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How old does my child need to be to audition?

Most of our ensembles are based on auditions, rather than age. Each student is evaluated on their own skills and is placed in an ensemble that best fits their musical, social and emotional needs.

For the Beginning Orchestra, students must be at least 8 years old.

The Training Orchestra typically consists of 10 – 16 year-old members who have learned the basics of their instrument as well as the fundamentals of reading music. Youth Symphony members are invited to play with the training orchestra as mentors.

The Youth Symphony members are usually 14 – 18 years old, although students of any age who are accomplished on their instruments may audition to join.

Please review the Audition Information section of our website for audition requirements and further details.

Does my child need to have previous orchestral experience or training on an instrument?

We offer the Beginning Orchestra, for students interested in learning a stringed instrument, such as the cello or violin. The ensemble is designed for students with no previous experience or training in their respective instruments.

Our training and advanced ensembles are for students who play at a skill level that will enable them to be successful in the orchestra, but no previous experience playing in an ensemble or orchestra is required.

Please review the Audition Information section of our website for audition requirements and further details.

When are auditions?

Auditions are held in April, May, June, and July.  If space is still available late auditions will also be opened in August.

Can I observe a rehearsal?

Parents certainly can! We hold open rehearsals and families are welcome to observe. Please sit on chairs along the back wall or sides. Please be respectful of the rehearsal in progress. The fuel room or designated family room is open for waiting families, and children may play in the playground when supervised by an adult.

We encourage prospective students and their families to have a first-hand experience of what we do in the Cherry Creek Youth Symphony. If you’re interested in scheduling an observation, please let us know by sending a message through our contact page and selecting the “Observe a Rehearsal/Class” option from the dropdown menu.

Can parents participate in an ensemble?

CCYS is unique in that parents are also welcome to participate. We like the mentorship model of learning, with older students sitting next to younger ones to coach them and set a good example of technique and etiquette.

In years past, we have had a dad play the string bass, another the tuba, a grandfather join the trumpets and a couple moms the cellos. If you want to dust off the clarinet in the closet and join with your child, we welcome you!

Are additional materials required?

In addition to their instrument, students will be required to supply their own black 3-ringed binder and pencil (no pens) to bring to each rehearsal and concert.

The Beginning Orchestra will also need to purchase the necessary books (approximately $40).

Students may be asked to print music from the website, when necessary.

Additional items are needed for the following instruments listed below:

  • Cellos: Slip-stop and mute
  • Percussion: Sticks and drum pad
  • Trumpet: Mute
  • Violin & Viola: Shoulder rest and mute

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