Audition Guidelines

Auditions for Membership
GYO members are selected on the basis of audition only. Yearly entrance auditions are scheduled in June, with additional auditions in September and January. All audition dates will be announced on our website. Interested students should email

Each applicant must fill out an audition request form, provide their most recently completed NYSSMA score and level (if applicable), and be prepared to supply a copy of the student’s NYSSMA evaluation or teacher recommendation, if requested. Applicants will be notified of results by e-mail. Individual auditions may be scheduled during the year if there are openings in the performing groups.

Auditions are adjudicated by qualified conductors or musicians, who determine the results. Adjudicators may ask students to play selected sections from your prepared selection of choice, as well as scales or other pieces not expressly mentioned. It is the hope that, regardless of the result of an audition, an adjudicator's comments will help the student in determining areas in which he or she may need work. There is a $25.00 fee charged for new member, as well as inter-orchestra auditions.

Musician Qualifications
All musicians are expected to have private teachers with whom review of Gemini music selections will occur regularly. This is necessary to improve technique between rehearsals and to facilitate work on any musical problems that students may encounter. Students are required to practice their parts with their private teachers. Inadequate preparation for rehearsal may result in suspension of membership. If there is a hardship involved, please email the Executive Director prior to orientation for that academic year.

All GYO participants are required to participate in their school’s curricular music program, if such a program is available. School music programs are the lifeblood of the arts on Long Island, and GYO and its members support school programs including festivals such as NYSCAME, NMEA, SCMEA, LISFA and NYSSMA. GYO is intended to enhance and supplement, not to replace these school programs. We make every effort to avoid time conflicts with school programs. Participation in extracurricular school music programs is generally encouraged but not required.

The following qualifications are the minimum scoring recommendations* for each group, and are subject to conductor discretion:

YOUTH SYMPHONY: Completed NYSSMA Level 6 or All-State, scoring an "A+”
STRING ORCHESTRA: Completed NYSSMA Level 4–5, scoring “Excellent” or better
REPERTORY ORCHESTRA: NYSSMA Level 2-3, scoring “Excellent” or better, at the discretion of the Conductor

*NYSSMA scores do not guarantee acceptance ensemble placement, nor do they preclude students who do not fit into the above mentioned NYSSMA rubric from applying. Admission is subject to availability of an opening in the group, and approval of the audition staff.

Audition Preparation

All will perform a NYSSMA solo or other appropriate solo of comparable level.

All students should be prepared to sight-read selections provided by the artistic staff.

All students should be prepared to perform scales appropriate to his/her NYSSMA level. String players auditioning for Symphony should be prepared to play at least two (2) three-octave scales, demonstrating a variety of bow strokes, bowings, tempi and dynamics at the request of the conductor. Bass players auditioning for Symphony will be required to perform two-octave scales.

Brass and woodwind players auditioning for Symphony will also be expected to demonstrate the ability to transpose when required.

Judging and group placement are based on technical ability, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, general musicianship and stylistic understanding.

Inter-Orchestra Auditions
Returning Gemini members who wish to transfer to a different ensemble must:
A. Meet all minimum requirements for acceptance to that group
B. Have the permission and agreement of their current group’s conductor
C. Schedule an inter-orchestra audition during the spring or at another time (by permission of the Executive Director and conductor only)
D. Submit a copy of their current NYSSMA evaluation, if requested

Changes from one group to another are at the discretion of the conducting staff and are subject to availability of positions. or email for more information.