TSYO Auditions & Registration


Applications for the 2019/20 Season are now closed.

download the 2019/20 TSYO brochure

TSYO Auditions FAQ

Why audition for the TSYO?

As a member of the TSYO, you will have the opportunity 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 on stage at Roy Thomson Hall
  • Attend Camp Weekend

Who can audition?

  • Anyone 22 years of age or younger as of December 31, 2019
  • Instruments: Flute/Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion, Harp
  • Due to the instrumentation of orchestral repertoire, we do not audition saxophone, piano, 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. The repertoire for audition excerpts is generally drawn from the upcoming season repertoire. Some excerpt packets may also include repertoire excerpts from pieces that will 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 repertoire for next season (repertoire highlights are listed in our brochure) 
  • 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 audition fee in 2019/20 is $65.00. Audition fees are non-refundable after the application deadline (August 2, 2019).

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. You may or may not be asked to play scales or sight read. You will be auditioning in front of a panel of two or three people (TSYO coaches, other TSO musicians, and/or the TSYO conductor).

Can I request a specific audition time?

Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate audition time requests. We ask that you keep the audition dates open until you receive your assigned audition date and time. Audition times will be assigned by August 31, 2019.

What is the time commitment for the TSYO?

TSYO rehearsals generally take place weekly between mid-September and the first week of May, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm on Saturday afternoons at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, in the Edward Johnson Building. 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. There may be extra concerts or run-outs (overnight trips to perform concerts in nearby cities). A schedule of the full year will be provided at the first rehearsal.

After that point, 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. See you at the auditions!

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