For Musicians

Y.A.C. Video Requirements & Guidelines

Video Submission Requirements

  • The audition excerpt shall last no longer than seven (7) minutes. It may consist of a single seven-minute excerpt from your concerto, or it could be two or three separate sections of your choice, adding up to seven minutes.
  • Video must be unaccompanied.
  • The audition video must be shot in one continuous take (without a break).
    • In order to preserve each contestant's anonymity, please do not state your name.
    • Begin your video by saying, "Hello!", then stating the title and composer of your concerto. Let the judges know which section(s) of the concerto you will perform in your seven-minute audition.
    • Perform your continuous, unedited seven-minute audition.
  • 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.
  • Upon request, judges’ comments can be made available to students and their teacher.

General Video Guidelines

The official judges for the Young Artist Competition will listen to and view 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 of 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 – put device 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.
    • 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. Please wear shoes if your entire body is in the frame. 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.

File Upload Instructions

  • You will be uploading your video and score using our online service Microsoft OneDrive. A file upload link will be provided to you in an email from CYSAuditions@cys.org. 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. Note: large file sizes may take a longer time to upload. Please be patient.
    • 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 and score as follows (replace with your information):
      • Audition Reference #_Instrument
        • The audition reference # is located at the end of file name of the PDF audition application attached in the email confirmation you received.
        • 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 your video is viewable.
  • When you upload your video and score, you will be asked for your name. Please enter your name. Your name will not be visible to the judges.

Sample Photos

Below are some sample photos 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. Click on the image for a larger view.

Recent Performance Photos