What Are The Qualifications For New Student Audition Applicants 

Student is currently in grades 7 to 11. Current 6th graders are only considered under extremely unique circumstances. Student is at an advanced playing level, equivalent in most cases to NYSSMA level 6. 

What If I Want to See what a Normal RPYO Rehearsal feels/looks like before I decide if I want to audition?

No problem. Attend an Open Rehearsal! For those students/families who want to experience a normal RPYO rehearsal before committing to an audition—attend an open rehearsal on Sunday Jan 27 or Sunday Feb 3 at First Unitarian Church at 220 Winton Rd S. Observation times are 2:30-3:15PM or 4-4:45PM. For security purposes please email inarotsky@rpo.org to inform us of observers’ attendance.

What are some of the benefits of participating in RPYO

1. Performing great music

2. Performing at great venues such as Eastman Theater

3. Free tickets to many RPO performances

4. Meeting new friends from all over Monroe County and beyond

How To Apply For An Audition 

Fill out the online audition application via this link

Send in a non-refundable $25 audition fee by the application deadline. 

Is There A Deadline For Applications?

Yes the application deadline has been extended to March 15 this year. Checks must be postmarked by March 15 for the application to be considered. 

Who will be the judges or adjudicators for the audition?

The adjudicators or judges for the auditions are the RPYO Music Director and RPO musicians for the being auditioned instrument. 

What Is The Audition Process?

Students will warm up for about 10 minutes.
Students will play for the adjudicators for a total of 8 minutes. 
Students will play without accompaniment the following three things: 

  • 1 or 2 short musical selections of the student’s choice (~5min total) containing contrasting slow/expressive and fast/technical passages.

  • Standard orchestral excerpts that are previously provided to the applicant.

  • An adjudicator-selected, sight-reading passage.

The adjudicators will listen for:

  • Musicality and expressiveness

  • Technical skills

  • Intonation, rhythm, and tone quality

  • Sight reading skills

Students do NOT need to bring a copy of their solo piece sheet music.

When Are The Auditions Held?

All auditions for new students are held yearly usually at in the spring—April-May. Exact audition dates are announced on the RPYO website in mid-January of each year. 

Where Are The Auditions Held?

All auditions are held at RPYO’s rehearsal venue at First Unitarian Church at 220 Winton Rd S. Parking is free and ample.

What Are The Audition Times 

Auditions on weekdays start in the late afternoon or evening and Saturday auditions start at about 9:00 AM & Sunday auditions will start about 5:00PM. Times will vary yearly depending upon the number of instruments auditioning.

When Will I Know My Audition Time?

Specific audition times will be emailed to all applicants about one week prior to the audition. 

What If I Have Conflicts With Audition Times ?

All students must audition at the designated times for their instruments. Students with schedule conflicts should notify us on the application. We will try to accommodate conflicts, but our options for alternative times are limited. 

If student is completely unable to attend the audition date/time, an alternate date will be provided for the student to be video recorded under the same conditions as those of the formal auditions. This audition recording will then be shown to the judges within the conflicting scheduled audition time slot.

How Do I Get Access To The Audition Excerpts?

Orchestral excerpts are available electronically on the RPYO website under the New Students tab or can be linked to here. Sight reading excerpts are provided at the audition and are not shared prior to the audition.

How Do I Prepare For The Audition? 

Prepare an unaccompanied, 3-5 min in length audition solo of your choice that includes legato and faster passages or choose two shorter pieces that display each of these musical styles. 
Prepare the brief orchestral excerpt, which is provided to all applicants via our website. 
Sight-reading passages will not be shared prior to the audition, but practicing sight-reading skills should be helpful to the auditioning student. 


Are There Warm-Up Rooms Once I Arrive At The Audition Site?

Yes. Each student will have their own warm up room. Each student will be provided with 10 minutes of warm-up time.

When Should I Arrive?

Plan to arrive about 20 minutes before your audition time. It is very important to make sure you allow yourself extra travel time and look out for any possible traffic or weather delays. However so please do NOT arrive more than 20 minutes before your scheduled audition time. You will not be auditioned earlier if you arrive earlier.

Should I Memorize The Music?

Memorization is not required. If you would like to memorize your solos, you are welcome to do so. 

How Long Is The Audition?

An average audition can last anywhere from about 5 to 8 minutes. During your audition, you may be stopped by the panel and asked to go on to another piece. You may also be given some instruction regarding what you just played and asked to play the solo or excerpt again. These situations are all common. Also you may not finish playing your solo piece. This is totally normal and should not be interpreted as a poor result.

What Should I Wear?

Wear nice dress clothes that are comfortable for you to perform in. Remember that this is the first impression you will make on those who will evaluate you. It is also a good idea to practice in the clothes you are planning to wear at least once before your audition.

How Do I Handle The Stress Of An Audition?

We know that auditions can be stressful, so we aim to create a supportive audition atmosphere and a positive learning experience.

When Will I Find Out If I Have Been Accepted?

All audition results will be announced via email about a week after the auditions. All auditioning students will receive correspondence, regardless of outcome. Be sure to enter you email address correctly on your audition application form. Email is RPYO’s primary mode of communication with students and parents.

What If I Am Not Accepted? 

We encourage you to audition next year. Available places are often limited in a given year but can open up the following season. 

Is There A Cost To RPYO Membership?

The tuition for the last several years has been $650/year with $150 deposit due in late spring and the remaining amounts due on Aug 1 and Sept 1. Membership fees are reviewed yearly and may be subject to change. Limited financial assistance is available for admitted students with verified financial need. Trips costs are additional to membership fees.

When And Where Are Rehearsals Held?

RPYO rehearsals are held every Sunday from 2PM-5PM from Sept to May except for school holiday weeks. Rehearsals are held at First Unitarian Church at 220 Winton Rd S. Students are required to help set up and break down the rehearsal room on a rotating basis. All students are expected to arrive by 1:45PM to tune and be ready in their seats by 2:00PM sharp.

What Are The Commitment Requirements of an RPYO Student Member? 

  • Participation in a school instrumental ensemble (if available)

  • Attendance at all rehearsals and concerts & participation in trips/special events

  • Participation in private instrumental lessons

  • Musical preparation at home

  • Family support of fund-raising activities

  • Your best musical and personal effort!

Are Trips Part Of The RPYO Program? 

Yes. RPYO travels every 3-4 years both domestically and worldwide. Trips are an additional fee, are NOT optional and are considered part of the program. The last two trips have been to NYC to perform at Carnegie Hall. RPYO plans to travel in Feb 2020 to Washington, DC to perform at Kennedy Center along with participating in other impactful activities. Trip costs are expected to be under $2500 and are additional to the $650 tuition costs.

What Are RPYO Concert Venues And Schedules?

RPYO concerts usually take place in November at Hochstein Performance Hall, in March at Eastman Theater as a Side-by-Side concert with RPO, and in May at Hale Auditorium at Roberts Wesleyan College. Exact concert dates are determined in the spring for the following year. Concert locations may also vary year to year.