Application for 2023/24


Questions? Email us at: michael.armstrong@aysymphony.org

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.

Applicants must be at least 15 years old as of September 30, 2023.  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.

Effective January 1, 2022, all AYS musicians must show proof of full vaccination prior to in-person attendance at any AYS event or performance. Medical exemptions are accepted with proper documentation. Any questions regarding American Youth Symphony’s COVID-19 vaccination policy should be emailed to covid19@aysymphony.org.

2023 Audition Information

Open Positions

:Check back in May 2024

Audition Dates:

Your audition application with the unlisted YouTube link will take the place of a live audition. 


To participate, you must be at least 15 as of September 30, 2023, and live in or around the great Los Angeles area. Please do not apply if your birth date does not make you at least 15 by September 30, 2023. 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 with 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 techniques. 

How To Apply:

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 deadline to work out any recording/uploading issues, should they arise. 

Deadline: August 18, 2023 ; 11:59pm (PST)

  •  Make sure you have the right audition excerpts for your instrument.
  • IMPORTANT: At the beginning of your video you MUST state the following: your name, instrument, solo piece, and that you are auditioning for AYS Season 2023/24.
  • For all instruments except the horn, the solo is a 2-3 minute selection of your choosing. Your solo does not have to come from a 2-3 minute piece; you may choose to play a 2-3 minute excerpt from a longer work.
  • Interested candidates for English Horn, Contrabassoon, E-flat, and Bass Clarinet: You must include the oboe excerpts in addition to English Horn excerpts and similarly for clarinet and bassoon.
  • While recording, make sure there is nothing obstructing you or your instrument.  You must be on camera. This helps ensure the verification of your application. 
  • Think of this recording as being a live, in-person audition. Your audition recording should be one continuous video; there should not be any splicing together of multiple takes or videos.
  • During your audition recording you may take a few moments to readjust/tune between the solo and excerpts, but remember, this video must be one continuous take. You should not stop and restart recording at any time during your audition tape once you have begun the take.
  • 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 members 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 and a concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall. AYS expects to be flexible with the commitment of each musician due to COVID-19.

Absences of two or more rehearsals for a concert 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. At the discretion of the Music Director, you may be required to re-audition for continued membership in the orchestra. 

Concert Dates: 2023/24 Season

Dates are to be announced soon!

September 2023: Opening Night

November 2023: Hollywood Project

March 2024: Sounds About Town

April 2024: Spring Concert

Rehearsal Schedule:

There are typically 4-5 rehearsals for each concert, held during the week of the performance. This will include weeknights from 7:30 – 10:00 pm and Saturday and/or Sunday mornings from 10:00 am  12:30 pm. Location varies, but rehearsals are held in the Los Angeles area. The rehearsal schedule is subject to change.

2023/24 Repertoire:

A typical season includes significant canonical symphonic repertoire, a selection of contemporary works, and an annual film concert—additionally, Mo. Izcaray has pledged that 50% or more of the orchestra’s new music will be female composers’ work.