YSKC 2020-2021 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updated Tuesday, August 11, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation persists, Youth Symphony of Kansas City is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its students, participating families, volunteers and staff. We continue to monitor the ongoing situation and will provide updates on this page as plans develop. We are grateful for your patience, flexibility, understanding and ongoing support as we continue to ensure our programming decisions align with the health and safety needs of our various constituents.

2020-2021 Auditions

Q: What is happening with auditions for the 2020-2021 Season?

A: Annual Auditions are now taking place via video submission.  Audition recordings are due Tuesday, September 8.  Complete details are here: www.youthsymphonykc.org/auditions 

Live, in-person auditions will not take place this season.

Q: I already registered my child for 2020-2021 Auditions.  Do I need to re-register or do anything else?

A: No, you’re good to go! The registration process itself remains the same.  If you have already registered for auditions, no further action is necessary.  We will reach out to all current registrants with updated information.  Please note that the audition requirements were revised as of March 25, 2020.  Please visit www.youthsymphonykc.org/auditions  for the most current and up-to-date audition requirements.  Audition requirements posted prior to March 25, 2020 are no longer valid.

Q: Once I record my video audition, how do I submit the videos?

A: Registrants will receive an email after registering for auditions that includes a link to the audition video submission form.  The form has detailed information on how to upload audition videos.

Q: What is the deadline for video audition submissions?

A: All audition videos must be submitted by 5 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, September 8.

Q: Who should I contact if I have further questions?

A: You can email our Director of Operations, Russ Pieken, at rpieken@youthsymphonykc.org.


Orchestras Online – NEW!

Q: What is Orchestras Online?

A: For the 2020-2021 Season, Orchestras Online is the flagship program of Youth Symphony of Kansas City.  The program has been developed by YSKC Artistic Director Kirt Mosier.

Q: How will musicians participate?

A: Weekly sessions will be held via Zoom (real-time online video platform) on Sunday afternoons/evenings.  Each week, musicians will receive a video performance assignment that they will record and upload during the week.


Q: What can students expect each week?

A: Each week will consist of a 30-minute large group session where musicians will engage with conductors, listen to previously submitted student recordings, have Q & A chats with special guests and/or participate in masterclasses.  Following the first half-hour, students will participate in a 30-minute breakout sectional with professional educators and musicians.  Students will play their instruments in real-time, following a sectional coach via Zoom.

Q: Who can participate?

A: Orchestras Online is open to students in grades 5-12.  Students must register and submit an audition video to be placed within an orchestra.  Because the program is fully online, musicians from anywhere in the world are welcome to participate!

Q: In prior years, Youth Symphony offered several full orchestras.  How does that translate to Orchestras Online?

A: Our goal is to ensure that all musicians who want to participate can play a part in Orchestras Online.  While we aim to have a full orchestra experience for as many students as possible, depending on the number of students who audition and participate, it is possible that string orchestras will be also offered.

Q: How will I be placed in an ensemble?

A: Student placement in Orchestras Online is similar to any other music audition process.  Adjudicators will review each audition submission and students will be placed respectively, based upon their ability as demonstrated in the video audition.

Q: What technology do I need in order to participate?

A: Students will need the following:

  • Internet-connected device with video camera
  • Secondary playback device such as an iPad/tablet, computer or smartphone
  • Headphones/earbuds
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Music stand (old-school technology!)

Q: Will there be any performances?

A: Yes!  A virtual concert will be premiered at the conclusion of each semester.  Weekly video recordings submitted by musicians will be compiled, mixed and edited to produce a final performance.

Q: Who will be leading the ensembles?

A: Orchestras Online is developed by YSKC Artistic Director Kirt Mosier.  Mr. Mosier and Steven D. Davis will lead the most advanced orchestra; PercussionKC is led by Clif Walker.  Additional orchestras will be led by YSKC conducting staff.

Q: What kind of guest lecturers can I expect?

A: YSKC is fortunate to have conductors who are highly respected in the field and well-connected with musicians, educators and other really interesting people!

Q: Is there a school participation requirement this season?

A: As a result of Covid-19, we recognize that not all students will have the opportunity to participate in their school’s band or orchestra program.  In order to ensure an equitable opportunity to all musicians, YSKC’s school program participation requirement is waived for the 2020-2021 Season.

Q: How much does it cost to participate?

A: Tuition for Orchestras Online is $680 for the season.  PercussionKC tuition is $396.  A non-refundable enrollment fee of $35 is required at the time of program registration.

Q: Is financial assistance available?

A: Yes.  Tuition assistance is available for families with qualified financial need. The financial aid application form will be available after audition results are posted.  All families, including those applying for financial assistance, must pay the enrollment fee of $35.

Q: Is a sibling discount available?

A: No.

Q: Is a volunteer hour requirement in place?

A: No.