Video Audition Requirements
- The video audition shall last no longer than 5 minutes.
- Audition videos must be shot in one continuous take (without a break), as it best simulates a live audition. Include all of the requirements for your instrument in the order they are listed. The required audition order and suggested timings are as follows:
- ~10-15 seconds: Introduction. Look at the camera when you introduce yourself. Begin your video by saying, "Hello!" then state your name, instrument, the number of years you have studied your instrument, and the title and composer of your piece, concerto, or excerpt. If you are performing more than one excerpt, please state the title and composer for each excerpt at the beginning of your video and perform it in the order announced.
- ~4 minutes: Solo Piece. Play your prepared piece or study demonstrating your current ability level.
- ~40 seconds: Scale(s). Play the required scale(s) for the ensemble.
- ~2 seconds: Say "Thank you" at the end of the audition video.
- Absolutely NO editing or sound enhancements of any kind are permitted. Stopping your video between your prepared piece and scales is considered editing and your audition will be disqualified. Audition videos suspected of having been edited or otherwise enhanced are subject to disqualification.
- Video must be unaccompanied.
- Dress code: business casual, and wear shoes if your feet are in the frame. Do not wear a face mask in your video.
- Woodwind applicants are highly encouraged to audition on auxiliary instruments (i.e., flute/piccolo, oboe/English horn, clarinet/bass clarinet/e-flat clarinet, alto sax/tenor sax/bari sax, etc.)
- Do not complete a new application; Separate the video links with a comma.
- Review your video to ensure the entire length of the video quality is clear, with acceptable audio and framing. CYS may decline video auditions with poor audio or visual quality.
- Video quality: Check that your entire instrument and your full range of motion are always in the frame. We want to see the details, such as embouchure and technique as if you are in a live audition. Ensure the image is not flipped (i.e., left-handed violin, reversed hand position in wind playing). Refer to the sample framing below. Get assistance in setting your video equipment for success!
- Audio quality: check that your sound is audible throughout the video and the sound does not peak (clip)
- UPDATE the video share settings before copying the URL link for your video.
- For YouTube or Vimeo, change the video privacy setting to "unlisted."
- For Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, or other cloud-storage solutions, update the share setting to "anyone with the link can view."
Instructions to Link Your Video
- LOG IN to your Audition Application
- SELECT "YES" under "READY TO LINK YOUR VIDEO?"
- PASTE the link (URL) to your video
- REVIEW the audition summary page to ensure all information, including the linked video, is correct before completing the order.
- Remember to click on "Confirm Order" to ensure your information is recorded appropriately.
General Video Submission Guidelines
The Artistic Staff of the California Youth Symphony listens and views the submitted video auditions. The reviewers expect high-quality video recordings that are the best possible representation of an applicant's technical ability, tone quality, and musicianship. Below are a few guidelines when preparing to make the video audition recording:
- Consider lighting, framing, and camera placement. Please make certain you are well-lit -- more light in front than behind you will make you more visible to the viewer. Place the camera so that your entire face, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times. Choose a medium distance that shows as much detail as possible, while still allowing the image to be framed as described above.
- When shooting, place the camera on a tripod or flat surface to keep the camera from shaking.
- For phone or tablet users, devices should be set horizontally – put it in Airplane mode or Do Not Disturb mode to avoid interruptions – and tap the screen to focus. Do not use the zoom function, which makes the image grainy or fuzzy.
- Good sound quality will make a substantial difference for the judges to get the most accurate sense of your music-making, tone, and timbre. However, professional equipment or studio space is not necessary. With attention to a few details, you can make a successful audition video using readily available consumer electronics.
- Test the audio level, so there is no distortion during the loudest passages of your selections, and make sure that the softest portions can still be heard. Consider using an external microphone connected to your camera to record your playing and speaking.
- Do not play directly into the microphone.
- Please give careful consideration to the room/environment you are in while recording your video.
- Be mindful of miscellaneous items in the background that may distract the viewer.
- Avoid recording near windows or rooms with excessive external noises that might distract the judges from listening to your playing.
- Before recording your audition video, clean and adjust your instrument to be sure it is in the best possible condition. You may wish to ask your music teacher or a professional repair person to look at your instrument to assist with any necessary adjustments.
- Please dress comfortably, but professionally for the video. You want the viewer to listen to your playing. Nice business casual, or the same thing you would wear to a classical music performance.
- Please be certain to WATCH AND LISTEN to your video before submission, checking your audio levels and visual presentation of the video overall. TIP: Take multiple takes of your entire audition, then submit your best audition recording.
- FAQs can be found on the side menu.
Below are some sample videos to show an appropriate angle and distance from the camera. Note: the full range of motion is in the frame at all times, and we can see the details, such as embouchure and technique and we can see the applicant clearly.