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The Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra and Hertfordshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra are both auditioned ensembles.

Preparing and submitting audition tapes is great experience for your musical life after your time in our county ensembles.

Audition videos are required if:

  • You are a new applicant to either of our County-level orchestras
  • A member of HSSO wishing to apply for HCYO
  • A returning member who cannot make the trial day session on Sunday 15 September 2024

Please note that although you can audition for both ensembles you will only be offered a place in one or the other, if successful.

We look for confident musicians with orchestral experience to join the orchestras. If you have worked on graded exams, grade 6/7+ for HSSO, and grade 8+ for HCYO is a good guide for the playing standard of each orchestra.

Video auditions

Once you’ve filled out the application form and indicated that you’d like to apply for HSSO and/or HCYO, you can begin preparing a short video submission. This comprises of:

  • A 3–5-minute piece of your choice (this can be accompanied or unaccompanied.
  • 2 x orchestral excerpts provided online, or 2 x approved exam board excerpts  (more details can be found on this page)

How to prepare your video audition

  1. Record your video audition in one take and upload this to YouTube as an ‘unlisted’ video
  2. Please email with the link to your video audition no later than Friday 30 August 2024 with the following subject line:
    HCYO/HSSO AUDITION [delete as appropriate] – NAME – INSTRUMENT.
  3. You’ll hear back regarding the outcome of your audition video by Friday 6 September 2024
  4. If successful, you’ll be invited to take part in our trial day on Sunday 15 September 2024

Our trial day is designed as a next step in our audition and application process for both the Hertfordshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra and County Youth Orchestra, and to help inform seating positions for the academic year.

Please note that an invitation to the trial day does not automatically confirm your place in HSSO/HCYO, and final places will be confirmed via email after the trial day. 

Important things to note when recording and uploading your video audition!

  • Uploading your video as 'unlisted' rather that 'public' means that your audition tape is only available to the recipients of the link. This is the most effective and secure way to share your audition with us!

  • Please list the piece and excerpts you have chosen in the description of the YouTube video.

  • Ensure you are clearly visible in the middle of the camera frame and arrange the camera and lighting so that you and your instrument are clearly visible. For string players, ensure that the bow and fingerboard are in full view.

  • Make sure the sound is as clear as possible – don’t cover up your device’s microphone! 

  • Please note that if choosing to submit an audition using an excerpt from the Trinity syllabus must ensure you provide a scanned copy of the chosen excerpt to accompany your submission.

County Youth Music team contact information