How to Audition for CMS Orchestras and Ensembles

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Step 1: Complete the Audition Application. The application period runs May 1–June 30.

Step 2: Prepare for the audition. Audition requirements for each orchestra/ensemble level are below. Audition excerpts required for each orchestra/ensemble will be posted to the website in early July.

Step 3: Look for an email from the CMS which will contain your audition date and time slot in early August.

Step 4: Attend your audition. All auditions will be held at the CMS Center at 535 Garden Avenue in Webster Groves.

Step 5: Audition results are sent out in early September.

Audition Requirements:

String Ensemble (average age 7-10 years)

Play all scales, without music, 1 octave, 2 eighth notes per bow, metronome marking 60=quarter note

Violin:

  • Major Scales: G,D,F
  • Melodic minor scales: a,d

Viola and Cello:

  • Major Scales: G,D,B-flat
  • Melodic minor scales: d, g

An unaccompanied solo of the student's choice that best demonstrates his/her ability. The solo does not need to be played from memory. If memorized, bring the solo music into the audition.

The following list indicates the median playing level generally reached by students in String Ensemble. There are other appropriate works not listed in this guide.

Violin:

  • Suzuki Violin School, Volumes 2-4
  • other collections include: Solos for Young ViolinistsorEssential Elements

Viola:

  • Suzuki Viola School, Volumes 1-2
  • other collections include: Solos for Young ViolistsorEssential Elements

Cello:

  • Suzuki Cello School, Volume2
  • other collections include: Solos for Young CellistsorEssential Element

Students MUST be able to attend the following Dress Rehearsal and Concert Dates to audition.

Dress Rehearsals:

  • Saturday, January 14, 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m.-12 a.m.

Concerts:

  • Sunday, January 15, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30, 2 p.m.

String Orchestra (average age 9 - 14 years)

Violin/viola/cello: play all scales, without music, 2 octaves, 4 sixteenth notes per bow, metronome at 60= quarter note
Double basses: play all scales, without music, 2 octaves, 2 eighth notes per bow, metronome at 60= quarter note

Violin:

  • Major Scales: C, G,D,A, F, B-flat
  • Melodic minor scales: a,e, d, g

Viola/Cello/Double Bass:

  • Major Scales: C, G, D, F, B-flat
  • Melodic minor scales: a, e, d, g

An unaccompanied solo of the student's choice that best demonstrates his/her ability. The solo does not need to be played from memory. If memorized, bring the solo music into the audition.

The following list indicates the median playing level generally reached by students in String Orchestra. There are other appropriate works not listed in this guide.

Violin:

  • Suzuki Violin School, Volumes 4-6
  • other collections include: Solos for Young Violinists, Vol. 2 or Solo Time for Strings

Viola:

  • Suzuki Viola School, Volume 3
  • other collections include: Solos for Young Violists, Vol. 2 or Solo Time for Strings

Cello:

  • Suzuki Cello School Volumes 3-4
  • other collections include: Solos for Young Cellists, Vol. 2 or Essential Elements

Double Bass:

AndersonSonatina or George Vance, Books 1 and 2

Dress Rehearsals:

  • Saturday, January 14, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Concerts:

  • Sunday, January 15, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30, 2 p.m.

Young People's Concert Orchestra (YPCO)

Violin/viola/cello: play all scales, 3 octaves, 3 notes per bow, without music
Double basses: play all scales, 2 octaves, 3 notes per bow, without music
Winds/brass: play all scales, including chromatic, minimum 2 octaves/range of the instrument, following the rhythm pattern for Missouri All-State auditions (select All-State Band Wind Audition Materials 2021-2024)

  • Major Scales: C, G, D, A, F, B-flat
  • Melodic minor scales: a, e, b, f-sharp, d, g, c

An unaccompanied solo of the student's choice that best demonstrates his/her ability.

The following list the minimum playing level generally reached by students in the Young People’s Concert and Symphonic Orchestras. This guide for applicants and their teachers indicates the orchestra’s range in technical level and repertoire. There are many other works not listed that are appropriate for auditioning.

Suggested Audition Repertoire — guide for YPCO & YPSO

Dress Rehearsals:

  • Saturday, January 21, 2-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 29, 2-4 p.m.

Concerts:

  • Sunday, January 22, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30, 6 p.m.

Young People's Symphonic Orchestra (YPSO)

Violin/viola/cello: play all scales, 3 octaves, 3 notes per bow, without music
Double basses: play all scales, 3 octaves, 3 notes per bow, without music
Winds/brass: play all scales, including chromatic, minimum 2 octaves/range of the instrument, following the rhythm pattern for Missouri All-State auditions (select All-State Band Wind Audition Materials 2021-2024)

  • Major Scales: C, G, D, A, E, F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat
  • Melodic minor scales: a, e, b, f-sharp, c-sharp, d, g, c, f

An unaccompanied solo of the student's choice that best demonstrates his/her ability.

The following list the minimum playing level generally reached by students in the Young People’s Concert and Symphonic Orchestras. This guide for applicants and their teachers indicates the orchestra’s range in technical level and repertoire. There are many other works not listed that are appropriate for auditioning. in this guide.
Suggested Audition Repertoire — guide for YPCO & YPSO

Dress Rehearsals:

  • Saturday, January 14, 2-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 6, 2-4 p.m.

Concerts:

  • Sunday, January 15, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 7, 6 p.m.

 


Young People's Orchestra - Percussion (YPOP)

Be prepared to play all major and minor scales and arpeggios through 4 sharps and 4 flats including chromatic, minimum 2 octaves, following the rhythm for Missouri All-State auditions (select All-State Band Wind Audition Materials 2021-2024)

On snare drum: closed roll (soft to loud to soft), double stroke roll (slow to fast to slow)

An unaccompanied solo of the student's choice that best demonstrates his/her ability.

The following is a list of suggested repertoire, however, you may play other appropriate material you have prepared.
Snare Drum: Any of the Cirone Portraits in Rhythm or Whaley Audition Etudes
Mallet/Keyboard: Any 2- or 4-mallet solo, including those on the MSHSAA Solo and Ensemble list.
Timpani: Saul Goodman Etudes and excerpts or Whaley Audition Etudes

Students will be selected based on musicality, technique, and competence within a concert percussion setting.

Same as YPCO or YPSO based on group assignment.

All accepted YPOP students will meet for percussion-only rehearsals on Mondays from 4:15 - 6:15 (YPSO) or Thursdays from 4:15-6:15 (YPCO).  YPOP students will have a total of 9 rehearsals and a concert with the full orchestra each semester.
 Semester Summary
 3 YPOP only rehearsals
 5 rehearsals with the assigned orchestra
 1 dress rehearsal with the assigned orchestra
 1 concert with the assigned orchestra

Webster University High School Jazz Ensemble (HSJE)

Prior experience in jazz is helpful but not mandatory

  • Students should play two pieces, a 12-bar blues and a standard from the jazz repertoire, or selections from their school jazz band materials.
  • The audition pieces should display technique, rhythmic agility, phrasing, and melodic sensitivity.
  • Suggested jazz works for the audition can be located in the jazz play-along books published by Hal Leonard, Aebersold, and Alfred.
  • A CD player, digital or live accompaniment will be included for the audition.
  • Drum set auditions include playing in the following styles: medium and fast swing, ballad, bossa nova, samba, jazz waltz, shuffle, and 1/2-time funk. Digital or live accompaniment will be included.
  • Students may audition on auxiliary percussion instruments.
  • Piano, bass, guitar, and vibraphone auditions include playing written parts and reading chord symbols.

Concert Dates:

  • Friday, December 9, 8 p.m.
  • Friday, April 21, 8 p.m.