Apply to audition here!

Strings for Youth Symphony, Concert Orchestra and Preparatory Orchestra
Woodwinds for Youth Symphony & Concert Orchestra  
Brass for Youth Symphony & Concert Orchestra 
French Horn
Percussion for Youth Symphony, Concert Orchestra and/or Percussion Ensemble
Snare Drum
Small Ensembles can be paired with orchestra membership,
and are also open to separate audition

Upon receiving your Audition Application and $25 application fee, you will be contacted by to schedule your audition time.

Audition Requirements

All students who audition will need to indicate on their application form the orchestra and/or small ensemble they would like to join and prepare the following:

1. Solo of your choice (approximately 2 minutes in length)
2. Scales as indicated for your instrument and chosen orchestra
3. An excerpt for your chosen orchestra. Conductors are looking for a limited time frame to learn and play the piece, not memorize it
4. A brief sight-reading excerpt may be included for your audition.
5. Students auditioning for a small ensemble only should bring a prepared solo and scales for Concert Orchestra or Youth Symphony, to the best of your ability
6.  Percussion students should prepare one snare, one timpani and one mallet piece from the provided excerpts in addition to the tambourine and triangle excerpt.

Links to Excerpts

Youth Symphony ~ Jazz ~ Concert Orchestra ~ Prep Orchestra

Note from Music Director David Commanday:  Work hard to prepare for your audition, but don’t stress out too much – the judges, and all of is at the Central Illinois Youth Symphony are ON YOUR SIDE!  We look forward to hearing you in August!

Entry Auditions
(Primarily Spring auditions for the following season)
  • All students are required to audition for initial entrance into any YMI ensemble
  • All current YMI students who wish to move up to a more advanced ensemble are required to audition in the Spring for the following season


  • Current YMI students who wish to remain in their current ensemble during the following season may be eligible for renewal without auditioning, provided they are in “good standing“, as described below.
  • (Note: seating hearings are required of all CICO and YS students prior to the start of the season. These hearings are heard by the orchestra’s conductor.)

YMI students are eligible for renewal of membership in their current orchestra for the following season without an entry audition, if nominated by their conductor and approved by Music Director and Executive Director. The conductor’s nomination will be based on the student’s standing as of April 1. Students exempted from entry auditions for the following season will be notified by April 15*.

Criteria for good standing are:

  • Attendance according to policy (max 3 or conductor override per semester)
    • No last-minute notices of planned absences
    • No unexcused absences
    • Timely arrivals
  • Clear evidence of effective practice and preparation, as measured by
    • Progress on and successful performance of assigned parts, in
      • Rehearsal
      • Concert
  • Good attitude in rehearsal
    • Attentive
    • Engaged
    • Respectful of rehearsal space
  • Positive & respectful relationships with others at YMI:
    • Fellow students
    • YMI Staff
    • Conductors

*Please note that a student losing “good standing” status between April 15th and the final concert of the season for any reason may be required to re-audition.

*Entry auditions are required for students in good standing who wish to move up in ensemble for the following season (e.g., from CICO to YS). All CICO and YS students participate in seating hearings in August.