Application for 2020/21

2020/21 Season Audition Applications
are now closed.

Questions? Email Director of Orchestra Operations, Isabel Thiroux

The American Youth Symphony’s competitive Fellowship program provides a per-concert stipend (ranging from $275-500) and tuition-free training, focused on the study and performance of the canon of classical masterworks, along with cutting-edge new music and legendary film scores. During their time with AYS, fellows enhance their musical growth, engage with their community, work with top guest artists and composers, develop crucial leadership skills, and perform sold-out concerts at the most prestigious venues in Los Angeles.

Blind auditions ensure that acceptance is based purely on merit; and, as part of our long standing commitment to eliminating all financial barriers for our students, there will never be any fee to audition.

Due to COVID-19, AYS will not host live, in-person auditions in September. AYS will instead require a video submission of your prepared audition materials, due Friday, August 21, 2020. Instructions on how to submit an unlisted YouTube video audition can be found below. If you have extenuating circumstances, (e.g. you do not have access to your instrument of equipment to make a video), please write to auditions@aysymphony.org. To ensure your anonymity, the audio file will be pulled from your video and relabeled for the panelists. The only information being shared with the panelists about your submission is your instrument and solo piece. 

Applicants must be at least 15 years old as of September 30, 2020.  The orchestra is made up of students in high school through graduate music programs, as well as young professionals who have completed their education. The average age of our orchestra members is 23.

2020 Audition Information

Open Positions:

Applications are being accepted for violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, timpani, harp, and piano. Percussion auditions will be held at a later date when they can be done in person.

Audition Dates:

Application and video submissions were due Friday, August 21, 2020.


To participate, you must be at least 15 years of age as of September 30, 2020 and must live in or around the great Los Angeles area. We understand that many applicants who would be attending their LA based schools in the fall might be starting the fall semester online. Please do not apply if your birth date does not make you at least 15 by September 30, 2020. The expectation we have of the fall concerts being a combination of small live, in-person concerts and virtual content. By the spring, we would expect all members to be in Los Angeles. Most members of AYS are college or graduate students majoring in performance, with a median age of 20-24. We also welcome exceptionally talented high school students who already have substantial musical training. AYS accepts applicants based on their musical ability without regard to gender, race, religion, disability, or income. Annual open auditions ensure that the most qualified musicians have the opportunity to participate in fundamental performance technique. 

How To Apply: Applications for the 2020/21 Season are open Friday, June 5, 2020.

The online application is available HERE. Your application will include your video. The video submission will take the place of live, in-person auditions. The audition committee will only have access to the audio of your audition. The only information the panel will receive is what instrument and solo piece they are listening to. 

Be sure to read through the audition information and excerpts order before creating your audition video and submitting it with your application. Allow plenty of time before the August 21st deadline to work out any recording/uploading issues, should they arise. 

  •  Make sure you have the right audition excerpts for your instrument.
  • While recording, make sure there is nothing obstructing you or your instrument.  You must be on camera. This is helps ensure verification your application. 
  • Think of this recording as being a live, in-person audition. When recording, there is allowance for slight pauses between the solo and excerpts, but there should not be any splicing together of multiple takes or videos. 
  • Listen through your recording to ensure clarity and adequate volume. 
  • Just as in our live auditions, there is to be no accompaniment for any portion of your video submission.
Upload your video recording to YouTube. Any video files submitted in other formats will not be accepted. If you need help with how to upload your video to YouTube, click HERE.
  • During the upload, select the “Unlisted” privacy option. This will allow you to share the video link with AYS without making the video viewable to the public. Click HERE for more information.


Admission into the American Youth Symphony requires each member to commit to the concerts, rehearsal schedule, additional training activities, and concerts around town. A typical season will have 4-5 concerts at UCLA’s Royce Hall, a concert at LACMA, and a concert Walt Disney Concert Hall. AYS is expecting to be flexible with commitment of each musician due to COVID-19.

Absences of two or more rehearsals for a concert which you have committed to playing may result in the following consequences: probation, dismissal from your role in the concert, future discipline or dismissal from the orchestra. If, for any reason, you miss two or more concerts in one season, your position will be automatically open to audition for the following season, and, at the discretion of the Music Director, you may be required to re-audition for continued membership in the orchestra. Anyone who has been a member prior to 2017, the 2017/18 season will count as your 2nd year of your 3 year fellowship. This means that following the 2018/19 season, members would need to audition again for another 3-year fellowship for 2019/20. 

Concert Dates: 2020/21 Season

The following dates are on hold for the 2020/21 concert season:

October 10, 2020 Royce Hall, UCLA
November 1, 2020 LACMA Sunday’s Live
November 22, 2020 Royce Hall, UCLA
February 13, 2021 WDCH
March 20, 2021 UCLA, Royce Hall
May 2, 2021 UCLA, Royce Hall

 This information will be updated as the season activities are solidified. Please feel free to check back on our website for any new concert schedule updates.

Rehearsal Schedule:

There are typically 4-5 rehearsals for each concert, held during the week of the performance. This will include weeknights from 7:30pm – 10:00pm, plus Saturday and/or Sunday mornings from 10:00am  12:30pm. Location varies, but many rehearsals will be held at Hollywood Scoring in Atwater Village (90065). The rehearsal schedule is subject to change.

Due to COVID-19, we are expecting to have more online engagement with our musicians and audience for the fall and the rehearsal schedule will be updated as we are able to come together for in-person performances. 

2020/21 Repertoire:

A typical season includes significant programming of canonical symphonic repertoire, along with a selection of contemporary works, and an annual film concert. Additionally, Mo. Izcaray has made a pledge that 50% or more of new music performed by the orchestra will be the work of female composers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, activities for the 2020/21 season will be both online and in-person.