Find out as much as possible about the orchestras before you apply.
Try to attend a concert. Also get a CD of the work from which your orchestral excerpt is taken. These will be well known and widely available popular works.
Browse through our website.
Start planning in good time - talk to your teacher during spring and early summer, get to a concert during the summer season. This way, you will be well informed, your application will be in by early September and you will get your extracts to prepare as soon as they are released.
Think carefully and consult your teacher.
Ask your teacher for some help in your preparation of the extracts.
See if you can get hold of a CD which will help to make sense of your extracts.
Ensure that you practice your excerpts at different speeds and with different articulations etc so that you are prepared if you are asked to play it differently. Don't get upset if you are asked to play it differently. This may not be a criticism at all!
This sounds obvious but plan your journey carefully so that you have plenty of time, you know where you are going, and have directions. Come at the time you have been given.
Do tune and warm up in the waiting room. Don't be afraid to ask for help tuning your instrument if you would like help.
Do ask questions - we will be anxious to help you and to make you feel as comfortable as possible
Don't get put off by other players in the waiting room.
Regardless of whether or not you are successful the first time you audition, look on it as good experience. If you are a musician, you are going to have to audition countless times in your life - so the more experience you get the better!
About half the members of the orchestra did not get a place at their first audition. There is no disgrace in not getting a place - you may have done an excellent audition and done yourself great credit. And your performance will be remembered! Not getting a place does not mean that you are not a good musician.
The competition can be tough. In a race there can be six brilliant runners, but the first three across the line get the medals.
Bear in mind that the number in each section may be different from the balance of instruments in your local orchestra (e.g. NYOI orchestras have 4 flute places only)
If you get a place, the courses are residential and take place during holiday time at Christmas/New Year and in the summer. Once you accept your place in the orchestra you should remember that it is a serious commitment which you should not consider breaking.