Canton Youth Symphonies Audition Excerpts

This year, for the first time, all auditionees for the Canton Youth Symphony and Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra will be required to prepare one to three assigned orchestral excerpts. Orchestral excerpts are a standard requirement on all professional orchestra auditions, and most conservatory and college auditions as well. The music selected for the excerpts is intended to represent the most challenging music that will be encountered during the year. Most of it comes from pieces that the groups will actually perform this year on either the February or April concerts. These are meant to be difficult, and will take time to properly prepare. This is not meant to scare anybody away, but rather to give an idea of what it is we are working toward during the year. Most of the music we perform will not be as challenging, but we need to know that you are able to handle a challenge when it is presented.

With the exception of piano, there are separate excerpts assigned for those interested in the Canton Youth Symphony and the Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra. You MUST prepare the Advanced Orchestra excerpts in order to be considered for the Advanced Orchestra. However, preparing the Advanced Orchestra excerpts DOES NOT guarantee acceptance into the Advanced Orchestra. If we feel that someone who has prepared the Youth Symphony excerpt is worthy of consideration in the Advanced Orchestra, we may ask you to prepare the Advanced Orchestra excerpts and play them at a second audition. A callback of this nature still does not guarantee acceptance into the Advanced Orchestra.

You will be evaluated on all aspects of your playing on the excerpts: intonation, rhythm and note accuracy, dynamics and expressivity, and confidence. Each excerpt contains links to recordings of a full orchestra performing it. It is strongly encouraged that you listen to these as you prepare the excerpt. It will help give you an idea of style, tempo, and how your part fits in to the broader context of the piece.

Also, we have a change in policy this year: woodwind, brass, percussion, and piano players will not be guaranteed spots in either of our full orchestras. Only those we feel are at a level at which they can handle the experience of playing their own part in a full orchestra setting will be admitted.


If you have any administrative questions, please email Dan ( or Irene ( If you have any musical questions about the excerpts, please email Matthew ( Good luck with your preparation, and we will see you in August for auditions.