, where they will be considered for Chamber Strings ONLY. And “Chamber Strings and Young Artists” audition, where they will be considered for BOTH orchestras. Please look at the audition registration program titles and select appropriately!
  • All 10th grade strings will audition for Chamber Ensemble ONLY and placement into Symphony will be decided by the judges. Only exceptions are musicians who were in Chamber Ensemble as 9th graders. (Musicians DO NOT need to do two separate auditions).
  • Additional auditions may be held for instrumentation needs, or for seating purposes at the discretion of the conductors.
  • Harp Information – All harpists should contact MCYO to get the necessary audition requirements and orchestral excerpts.  Experienced harpists are encouraged to audition for an orchestra.  All harpists auditioning for an orchestra will be eligible for the harp ensemble without an additional audition.  Those interested in just the Harp Ensemble can forego the orchestral excerpt requirements and prepare two solos of contrasting style.
  • Tips for preparing an audition

Step 3 – Online Registration and Scheduling

Before entering our online registration process, you will need to have your personal contact information ready and a method of payment which is either a credit card or e-check (e-check is simply an electronic debit from your checking account using the account number and routing number which appears on any check).

Audition Registration Fee Structure (this is per musician):
Regular Registration fee: $45 for single audition and $20 extra for added audition
Late Registration fee (Starting August 15th): $55 for single audition and $20 extra for added audition
The process is automated so please take your time and read each step carefully.

Audition Requirement Checklist
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 (if required)

Please check the Requirement Overview for Details.