Symphony Orchestra

Want to play with us? We’d love to have you! Normally, we hold in-person auditions for new musicians in May, and we hold in-person auditions for returning musicians in August. This year, due to the coronavirus, all auditions will be by video. We are in the process of developing guidelines for our video auditions, along with instructions for how to submit your audition video to YouTube. Check back in early July, when we hope to have more information for you.

Meanwhile, please start by completing our Audition/Application Form. We ask both new and returning musicians to fill out the form. 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 check back on September 1, 2020. We hope to have more information for you by then.


  • 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.

NOTE: Once we return to in-person auditions and rehearsals, the following two items will also be included. Instructions for video auditions for the 2020–2021 season will be posted by August 1, 2020.

  • 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. (Excerpts for Fall 2020 will be posted in mid-July 2020.) 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.