2020-2021 Season Auditions: AUDITIONS HAVE MOVED ONLINE!

Due to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, scheduled live auditions will not take place. Instead, YSKC will utilize online video auditions for the 2020-2021 season.

All students auditioning must register and pay for their audition BEFORE submitting their audition video. Students who have already registered and paid for their audition do not need to register or pay again.

A non-refundable $15 audition fee is due at registration.  (Please note that there are no audition fees for percussionists. However, students must register to audition!)

Audition requirements and excerpts remain the same.  Please see below for your instrument’s requirements and excerpts.

*Percussion students only – If you do not have access to all instruments required please contact Mr. Walker, PercussionKC Conductor, for alternate audition requirements.  You can email him at cwalker@youthsymphonykc.org

New Audition Steps and Timeline:


Register to audition (students who have already registered before June 15 do not need to repeat this step)

Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Harp Audition Registration

Percussion Audition Registration


Record your audition video.  All requirements and instructions for performing and recording your video audition can be found on the links provided below.


Now it’s time to upload your video.  Please use the links below to submit your completed video.

Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Harp Video Submission Link

Percussion Video Submission Link


Audition results and ensemble placements will be posted on youthsymphonykc.org by September 26.  Rehearsals are scheduled to begin the weekend of October 4. 

Audition Requirements/Excerpts

Each instrument has a packet of audition materials available for download.  You will download your respective instrument’s audition packet for specific audition requirements. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view each packet.

*New for 2020, students must select one instrument to audition

Audition Excerpt videos recorded by the Kansas City Symphony!

Viola Audition Excerpt videos recorded by Youth Symphony Alum, Alyssa Bell!









*Please contact PercussionKC director Clif Walker at cwalker@youthsymphonykc.org to discuss your instrument access and, if necessary, alternate audition requirements.






2020/2021 Ensembles

Ensemble placement will depend upon audition results and instrumentation needs. 

Ensembles will include full orchestras and/or string orchestras.

Program FAQ (click for information)

Below are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions we receive regarding the Youth Symphony program and the audition process.

For more info, email auditions@youthsymphonykc.org

What is a full orchestra?

A full orchestra is a musical ensemble that includes instruments from all four common instrument familes: string, woodwind, brass and percussion.


Students selected for PERCUSSIONKC, an advanced ensemble, will rehearse and perform in both percussion ensemble and symphonic orchestra settings.

When and where are sessions?

Sessions will be online on Sundays beginning October 4.

First semester will be held October through mid-December and second semester will be held January through mid-March.

Where are concerts held?

Our 2020 season will include two virtual concerts.

What is the financial commitment?

Tuition for Orchestras Online is $680. Tuition for PercussionKC is $396.  Payment may be made in one sum or installments. Our goal is to reduce barriers to participation – financial assistance is available for families with qualified need. Financial Aid is available to those with qualified need.

See complete information on our Tuition and Fees page.

Are there other commitments?

Youth Symphony’s volunteer service requirements and school program participation requirements are waived for the 2020-2021 season.

The only other fee is the non-refundable audition fee of $15. See complete information on our Tuition and Fees page.

Can my child participate in Youth Symphony but not
participate in his or her school band or orchestra program?

Youth Symphony’s volunteer service requirements and school program participation requirements are waived for the 2020-2021 season.

Is financial aid available?

Yes! Youth Symphony of Kansas City is committed to assisting students whose families demonstrate qualified financial need. Between $20,000 – 25,000 is provided annually for tuition assistance. Once the audition process is complete, a Financial Aid application form will be made available to all students offered a position in one of our orchestras. All applications are held in the strictest of confidence. No merit-based scholarships are available at this time.

Does my child need to have a private instructor to participate?

No. Private study is not required in order to participate, but it is strongly encouraged. Statistically, students who study privately audition more successfully.

Auditions FAQ (click for information)

Who is eligible to audition?

Young musicians residing within the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area and surrounding region who are beginning 5th grade through 12th grade. College students are not eligible.

My child has never auditioned. Isn’t it difficult to get accepted?

All students – regardless of previous program participation – are required to audition each year. This enables us to place all students based on ability at the level of orchestra that is right for them. Because we offer a comprehensive program at varying ability levels, most musicians participating in the program enjoy an enhanced orchestral experience.

How long is each audition?

Each audition is approximately seven minutes in length.

What will my child be asked to perform during the audition?

Each instrument has a set of audition materials. See above for audition requirements and excerpts.

How do you determine which ensemble is right for my child?

Two independent adjudicators listen to every audition and recommend placement in an ensemble. Students will be placed based on their intonation, interpretation, tone, rhythm, technique and preparedness as demonstrated in the audition. Grade level and instrumentation needs of each ensemble may also be considered. Previous participation in Youth Symphony of Kansas City does not guarantee ensemble placement. All students – regardless of previous program participation – are required to audition each year. All ensemble placements are final. Scoring, judge comments and recommendations are not discussed with students, parents, private teachers and/or music teachers.