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Symphony Auditions for String Majors

This page is for String Majors. Band Majors trying out for Symphony Orchestra should click here: Symphony Auditions for Winds and Percussion

Things String Majors need to know first
High School string majors are encouraged to begin their advancing string studies in Strings 4 Honors and Chamber 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 transferred to SOA from another school. 

Instrumentation—The success of the orchestras depends in part upon balanced numbers of violins, violas, cellos and basses. Students and parents must be aware that the director looks at instrumentation needs when making decisions about where to place students. 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. 

Symphony Audition Requirements 
The audition for the SOA HS Symphony has two parts: Part 1. Video Audition of Orchestral Excerpts and Part 2. Live Audition of scales, a short melodic excerpt, and sight reading.

Part 1: Video Audition
Videos must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Sunday March 25, 2017. The entire student must be visible in the video.
  1. Register for the Audition in Google Classroom by signing in to Google classroom and enter this code: dxe9hsw . If you have trouble registering, skip down to step 3
  2. Record the performance with a smart phone or video camera, and upload the video to Google Classroom
  3. If you have trouble with Google Classroom you may upload your video to youtube. Set the youtube privacy settings to UNLISTED (not private). Copy the youtube link, and email the link to Dr. Selby (christopher_selby@charleston.k12.sc.us). Actual video files are too big to email, so email the link instead. If youtube is not an option for you, submit a thumb drive with the video file to Dr. Selby. 

The required excerpts can be found by clicking on the appropriate link belowStudents will be evaluated on technique, intonation, rhythm, tone and articulationsStudents are to aim for the given performance tempos; however they are encouraged to play the excerpts only as fast as they can perform the music well.  

                 VIOLIN            VIOLA            CELLO            DOUBLE BASS

Part 2: Live Audition
Live auditions will be held from March 27-31 during class. Auditions will be recorded and should take no more than five minutes. Students must demonstrate the following three components:

  • SCALES: G, D, and A melodic minor scales and arpeggios in 8th notes at Q=72. All instruments play 3 octaves, except basses play 2 octaves. 
    • At the audition, two scales will be selected by the judge for students to demonstrate.
    • Students will be evaluated on their ability to play all notes with a steady pulse, in tune, with a beautiful even tone.
  • TONE AND INTONATION: Chorale 11 (p. 43 of Habits Method Book) in tune, with excellent tone and vibrato. All violins play Violin 1.
  • SIGHT READING: Students will sight read two excerpts comparable to those in charts B through F in the Habits Book.
    • Students will be evaluated on their ability to read and correctly perform the notes and rhythms with a metronome.
School of the Arts Artistic Probation Policy
Students who do not maintain an 80% average in their major classes for at least three quarters are required to re-audition for SOA. Probationary Symphony students who do not pass the Symphony Audition will drop down a level to the Chamber Orchestra/Strings 4 or will return to their home school.