Auditioning for the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra
With the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) audition applications now open for the 2021/2022 season, musicians offer some wise words to future prospective members.
Think of this as a message from the future.
Once a week, every week, you carry your instrument, stand, music and make your way to rehearsal. Once a week, every week, you’re excited to get to rehearsal, crack a joke with your stand partner, and to passionately discuss the unforgettable hot chocolates at camp weekend.
How did you get here?
While preparing for auditions and learning excerpts might seem intimidating, auditioning to be a member of the TSYO can be very rewarding. Members study scores, gain knowledge on the historical background of pieces, participate in sessions with TSO musicians who serve as coaches and mentors, and rehearse orchestral masterpieces with colleagues to prepare for seasonal concerts at Toronto’s finest concert venues.
“Put the time in on your excerpts and let yourself love every aspect of TSYO,” says a 2021/22 season TSYO violinist.
After getting the list of excerpts, you are ready to start the most enjoyable part of preparing for the audition: learning new music. This is where you learn more about composers, listen to different recordings, and spend hours practicing.
TSYO auditions are approximately eight minutes long. While eight minutes does not seem like a long time, it is just enough to show off your hard work, skills, talent, and open the door to becoming a member of the TSYO community.
“You should absolutely audition for the TSYO; it is a top-tier program with world-class faculty, and the community is so dedicated, kind, and encouraging. Even if you don’t get in, the experience of auditioning alone is one every young musician should be familiar with,” another 2021/22 TSYO violinist said. “Also, it is important to remember that if you don’t get in at first, you can always try again.”
You will meet many professional musicians within the musical community who will happily share their experiences and memories of being a member of the TSYO. The orchestra’s alumni are proud to mention their involvement in the TSYO and its impact on shaping their musical career.
By Anna Maria Moubayed, TSYO 2021/22 Violin
TOP PHOTO: TSYO members at their Side-by-Side performance with the TSO, April 2022