TSYO Auditions & Registration

2021/22 TSYO Season Update (as of August 25, 2021)

As we approach auditions, we have been hard at work preparing for the TSYO’s 2021/22 season. We are pleased to share that the TSYO will return to in-person activities at the beginning of this season. Auditions will remain online and detailed instructions will be shared on September 2.

The health and safety of TSYO members continues to be our top priority. We have developed a plan that meets public health standards, and aligns with best practices that reflect our current and evolving health environment. Our Health & Safety Plan, which includes vaccination/testing requirements, will evolve as the pandemic situation evolves and we will alert our TSYO community when we make changes.

TSYO will hold rehearsals at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre (located at Bloor and Spadina) on Saturday evenings from 7:00 -9:00 pm. We anticipate that rehearsals will return to their normal Saturday schedule of 2:30-5:30pm in January 2022.

In keeping with reduced maximum capacities, the TSYO will also begin its season with smaller sectional groups. Repertoire will be selected to fit these smaller ensemble sizes. We hope to return to full orchestra rehearsals in January 2022.

We’ve implemented these plans to prioritize a safe learning environment, however, we recognize that these changes may not work for everyone. If you would like to withdraw your application, please email TSYO@TSO.CA and we will refund your application.

If you have any questions, please email us at TSYO@TSO.CA.


Audition registration for the 2021/22 TSYO is now closed.

TSYO Auditions FAQ

Why audition for the TSYO?

As a member of the TSYO, you will have the opportunity, either in person or online, to:

  • Be coached by TSO musicians
  • Perform orchestral masterworks in Toronto’s finest concert venues
  • Meet with other young musicians
  • Work with renowned conductors
  • Be eligible to participate in the annual TSYO Concerto Competition
  • Attend masterclasses led by TSO guest artists
  • Perform side by side with the TSO
  • Attend our TSYO Camp Weekend training intensive

Who can audition?

  • Anyone 22 years of age or younger as of December 31, 2021
  • Instruments: Flute/Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion, Harp, Piano
  • Due to the instrumentation of orchestral repertoire, we do not audition saxophone or other auxiliary instruments.
  • Former TSYO members must re-audition each season.

What is the minimum age/skill level/RCM grade level required for the TSYO?

There is no minimum age or grade level required to audition or participate in the TSYO. Applicants are accepted into the orchestra based on their performance in their audition. Excerpt packets may include repertoire excerpts from the upcoming season’s planned repertoire as well as pieces that may not be performed in the upcoming season.

Regarding preparation and getting a sense for the required skill level, our coaches recommend that you:

  • Look up videos, recordings, and scores of the orchestral repertoire from the excerpts in your audition packet
  • Watch and listen to these pieces to gain an understanding of the level of skill required to play these pieces
  • Pay attention to the tempi and how your part fits into the entire piece

How much does it cost to be a member of the TSYO?

The TSYO is tuition-free. The audition fee in 2021/22 is $65.00. Audition fees are non-refundable after the application deadline (July 30, 2021). If your application is received after the application deadline, a $35.00 late fee will be applied.

What does a TSYO audition entail?

Auditions are approximately 10 minutes long. After your application is processed and the audition payment is received, you will receive your audition-preparation details and repertoire excerpts as a PDF via email. This packet will outline the specific audition requirements for your instrument and contain the repertoire excerpts you will be expected to prepare. Each instrument may have slightly different audition requirements. In general, you can expect to be asked to play a two-minute solo of your choice (no accompaniment) and perform the repertoire excerpts in your audition packet.

Given current restrictions, auditions will take place online for this season. Applicants will be asked to pre-record their audition in one take with no edits and submit it via YouTube. Instructions and a shortened list of specific excerpts that should be recorded will be sent out to applicants by Thursday, September 2. Audition recordings will be due no later than Thursday, September 9.

Your audition will be reviewed by a panel of two or three people (TSYO coaches, other TSO musicians, and/or the TSYO conductor).

What is the time commitment for the TSYO?

For the 2021/22 season, redesigned programming will be announced throughout the season, including changes to ensemble sizes as current health guidelines evolve. The TSYO is expected to begin the season with workshops and masterclasses with TSO musicians and TSYO coaches, either online or in person.

All TSYO activities will adhere to public health guidelines and restrictions.

TSYO rehearsals generally take place weekly between mid-September and the last week of April, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm on Saturday afternoons. In addition to weekly rehearsals, there is a Camp Weekend, three term concerts, our annual side-by-side concert with the TSO and various masterclasses and extra rehearsals with guest conductors, subject to public health restrictions. There may be extra concerts or run-outs (overnight trips to perform concerts in nearby cities) in addition to chamber music opportunities.

TSYO members are required to check weekly emails throughout the season and note all schedule updates. All TSYO members are expected to continue their school music programs since the TSYO is meant to supplement such programs, not replace them. Attendance at all TSYO activities is mandatory. Members will not be excused for paid gigs.

If you require further information, please email Nicole Balm, TSYO Manager & Education Assistant, at TSYO@TSO.CA.

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