Application for 2021/22

2021/22 Season Audition Applications
are now Closed.

august 16, 2021.


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.

Applicants must be at least 15 years old as of September 30, 2021.  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.

2021 Audition Information

Open Positions:

Principal Oboe, English Horn, E-flat Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Principal Bassoon, 3rd Bassoon/Contrabassoon, Harp, Assistant Principal Viola, and section strings. 

UPDATE: Applications are also being accepted for sublist on all instruments. Please note that percussion and timpani audition applications are not being accepted at this time. Auditions for percussion/ timpani will be conducted in person at a later date. (15 July 2021)

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 years of age as of September 30, 2021 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, 2021. 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 2021/22 Season are open June 15, 2021.

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 16, 2021

  •  Make sure you have the right audition excerpts for your instrument.
  • IMPORTANT: At the beginning of your video you MUST include the following: your name, instrument, solo piece, and that you are auditioning for AYS Season 2021/22.
  • For all instruments except 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 and E-flat and Bass Clarinet: You must include the oboe excerpts in addition to English Horn excerpts and similarly for clarinet.
  • 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. 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 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: 2021/22 Season

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. 

2021/22 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.