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AUDITION INFORMATION FOR 2024-2025 will be available on this page

beginning APRIL 12, 2024.

To make sure you know when audition information goes live, sign up HERE.

The information below is from the 2023-2024 Season auditions to give you an idea of previous year's requirements. All requirements and info below are subject to change for the 2024-2025 season.

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2023 - 2024 SEASON

AUDITION INFORMATION

Published April 2023

The following information is for classical ensembles only.

Jazz auditions take place in November/December 2023 for a January - May 2024 season.

 

Your CKYO (Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras) audition is the first step you’ll take toward making music with many other wonderful musicians just like you! You’ll be inspired, challenged, and receive expert guidance from excellent music educators every week. Ensembles are open to young musicians in 3rd through 12th grades and need-based financial assistance is available for all programs.

 

CKYO Classical Ensemble Auditions for the 2023-2024 school year will be via video for all participants. This audition video is used to assign you to an ensemble for the 2023-2024 school year. UPDATE: Due to a technical issue with the application, we have extended the deadline. Audition videos will be accepted through Memorial Day weekend. The application will remain open until Tuesday, May 30 at 8:00AM.

Before preparing your audition, we invite you to learn more and decide which orchestra or ensemble might be the best fit for you. CKYO's intention is to place students in the most advanced and appropriate orchestra for their musical ability at the time of the audition. All of our orchestras offer opportunities to perform challenging repertoire and play in an ensemble with other dedicated musicians.  

 

CKYO held open rehearsals the week of May 1, 2023 for students and families interested in observing a CKYO rehearsal. Thank you to those who attended!

  • Do I need to prepare and submit an audition for the 2024-2025 season?
    WHO SHOULD SUBMIT AN AUDITION VIDEO for CKYO's 2024-2025 Season All students who were NOT a member of a CKYO classical ensemble during the 2023-2024 season; Any student who is a member of Concert, Repertory, or Bravo String Orchestra during the 2023-2024 season and wishes to move into a more advanced CKYO ensemble. NO AUDITION VIDEO REQUIRED FOR**: All students who are members of Symphony Orchestra in 2023-2024 school year and want to continue in Symphony Orchestra for the 2024-2025 season; Any student who was a member of Concert, Repertory, or Bravo String Orchestra during the 2023-2024 school year and wishes to participate in that same orchestra for 2024-2025 season. **Students wishing to return to their 2023-2024 orchestra next season, may do so by completing the Returning Student Intention Form form HERE by April 1, 2024 - this helps us know openings in each ensemble for next season.
  • How do I know which orchestra I should audition for?
    Consult with your school or private teacher and take a look at each orchestras required proficiencies and typical grade levels represented. Also, take a look at the orchestra excerpts for each instrument. The excerpts are taken from repertoire performed by each orchestra and are cumulative in difficulty (i.e. Excerpt#1 in Symphony Orchestra Violin packet is representative of a Repertory Orchestra piece, Excerpts #2 is representative of a Concert Orchestra piece, Excerpts #3 and #4 are representative of a Symphony Orchestra piece.) If you need more details or have additional questions, contact the office at operationsckyo@gmail.com or call 859-254-0796 from Monday - Thursday 10am - 5pm)
  • Will I have a video or in-person audition?
    For the 2024-2025 season classical auditions for all orchestra auditions, except for percussion, will take place via video. Percussion students should complete this Percussion Interest form to schedule an in-person skills assessment. Each orchestra will begin the season in August 2024 with live, in-person seating auditions. Seating Audition Music & Instructions will be provided when you receive the results of your audition in July 2024. Seating Auditions create the seating chart for your ensemble for the first concert of the season. Additional seating auditions will be held throughout the season at the discretion of each orchestra's conductor.
  • When is my audition video due?
    Audition videos should be submitted via the CKYO Audition Application no later than 11:59pm on June 1, 2024. Once you have prepared and recorded your audition, upload it to YouTube (instructions about uploading and setting permissions are available at https://www.ckyo.org/video-instructions
  • What should I prepare for my audition?
    Click HERE for Audition requirements.
  • What will CKYO be judging in my audition?
    Things the judges consider Rhythmic accuracy Rhythmic stability (steady tempo) Intonation (playing in-tune with yourself) Tone quality Dynamic contrast Instrument-specific technique Musicality, expression, and phrasing Appropriateness of repertoire for your technical level Ability to recover if you make a mistake Careful preparation of all audition music Things the judges do not consider The audio quality of the device you used to record The video quality of the device used to record Where you recorded your video and what it looked like (bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc. However, acoustics can be an issue if, for example you record in your bathroom and the sound is unclear due to the echo. Wherever you record, make sure you can be clearly heard.) Race or ethnicity Gender or gender presentation If you have a private teacher or who your teacher is Other auditions you’ve taken or groups you’ve played with How fancy or expensive your instrument is For the complete rubric and scoring that evaluators use when listening to your video, click below:
  • Can I edit my audition video?
    Absolutely no editing or sound enhancements of any kind are permitted. Your audition video should be one continuous take. Audition videos that are suspected to have been edited or otherwise enhanced will be disqualified.
  • What if I do not have access to an instrument at home or can’t do a video audition?
    If you do not have access to your instrument or have other challenges preventing you from submitting an audition video, please email Amelia at operationsckyo@gmail.com.
  • Should I memorize the music?
    Memorization of scales is preferred for Bravo String Orchestra and required for Symphony, Concert, and Repertory Orchestra auditions. Memorization of the excerpts and solo are not required.
  • What should I wear for my audition?
    Wear something that makes you feel good and that you can comfortably play your instrument in. Dressing up in "concert or recital" attire is not required but sometimes helps you to feel more like you are performing which can enhance your video. Remember that this is the first impression you will make on those who will evaluate you. It is also a good idea to practice in the clothes/shoes you are planning to wear before your audition.
  • Other than an ensemble placement or notification of no placement, will I receive any feedback from the judges?
    CKYO is not able to provide feedback or comments from auditions. Judges are only placing students in an ensemble based on the presentation in the video or live audition and the performance of the audition components. The judges listening to your auditions are not aware of your past placement or performance in CKYO, your current grade, your private teacher, etc. They are assessing your level of proficiency for the orchestra for which you have prepared an audition and must take into account the number of available seats in each section when assigning players to each section within each ensemble. We are aware that audition outcomes can be disappointing, but hope you understand that results are based on a brief snapshot of what you present in an audition. We encourage you to always work to improve on your instrument and build on your technique and musicianship with each audition opportunity, regardless of the outcome.
  • Is School Music Participation Required for CKYO Musicians?
    YES! CKYO is a strong supporter of school music programs, and believes these programs are the foundation of our music community. CKYO is an extended outlet for music and artistic growth and not a substitute for a school music program. All middle school and high school-aged members are REQUIRED to participate in their school band and/or orchestra program. If a school does not offer an ensemble for the auditioned instrument, please list the name of a school teacher or counselor who can confirm. Home schooling parents should indicate that on the registration form and may list themselves as the teacher name or n/a. CKYO will coordinate teacher communication in regard to signing off/approving a student's participation in CKYO. CKYO will send emails to school and private teachers listed on a students registration form to ensure compliance with our policies and support of their school and private teachers. In making these requirements, CKYO recognizes that a school or private music teacher may refuse to approve a students' participation in CKYO if reasonable efforts have not been met by the student, to work for the betterment of the school or private music program, or to rescind a signature if the student is not living up to the agreement made. CKYO reserves the right to retract membership privileges if the proper teacher/program approval requirements have not been obtained in accordance with the CKYO timetable. Please note: CKYO makes NO EXCEPTIONS to its school instrumental and private music teacher signature certification requirements. Because the organization serves students from 15 different counties and over 55 schools the policy is broad and is in place to support the public school music programs who work in cooperation with the organization. CKYO recognizes that each school has their own ensemble participation requirements. The teacher confirmation required by CKYO each semester indicates the student for which the teacher is approving is in compliance with school requirements as that school and/or teacher deems acceptable.
  • Is taking private lessons required of all CKYO participants?
    Yes. CKYO members are required to be enrolled in regular private lessons on their instrument. You will be challenged by the music that is selected and the pace of the rehearsal schedule. While our staff will utilize our expertise to help all students succeed, nothing can replicate the personalized attention musicians receive when they take private lessons. CKYO does not require you to be enrolled in private lessons prior to auditioning for CKYO, but once you have been placed in an ensemble and are attending rehearsals, you must meet the private lesson requirement. If you are not currently taking private lessons, ask your school teacher or email us at operationsckyo@gmail.com to ask for recommendations.
  • When will I know the results of the CKYO Ensemble Auditions?
    Audition results will be emailed to the email address provided on the application (where you submit your audition video link) no later than July 1, 2024.
  • Where do I submit my Audition Video?
    Paste your video link and provide some basic information about you at our 77th Season: 2024-2025 AUDITION APPLICATION. There is a $15 audition fee. If you need help with the audition fee, contact Amelia at operationsckyo@gmail.com.
  • Are there auditions for the classical ensembles at any other time during the season?
    It is at the sole discretion of the conductor of each ensemble to decide to hold auditions for any open seats. Should there be mid-year auditions, they will be announced on the CKYO website's "Audition" page.
  • Does it cost anything to participate in CKYO?
    Yes, CKYO's classical and jazz orchestras are tuition-based and require a $15 application fee. However, CKYO is committed to the equitable access to high-quality music education and seeks to make our programs accessible to all students who successfully audition into an orchestra, regardless of their financial background. Need-based tuition assistance is available for all CKYO orchestras and we encourage families to apply, whether you are requesting full tuition assistance for the season or a $50 per semester assistance, all requests for tuition assistance should be applied for via the CKYO Tuition Assistance Application. All families with tuition payment concerns are encouraged to apply. To learn more about CKYO Tuition, click HERE. To learn more about CKYO Tuition Scholarship or Assistance, click HERE. If you are unable to pay the $15 application fee, contact Amelia by emailing operationsckyo@gmail.com and we will help!
  • I need more information about the two Jazz Ensembles that CKYO offers.
    About the Jazz Arts Orchestra (JAO) In January 2008 CKYO adopted the former Jazz Arts Foundation Youth Ensemble, adding big-band jazz to our highly successful classical orchestras. The Jazz Arts Orchestra (JAO) rehearses one night a week and is comprised of the standard big band instrumentation: alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, trombones, trumpets, and a full rhythm section featuring drums, bass, guitar, and piano. University of Kentucky Professor Raleigh Dailey leads the CKYO Jazz Arts Orchestra. The Jazz Arts Orchestra will accept up to the following for each instrument: 2 Alto, 2 tenor, 1 bari, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones (including bass), piano, guitar, bass, drumset). Tuition: $260 for the semester + fundraising or $75 cash opt out (Due February 15, 2024) Rehearsals: Tuesdays 7:15 – 9:00pm beginning January 9, 2024 – May 14, 2024 Location: St. Luke Church (2351 Alumni Drive, Lexington) Performances: Sunday, February 18, 2024: CKYO Teen Arts Festival @ Singletary Center for the Arts May 14, 2024 : CKYO Jazz Live at the Lyric @ Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center About the Jazz Repertory Orchestra (JRO) Now in its seventh season, the Jazz Repertory Orchestra (JRO) is an ensemble open to middle and high school students who are interested in participating in a select Jazz Ensemble but have less experience than students qualifying for the JAO. University of Kentucky Professor Raleigh Dailey leads the CKYO Jazz Repertory Orchestra. The Jazz Repertory Orchestra will accept a larger number of instruments and focuses on exploring improvisation and building jazz skills for the participants. Tuition: $245 for the semester + fundraising or $75 cash opt out (Due February 15, 2024) Rehearsals: Tuesdays 5:30pm – 7:00pm beginning January 9, 2024 – May 14, 2024 Location: St. Luke Church (2351 Alumni Drive, Lexington) Performances: Sunday, February 18, 2024: CKYO Teen Arts Festival @ Singletary Center for the Arts May 14, 2024 : CKYO Jazz Live at the Lyric @ Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center
  • Do I need to prepare and submit an audition for the Spring 2024 Jazz Season?
    WHO SHOULD SUBMIT AN AUDITION VIDEO by December 1, 2023 All students wishing to audition for a seat in the Jazz Arts Orchestra (JAO) - the most advanced CKYO Jazz Ensemble. Any student who was not a member of a CKYO Jazz Ensemble in 2022-2023 Season (January 2023 - May 2023). NO AUDITION REQUIRED FOR**: All students who were members of JAZZ REPERTORY ORCHESTRA in Spring 2023 and want to continue in Jazz Repertory Orchestra for Spring 2024 season; **Students wishing to return to Jazz Repertory Orchestra in January next season, may do so by completing the Jazz Repertory Orchestra Registration form HERE by December 1, 2023.
  • Will I have a video or in-person audition?
    Auditions for the Spring 2024 Jazz Season will be via VIDEO submission this fall. All videos are due by DECEMBER 1, 2023.
  • When is my audition video due?
    All auditions for CKYO Jazz Ensembles are due on or before December 1, 2023 at 11:59pm. Instructions for recording your video are available at https://www.ckyo.org/video-instructions
  • What should I prepare for my CKYO Jazz Ensemble Audition?
    Your audition will consist of three things: Prepare 1 solo (jazz style preferred, you can also play parts of more than one solo, approx 3-5 minutes of music); All - except drum set - should play the 12 keys of major scales and a chromatic scale through your range; Perform an improvisation to a backing track provided by CKYO. More detailed instructions are available at HERE.
  • What will CKYO be judging in my audition?
    Things the judges consider Rhythmic accuracy and stability (steady tempo) Intonation (playing in-tune with yourself) Tone quality Dynamic contrast Instrument-specific technique Musicality, expression, and phrasing Understanding of the style of music you are playing Appropriateness of repertoire for your technical level Ability to recover if you make a mistake Preparation Things the judges do not consider The audio quality of the device you used to record The video quality of the device used to record Where you recorded your video and what it looked like (bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc. However, acoustics can be an issue if, for example you record in your bathroom and the sound is unclear due to the echo. Wherever you record, make sure you can be clearly heard.) Race or ethnicity Gender or gender presentation If you have a private teacher or who your teacher is Other auditions you’ve taken or groups you’ve played with How fancy or expensive your instrument is For the complete rubric and scoring that evaluators use when listening to your video, click below:
  • Can I edit my audition video?
    Absolutely no editing or sound enhancements of any kind are permitted. Your audition video should be one continuous take. Audition videos that are suspected to have been edited or otherwise enhanced will be disqualified.
  • What if I do not have access to an instrument at home or can’t do a video audition?
    If you do not have access to an instrument or have other challenges preventing you from submitting an audition video, please email us ASAP and well in advance of the 12/1/23 video deadline at operationsckyo@gmail.com.
  • Other than an ensemble placement or notification of no placement, will I receive any feedback from the judges?
    CKYO is not able to provide feedback or comments from auditions. Judges are only placing students in an ensemble based on the presentation in the video or live audition and the performance of the audition components. The judges listening to your auditions are not aware of your past placement or performance in CKYO, your current grade, your private teacher, etc. They are assessing your level of proficiency for the orchestra for which you have prepared an audition and must take into account the number of available seats in each section when assigning players to each section within each ensemble. We are aware that audition outcomes can be disappointing, but hope you understand that results are based on a brief snapshot of what you present in an audition. We encourage you to always work to improve on your instrument and build on your technique and musicianship with each audition opportunity, regardless of the outcome.
  • Is School Music Participation Required for CKYO Musicians?
    Yes! CKYO is a strong supporter of school music programs, and believes these programs are the foundation of our music community. CKYO is an extended outlet for music and artistic growth and not a substitute for a school music program. All middle school and high school aged members are REQUIRED to participate in their school band and/or orchestra program. If a school does not offer an ensemble for the auditioned instrument, we require that your counselor sign certifying such a situation. Home schooling parents are asked to sign as the student's music teacher, certifying that music is a part of their schooling program. CKYO will coordinate teacher communication in regard to signing off/approving a student's participation in CKYO. CKYO will send emails to school and private teachers listed on a students registration form to ensure compliance with our policies and support of their school and private teachers. In pre-pandemic and post pandemic CKYO season - Students obtained signatures from their school instrumental music teachers each semester of participation in CKYO as a certification of compliance supporting the school and private instrumental teachers and programs. In making these requirements, CKYO recognizes that a school or private music teacher may refuse to approve a students' participation in CKYO if reasonable efforts have not been met by the student, to work for the betterment of the school or private music program, or to rescind a signature if the student is not living up to the agreement made. CKYO reserves the right to retract membership privileges if the proper teacher/program approval requirements have not been obtained in accordance with the CKYO timetable. Please note: CKYO makes NO EXCEPTIONS to its school instrumental and private music teacher signature certification requirements. Because the organization serves students from 15 different counties and over 60 schools the policy is broad and is in place to support the public school music programs who work in cooperation with the organization. CKYO recognizes that each school has their own ensemble participation requirements. The teacher confirmation required by CKYO each semester indicates the student for which the teacher is approving is in compliance with school requirements as that school and/or teacher deems acceptable.
  • Is taking private lessons required of all CKYO participants?
    CKYO members are required to be enrolled in regular private lessons on their instrument. You will be challenged by the music that is selected and the pace of the rehearsal schedule. While our staff will utilize our expertise to help all students succeed, nothing can replicate the personalized attention musicians receive when they take private lessons. CKYO does not require you to be enrolled in private lessons prior to auditioning for CKYO, but once you have been placed in an ensemble and are attending rehearsals, you must meet the private lesson requirement. If you are not currently taking private lessons, ask your school teacher or email us at operationsckyo@gmail.com to ask for recommendations.
  • When will I know the results of the auditions?
    Audition results will be emailed to the email addresses provided on the application (where you submit your audition video link) no later than July 1, 2024.
  • Where do I submit my Audition Video?
    Submit your video here and tell us a little bit about yourself and how to contact you. https://form.jotform.com/232846495860064
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