our official auditions are held in august each season. we also offer non-competitive mid-year auditions in january.

Auditions determine your placement in the Youth Chamber Orchestra (YCO), Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO), or Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO).

Interested young players are welcome to bring their instruments and sit in on a rehearsal for the appropriate orchestra (scroll down to learn more about levels) to see if the experience is pleasing. They can then audition for admission to the orchestras, although they will not be competing for seating, which will already have been decided via our August auditions. It's a nice, low-pressure way of joining the fun! Questions? Email us at office@youthorchestrasfresno.org. We also hold midyear auditions each January. Information will be posted to this page at the appropriate time.

Appropriate instruments; doubling instruments
Note that orchestral instruments are violin, viola, cello, double bass, oboe, flute, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, and harp. If you wish to audition for an orchestra, you must play one of these instruments. If you play a doubling instrument (piccolo, English horn, bass or E-flat clarinet, contra-bassoon, bass trombone) and have an instrument, please bring it to your audition and be prepared to play it too. Double the fun!


Learn more about the orchestras and their relative levels by clicking the bold text here: Youth Chamber Orchestra, Youth Symphony Orchestra, Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.

YCO meets from 2:00 to 3:30pmYSO meets from 4 to 6pm, and YPO meets from 6:30 to 9pm, all in the band room at Fresno State. Rehearsals begin on Sunday September 9, 2018.

During the year we welcome interested young musicians to come visit a rehearsal on a Sunday at Fresno State in the band room (MUSIC BUILDING). Bring your instrument so you can sit in and find out whether it's for you.


Audition Requirements:

  • Solo: Two contrasting pieces of the applicant's choice or two contrasting movements from a sonata or a concerto, demonstrating the musical and technical abilities of the candidate. The works will be performed without accompaniment at the audition.

  • Scales: As appropriate to applicant's instrument and level. Choose scales that show your playing to your optimum advantage. Scales should be played at a moderate tempo, with any desired articulation and bowing.

  • PERCUSSIONISTS: BRING YOUR OWN STICKS/MALLETS! You will be expected to perform a solo or solos of your choice, as appropriate to your playing level, and also to perform the required excerpts. Here are the NEW FALL 2018 excerpts: CLICK HERE FOR EXCERPTS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR AUDITION. Questions? Email office@youthorchestrasfresno.org. NOTE THAT ALL PERCUSSION AUDITIONS WILL OCCUR THE MORNING OF SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 1 AT FRESNO STATE. PLEASE CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULES FOR THAT TIME!

  • Auditions are a maximum of 10 minutes long—conductors will be able to hear only portions of what you have prepared.

  • Applying: To arrange an audition, fill out and submit an application online. You may also apply by phone—just call (559) 512-6694. Leave a message stating name, instrument, phone number, email address, age, and grade in school. You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application. If you do not receive such an email, please call the office at (559) 512-6694.

  • Scheduling: Candidates will be notified by EMAIL of their audition time. If you do not receive an email from office@youthorchestrasfresno.org, please first check your spam folder, then call our office at (559) 512-6694 or email us at office@youthorchestrasfresno.org.

  • Location: (MIDYEAR AUDITIONS ARE HELD IN DR. LOEWEHEIM'S OFFICE AT FRESNO STATE) regular auditions are held at our YOOF Offices, 1586 West Shaw, Fresno, CA, 93711. (Corner of Shaw and Teilman) Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your assigned time so you can warm up. Parents/family members may wait in an adjoining area during the audition.

  • Parking: Plentiful free parking is available on-site.

  • Results: Candidates will be contacted via email before the first rehearsal in September. If accepted, players will be placed into one of our three orchestras with the goal of ensuring both a positive experience for each musician and the success of each ensemble.

  • Fee: Applicants will be charged a $20 audition fee payable at the time of the audition. Checks should be made out to YOOF.

  • Still have questions? Contact office@youthorchestrasfresno.org.


Programs offered by the Youth Orchestras of Fresno are designed to be supplemental to school music programs. Our orchestra members participate in their school music programs whenever those are offered, and are encouraged to take advantage of a wide range of school musical activities. 

Audition expectations, YOOF orchestras

  • Flutists should be able to play or be willing to learn to play piccolo. If you already play piccolo, please bring the instrument to your audition, and be prepared to play at least one piece of your choice.

  • Oboists should play or be willing to learn to play English horn. If you already play English horn, please bring the instrument to the audition, and be prepared to play at least one piece of your choice.

  • Clarinetists: let us know if you can play both B-flat and A clarinet. Both are often needed in orchestral music. We also hope some of you will be able to play or be willing to learn to play bass clarinet and, on occasion, E-flat clarinet.

  • Bassoonists: let us know if you play or are willing to learn to play contrabassoon.

  • Horn players should, for YPO, be able to transpose. Those aiming for YSO should begin learning to transpose.

  • Trumpet players for YPO should be able to transpose. Those aiming for YSO should begin learning to transpose

  • Trombone players for YPO should be able to read bass clef and tenor clef, and be willing to learn to read alto clef. Those aiming for YSO should be willing to learn new clefs.

  • Percussionists must play or be willing to learn to play timpani, snare drums, cymbals, and mallet instruments.

Useful information about repertoire from a number of sources

Repertoire suggestions from Milton Young Musicians' Festival

This competition offers a breakdown into six levels.

A quick look suggests that their levels 1 and 2 roughly match what we expect of players in our Youth Chamber Orchestra (YCO), their levels 3 and 4 roughly match what we expect of players in our Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO), and their levels 5 and 6 roughly match what we expect of players in ourYouth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO). We said roughly, because of course whatever music you play in your audition, our conductors will be observing how you play more than what you play, so anything can happen!  

recap (rough equivalence)...

levels 1-2 = YCO
levels 3-4 = YSO
levels 5-6 = YPO

Violin rep lists from reputable pedagogues
A few additional lists that might be fun to check out...

Keep us posted at office@youthorchestrasfresno.org if you find more useful lists to share.