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KCYO Audition Information

What commitment is required from you?

The orchestra meets three times a year for intensive coaching and rehearsal on both residential and non-residential courses during school holiday periods at New Year, Easter and late August. The orchestra performs in venues around the county of Kent under the direction of a professional guest conductor. The orchestra studies a rich variety of repertoire with professional conductors and tutors from all of the major UK orchestras and Conservatoires. Members of KCYO work hard but also have plenty of time to socialise, study and establish firm and lasting friendships.

What to expect at your audition

The audition panel comprises a professional instrumentalist and the KCYO Manager. A professional accompanist is provided whose views are also taken into account. The audition is led by the professional instrumentalist who may ask you to play sections of the music again to test your versatility and responsiveness to musical suggestion. It is rather like a mini masterclass or rehearsal. He/she is responsible for ranking you and the other applicants in order of merit. Applicants are then recruited according to the number of vacancies in the orchestra for that instrument.

Violin, Viola and Cello
Players will be invited to attend solo auditions for which an accompanist will be provided. You are asked to prepare one piece of your own choice and an orchestral excerpt that will be sent to you in advance. Please be aware that this excerpt is as important as the prepared piece. Sight-reading may also be required.

Woodwind and Brass
Players will be invited to attend solo auditions for which an accompanist will be provided. Please prepare one piece of your own choice. You may also be asked to sight-read a short orchestral excerpt.

Percussion and Double Bass
Players will be invited to attend group workshops and are not required to prepare any pieces in advance.

Choice of music for your audition

You should choose music in consultation with your teacher which best displays your all-round technique, dynamic range, sense of style, expression and musical understanding. Accompanied music is preferable as it enables the panel to assess your ability to play in an ensemble. Work with your teacher to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for the audition. For string players, preparation of the orchestral excerpt is as important as that of your chosen piece.


You will be asked a few questions after you have played. This is to find out a little more about you as a person, what you are studying at school or in further or higher education and, crucially, the part that music plays in your life.

Failure to secure a place in the orchestra may not be because you did not play well. You may be of a suitable standard but not recruited because there are insufficient places available. This is why applicants are ranked after the auditions.

Remember that panel members want you to play to the best of your ability. They are sympathetic people who realise you are under pressure and might be nervous. You will be performing in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Dates for KYWO Auditions for 2020/21 Season:

We currently have no set audition slots available due to COVID-19. However, we are still welcoming new members, and are pleases to offer ad-hoc audition slots, either virtual or in-person. If you are interested in auditioning, please contact Valerie Cordina on the details below.

Apply to audition

To register your interest or for more information please contact Valerie Cordina on 01622 358402 or countygroups@kent-music.com.