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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 early 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 of the KCYO Manager and on occasions an additional specialist instrumentalist. The audition is led by the KCYO Manager 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, Cello, Woodwind and Brass
Players will be invited to attend solo auditions. You are asked to prepare one piece of your own choice. This piece is to be unaccompanied. Sight-reading may also be required for which you will be given a copy of the excerpt upon arrival and have a short time in your warm up room to prepare. You can play a piece you have been working on recently that is written with a piano accompaniment but on this occasion the accompaniment will not be required.

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. Work with your teacher to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for the audition.


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.

Apply to audition

Please click on the button below to apply. You’ll select your chosen group on our online booking portal and be taken through the signup process.

For more information please contact us at countygroups@kent-music.com.