For Musicians

Audition Information

The California Youth Symphony is dedicated to the artistic development of a new generation of musicians and to building audiences to support them. As a member of the California Youth Symphony, you will receive invaluable training, have wonderful opportunities to enhance your musical growth, experiment, study new works, develop leadership skills, and perform at a high level of excellence some of the great repertoire required of a musician today. We welcome you to audition with us!


Auditions for the 2020-21 CYS season are scheduled for the below dates and times. Students audition to be a member of CYS – the artistic staff places students in ensembles based on their demonstrated skill level. Auditions are open to school-age students who will be high school seniors or younger. All students are required to pay a non-refundable $30 audition fee.

The online application form for NEW members is now available! The earlier you register, the more likely you are to receive your requested audition time and date. Auditions always fill up - be sure to register early!

For CURRENT CYS members, the link to the application form is only accessible through your weekly newsletters or by visiting the Billboard page for your group.


  • MARCH 1, 2020 - Audition Application Deadline (closes at 11:59pm PST)
  • MARCH 15, 2020 - Mailing of Audition Appointments via USPS
  • MAY 2, 2020 - Mailing of Audition Results via USPS
  • MAY 15, 2020 - Deadline to receive Registration and Payment for the 2020-2021 Season.


  • ORCHESTRAS (Strings & Harp Only - Advanced level) auditions will be held on April 11, 17, and 18.
  • ORCHESTRAS & WIND SYMPHONY (Wind & Brass Only - Advanced level) auditions will be held on March 28, April 10 and 11.
  • WIND SYMPHONY (Saxophone & Euphonium - Advanced level) auditions will be held on April 10 and 11.
  • WIND ENSEMBLES (Beginning & Intermediate levels) auditions will be held on March 28, April 4 and 18.
  • STRING ENSEMBLES (Beginning & Intermediate levels) auditions will be held on March 28, April 4, 11, and 18.
  • PERCUSSION auditions will be held on March 28 and April 4.


Auditions may be held at several campuses in the Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mt. View, or Redwood City area. Final determination will be indicated on your audition appointment letter to be mailed on March 15.

Note: Percussion auditions are held at Almond Elementary School. Occasionally, auditions will be conducted at one of the CYS rehearsal locations, either at Almond Elementary School or Santa Rita Elementary School in Los Altos.

If you would like more information about our CYS programs or auditions please read through our website, under Programs, for further details, or please contact the CYS office by phone at 650-325-6666 or email

2019-20 OPEN POSITIONS (As of January 2020)

Wind Symphony: Tenor Saxophone, Horn, Euphonium, Trombone, Tuba, String Bass
Associate Orchestra: String Bass
Wind Ensemble: Bassoon, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Horn, Euphonium, Trombone, Tuba

If you play any of the instruments above and are interested in applying for the second half of our 2019-20 season, please complete the New Member Entrance Audition Application Form and include in the "Comments" section you are interested in applying for the current season. We will contact you should an opportunity arise. The size and strength of our applicant pool precludes us from admitting all of the great applicants whom we envision thriving in our organization. Creating a waiting list allows us to select additional students who will compose our season roster, if space allows.

CYS membership is both a privilege and a responsibility. Students have an opportunity to create wonderful musical memories and experiences that they will carry with them for a lifetime. As members, students and families are asked to maintain CYS’s high standards.

Recent Performance Photos