Symphony Orchestra

Want to play with us? We’d love to have you! Auditions for new players for the 2019–20 season will be held on Sunday, August 25, 2019. Returning players will have their seating auditions on the same date: August 25, 2019. If necessary, we can arrange an alternate date in late August or early September for your audition for the 2019–20 season. We can also accept new players for our Winter Set, which begins in January, or our Spring Set, which begins in March. Please start by completing our Audition/Application Form. Once you do, we will contact you to set up your audition. Questions? Email us at and someone will get back to you shortly.

Chamber Music Academy Auditions

The SCCYS Chamber Music Academy runs from mid-October to mid-April each season. If you are interested in participating, please begin by filling out the CMA Audition/Application Form. The deadline to apply is October 1, 2019. One of our music coaches will contact you in late September/early October with more information.


  • Strong musical skills and good attitude are the primary requirements for admission to the symphony; these factors are more important than an applicant’s age or how long they have played an instrument.
  • Applicants must be 20 years old or younger, and must be prepared to make a sincere commitment to full rehearsal and concert participation.
  • Private lessons are strongly encouraged but not mandatory. We understand that some applicants may receive instruction through their school music programs. Mueller Scholarships are available through the Santa Cruz Symphony for young musicians who need financial assistance for private lessons. 

Audition Music

Musicians auditioning for the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony should be prepared to perform the following:

  • Major scales of three octaves for strings and two octaves for winds. Scales will be selected from keys up to two sharps and flats, and will be selected by instrument to be in appropriate and idiomatic ranges for student players.
  • A prepared piece or etude of approximately three minutes in length. Please bring in a photocopy of the piece for the judges.
  • Sight reading of one or more short musical segments selected by the conductor.
  • August auditions only (this item not necessary for May auditions): Two short excerpts from music that is part of the Fall set. You can find the Fall 2019 excerpts here. Print them out, practice them, and bring the printouts with you to your audition. Just bring one copy. The judges will have their own copies.

Audition/Application Form

To schedule an audition, please complete our Audition/Application Form.