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What is a “full orchestra”?

“Full orchestra” refers to an ensemble that includes string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.

What instruments are accepted?

SCCYS holds auditions for violin, viola, cello, bass, flute (+ piccolo), oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, and harp. Auditions for piano and saxophone are not held.

Am I eligible to audition?

If you are 20 years old or younger, and prepared to make a sincere commitment to full rehearsal and concert participation, you are eligible to audition.

How do I apply to audition?

Visit our Audition Information page, then click the link on that page to get to our online application form.

How much does the audition cost?

There is no fee to audition for the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony.

Can I audition for two instruments?

You may audition for more than one instrument, but you must send in separate applications for each instrument.

What music do I play?

Visit our Audition Information page to read about what to expect at your audition. Be sure to click the link on that page to get to the excerpts. Print out the excerpts for your instrument and practice them before your audition. Contact Operations Manager Gerry Mandel with any questions.

When are the auditions?

Visit our Audition Information page to see the upcoming audition date. If the date has passed, don’t worry! It’s not too late to apply. Go ahead and submit your online application; Operations Manager Gerry Mandel will contact you to schedule your audition at a time that is convenient for you.

How will I know when my audition is?

After you submit your audition application, Operations Manager Gerry Mandel will contact you with your audition time.

Where are the auditions held?

Auditions are generally held either at our rehearsal space or at the UC Santa Cruz Music Center. Your audition time confirmation email will include the location of your audition.

What if I can’t audition on the scheduled day?

If you are not able to make the specified audition day and time, some exceptions can be made. Please email Operations Manager Gerry Mandel directly.

If I am accepted, how much does it cost?

Tuition per season (September through May) is currently $860. Students who join the orchestra at the beginning of our winter or spring set will have their tuition pro-rated. Financial aid is available for families who need it. Simply fill out the financial aid section on your application, and we will contact you.

Is financial aid available?

Need-based financial aid is available for tuition. You may request financial aid on your application.

If I am accepted, what is expected of me?

Joining SCCYS means that you are making a year-long commitment. You must 1) attend all rehearsals and concerts, 2) practice and prepare your music, and 3) abide by all rules of conduct and SCCYS policies found in the student handbook.

Do I have to participate in my school’s music program?

If you perform with SCCYS, you must also participate in your school’s music program, if there is one.

Do I have to take private lessons?

We strongly urge our members to take private lessons, but we are willing to make exceptions for those students who participate in band at their schools. If you need help finding a teacher, please contact Operations Manager Gerry Mandel.

When and where are rehearsals?

Rehearsals are held every Sunday evening from September through mid-May. Students are expected to attend all rehearsals and concerts. The rehearsal schedule is outlined below:

Rehearsal Location
Mormon (LDS) Church
220 Elk Street, Santa Cruz 95062

Rehearsal Schedule
Sundays, 6:00–8:30 p.m.
On 3-day holiday weekends, rehearsals shift to Mondays, same time
For the full schedule, please visit our Calendar page


What if I played in SCCYS last year?

Returning musicians are already accepted into the orchestra. However, they are required to submit a new application each year and schedule an audition to determine their seat in the orchestra for the coming season. Auditions for both new and returning members are held in late August. Visit our Audition Information page for dates and a link to the application.

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