What Orchestras to Join

January 15, 2018, 5:33 PM · I need to prove myself to my teacher and myself. I tried out for All-State, but I slacked off, thought I would wing it, and I didn't get in. I did go for an honor orchestra though, and it brought up my inspiration levels again... sooo, what "things" can I audition for before June 8 (2018)? The "thing" itself doesn't need to be before June 8, but the results should preferably be out by then.

I'm not looking for competitions, necessarily, but things similar to honor orchestras or All-State, something you need to try out for, and something you need to be good at to get in.

So, please, any advice for what orchestra groups to audition for?

Replies (7)

January 15, 2018, 5:40 PM · Approximately where do you live? Are you willing to travel long distances?
Edited: January 15, 2018, 5:46 PM · Hmm... I live in California, Bay Area. What do you mean? Depends on what competition, how serious, etc...
January 15, 2018, 8:03 PM · This is an awkward time of year. I think orchestra auditions for youth symphonies are typically shortly before the start of the school year.

Top youth orchestras in the Bay Area include the El Camino Youth Symphony (Palo Alto) and the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra.

January 16, 2018, 12:55 AM · Honestly, how you prove yourself to yourself and your teacher is by practicing every day, and making progress on clearly-defined playing goals.

Auditioning into an orchestra is certainly one metric of success, but it's not the only one. As for youth orchestras in your area:

SF Symphony Youth Orchestra
California Youth Symphony
El Camino Youth Symphony (Palo Alto)
Berkeley Youth Orchestra
San Jose Youth Symphony
Peninsula Youth Symphony
Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra
California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra
Young People's Symphony Orchestra
Sunset Youth Orchestra
Youth Orchestra of Southern Alameda County
Sacramento Youth Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra

Edited: January 17, 2018, 4:18 PM · Maybe I'm dense, but I don't understand, unless the teacher Maddy is referring to is her high school music teacher.

I took 8 years of violin lessons as a pre-teen kid and almost 3 years of cello lessons during high school (all from professional musician-teachers). It never occurred to me that there was any connection between impressing my teachers with my progress and getting into any orchestras. I felt that as pros my teachers "had my number" at every lesson and no others' opinions would matter to them if they were not satisfied.

And to fill out my situation I was my HS concertmaster for 3 years and played in Maryland High-School All-State Orchestra 2 years, violin as a junior and cello as a senior - during those same years I was also a cellist in the local community orchestra, which my cello teacher did know because he was the principal. I can't recall ever discussing the All-State or high school orchestra with my cello teacher, unless I had to miss lessons because of it. I was good enough to get by in those situations but no prize-winner for sure! Possiblyprobably - I never could have been better than that, but I never tried - big enough fish in the local (small) pond - that was all I ever tried for!

January 17, 2018, 5:26 PM · I agree with Andrew and Gene.
January 17, 2018, 7:34 PM · Not in CA but youth orchestras in my area audition in May to start in the orchestra in the fall

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