For Musicians

Video Submission Requirements & Guidelines

Video Submission Requirements

  • The video audition shall last no longer than 5 minutes.
  • Audition videos must be shot in one continuous take (without a break) and include all of the requirements for your instrument in the order they are listed. The suggested timing and order of the audition should be as follows:
    • ~10-15 seconds - Begin your video by saying, "Hello!", then stating your name, your instrument, the number of years you have played your instrument, and the title and composer of your piece/concerto/excerpt. If playing more than one excerpt, please state the title and composer for each excerpt and play in the order you announced. Look at the camera when you introduce yourself!
    • ~4 minutes - Play your prepared piece or study that best demonstrates your current ability level. (Refer to FAQs and Help & Hints page)
    • ~40 seconds - Play the required scale(s) for the conductor/ensemble.
    • Say, "thank you!"
  • The continuous, unedited video audition best simulates a live audition. Absolutely NO editing or sound enhancements of any kind are permitted. Audition videos that are suspected to have been edited or otherwise enhanced will be immediately disqualified.
  • Video must be unaccompanied. Dress code: business casual.
  • Please note, due to the volume of applications and limited time for review, comments will not be provided for applicants.
  • Woodwind applicants are highly encouraged, although not required, 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.)
    • In this case, you may submit an additional video for the auxiliary instrument.

General Video 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.
    • Place the camera on a tripod or flat surface when shooting 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 as this 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 and/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 that there is no distortion during the loudest passages of your selections, while also making sure that the softest portions can still be heard. If possible, 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 that you are recording your video.
    • Be mindful of miscellaneous items in the background that may be distracting to the viewer.
    • Avoid recording near windows or rooms with excessive external noises that might distract the judges from listening to your playing.
  • Prior to recording your audition video, clean and/or 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.
  • You will be uploading your video files using our online service Microsoft OneDrive. A Microsoft account is not required to upload the files. File sizes up to 5 GB are accepted. We recommend using a format and resolution that is consistent with high-quality internet video.
    • Supported video formats in OneDrive: 3G2, 3GP, ASF, BMP, M2TS, M4V, MOV, MP3, MP4, MP4V, MTS, TS, WMV
    • Prior to uploading your video, RENAME your video file as follows (replace with your information):
      • Instrument_Audition Reference #_Last Name, First Name
        • The audition reference # can be found on your audition application next to the Confirmation Email Address.
        • Woodwind applicants: When renaming the video file for your auxiliary instrument, indicate your auxiliary instrument after your name, in parenthesis “()”:
          • Instrument_Audition Reference #_Last Name, First Name (Auxiliary Instrument)
    • Should you wish to provide us a YouTube or Vimeo link of your audition, please create a word document containing the hyperlink (URL) to your video and name the document using the file naming convention as shown above. Please also change the privacy settings on your YouTube or Vimeo video to "unlisted" instead of "private" so that video is viewable.
  • FAQs and Helpful Hints & Tips can be found on the side menu.

Sample Videos

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.

Recent Performance Photos