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Auditions for 2019

Audition Policies


QYO holds auditions in October each year to determine positions in QYO ensembles for the following year. All positions are declared vacant until the audition process is complete.

The auditions are conducted by the audition panel of 2-3 adjudicators for each instrument. 

The panel will:

  1. determine if an applicant meets the required standard for participation in an ensemble
  2. rank the audition performance compared to other applicants for each ensemble
  3. complete orchestra lists based on this ranking and preferences listed

Audition Stages

The audition process comprises five stages and is managed by the QYO office. There are around 600 applications and auditions, from which 450-480 offers and 60-80 reserve offers are selected.

  1. Application: Each applicant submits an application form (either online or paper form) with payment of an application fee.  All current QYO members must re-audition annually alongside new applicants.  Applicants should read and complete the application form carefully.  QYO accepts late applications with the appropriate late fee. 
  2. Processing: The office processes the applications and allocates audition dates, times and venues for each applicant based on the availability of venue rooms and panel members.  The dates and venues for each instrument are advertised in advance on the application form so that applicants can keep those times free.
  3. Notification: By the advertised date, the office posts or emails a letter to each applicant detailing his/her audition date, time, venue and ensemble of first choice. The excerpts become available on www.qyo.org.au on the advertised date and time.  Applicants must print and prepare the excerpts, and in addition, prepare a 1-2 minute own-choice piece.  The letters of notification are posted or emailed two weeks prior to the auditions to allow sufficient time for preparation.
  4. Auditions: The auditions take place in October as advertised in the audition brochure.
  5. Results: The audition results are posted or emailed to applicants by the date shown in the audition brochure, usually in mid-November.   The decisions of the audition panel are considered final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Pre-recorded Auditions

Applicants who know in advance that they are unable to attend an audition on the allocated day and time are required to prepare and submit an audio recording, by the advertised due date.  Due to the limited availability of audition panel and venue rooms, it is not always possible to change audition times or days.

Late Auditions

QYO will consider arranging late auditions for applicants who cannot attend, due to important extenuating circumstances, such as illness or injury. Such requests must be made by email or in writing to the QYO office and where necessary, accompanied by a medical certificate. Late auditions are usually held within 5 days after the audition weekend. Results notification will not be delayed for late auditions and there is no guarantee that a late audition will be possible.

Audition Assessment

For each audition, the audition panel assesses the following:

  • musical style, accuracy of performance and following the directions of the music
  • general intonation, rhythm, dynamics and tone production
  • staccato & sautille bowings for strings
  • legato & tonguing for wind and brass
  • performance of own choice piece 1-2 mins duration (may not be heard)
  • conductors' comments on orchestral skills and attendance (for ongoing members)

Audition Results

Following the auditions, the panel records the results and pass the results to the QYO office. The office checks the audition forms against the results to ensure that the results are correct with respect to player preferences, specific instruments and age limits. The office forwards results to the conductors for perusal and no seating changes are made by conductors, as the panels' decision is final. The office processes the results and posts or emails a separate notification letter to each applicant by the advertised date.

There are three separate letters of notification:

  1. Position Offer with membership, camp, medical and general information forms 
  2. Reserve Offer, indicating that the applicant may eventually receive a Position Offer if one or more applicants decline their offers or leave the ensemble after accepting offers, or if augmenting players are required throughout the year
  3. Notification of an unsuccessful audition where the applicant has not gained a place

The letters of offer shows the players' numbered positions. If other players in the section decline their positions, sometimes players may, but not always, move up within the section. JSE and QYO3 players are offered a non-numbered place in the section, and the actual seating will be determined by the conductor and tutors in the first few rehearsals and at the music camp.

Section Leaders

The first-ranked player in each section of each ensemble is appointed through the annual audition process as the section leader. They have special responsibilities and are required to read and follow the “QYO Section Leaders Duty Statement”.   

Joining Two Orchestras

If you are offered 2 positions in 2 orchestras, you must first gain approval by both conductors and discuss schedules and yearly commitment.Two sets of fees will be payable by the due date. It is not possible to join QYS or QYO2 and another ensemble. Big Band may be the exception.

Responses to Offers

All applicants must respond by the due date. When offers are declined, the office promptly contacts applicants who have received Reserve offers to offer them positions. When the reserves list is depleted, the positions become officially vacant. Once all offers have been finalised and processed, the office prepares a list of vacancies for each ensemble. Vacancies may be sourced and filled at the conductors' discretion, in consultation with the artistic panel. Anyone auditioning for a vacancy will complete a late audition form and prepare excerpts and own-choice piece. The audition panel may consist of a QYO conductor, tutor or audition panellist, depending on availability of the artistic staff.  

Results & Appeal

The decisions of the audition panel are considered final and no correspondence will be entered into. QYO is not able to provide verbal feedback or written reports specific to any player's audition. There is no guarantee that a current member of QYO will be offered a position in the same orchestra or a different orchestra in the following year. Players progress at different rates and new applicants apply each year, making the audition process very competitive. Players who regain a position in the same orchestra may by placed anywhere in the section or on the reserve list, depending on the competition that year.

Audition Panel Members

Each audition panel comprises two professional musicians and these typically include music teachers and members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Many panel members are former QYO members. The panel members read and sign confidentiality statements, ensuring that they will not enter into discussion relating to audition results, and that no bias or favour will be given to any applicants.

If an audition panel member is the parent of an applicant, a third panellist will be asked to hear that audition.  If an audition panel member is a current or former teacher of an applicant, they are obliged to advise the other panel member. The second panel member and ensemble conductor will have the final decision on that applicant's position. The decisions of the audition panel are considered final and no correspondence will be entered into.


QYO recruits over 50 parent and student volunteers to mark the roll and marshall applicants to warm-up and audition rooms.  Parents and students read the audition attendance list and are often able to over-hear auditions.  Volunteers are expected to be helpful and supportive to the students and they should not discuss the auditions heard, the attendance list or players' preferences.  The Director of Music appoints the audition panel and their decisions on results are final.


The information gained from the auditions process is confidential. QYO audition panel members, conductors, office staff and volunteers cannot discuss audition results with players, parents or teachers.