Things you need to know first:
High School string students are encouraged to begin their advancing string studies in Strings 4 Honors and String Orchestra; they are expected spend a year in each class before promoting to the next level. Rising 9th grade students who demonstrate exceptional gift (by performing in 8th Grade All-State Orchestra, for example) are permitted to audition for Chamber 5H/Symphony Orchestra. Students are only permitted to audition for Chamber 6 Honors (“Sinfonietta”) after they have demonstrated consistent musical and academic maturity in the High School Symphony Orchestra for at least one year. Exceptions are only made for older students who have moved in to the SOA Orchestra from another school.

During the spring audition process, Dr. Selby will determine the instrumentation needs of each ensemble and also how the qualifying Symphony students will be divided between Chamber 5 Honors and 6 Honors. Symphony students who have demonstrated consistent satisfactory academic maturity (ability to keep track of their instrument, music, concert dates, and maintain good grades in both major classes) and who earn the highest audition scores will be recommended for Chamber 6 Honors, also known as the SOA Sinfonietta.

According to the School of the Arts Artistic Probation Policy, students must maintain an 85% average in all major classes. Students with grades below 85% for more than one quarter in a major class are required to re-audition for the performing ensemble they are in. Chamber 5H/6H students will re-audition for Symphony, and Strings 4 students will re-audition for String Orchestra. Probationary Symphony students who do not pass the Symphony Audition will drop down a level to the String Orchestra; Strings 4 students who do not pass the String Orchestra Audition will return to their home school.

LEVEL 1: Requirements for Acceptance into String Orchestra/Strings 4 Honors
Students auditioning for acceptance into the School of the Arts High School Orchestra Program must audition in person (or by youtube video if out of state) and demonstrate the following: 

  • Demonstrate the ability to tune the instrument independently, preferably without an electronic tuner; at this level students may use a tuner if necessary. 
  • Students will be asked to play two of the five following Major scales and arpeggios in 8th notes at Q=72: D, G, C, F, and B-flat Major. String Bass plays one octave; all others play two octaves.
  • Two Region Audition Excerpts or one page of a student concerto of comparable difficulty (ie. Suzuki Book IV or higher).
  • Sight Reading: Students will sight read two excerpts comparable to those in charts A through C in the Habits Book