2020 Auditions

The NSW Youth Orchestra brings together the very best young musicians from Sydney and around NSW to perform acclaimed concerts of the highest standard.

In collaboration with eminent orchestral musicians, conductors, soloists and educators, we deliver exceptional orchestral training and performance experiences for talented musicians under 25 years of age.

In 2017, we started our collaboration with renowned conductor Fabian Russell. Our concerts have been huge successes and greatly enjoyed by our members. NSWYO continues its spectacular concert series featuring some of the most challenging and rewarding orchestral works ever written. We will perform alongside several of Australia’s most prominent soloists – both established and emerging – in major Sydney concert halls.

In 2020, we continue the excellence set up by previous conductors with a brand new conductor, James D’Arcy, who will refocus on the core visions of the orchestra by revisiting standard repertoire to consolidate orchestral ensemble skills, by ensuring mentors are able to assist in the most rewarding way possible for the NSWYO players as well as by adding some more recently composed standard repertoire to the programming. 

The NSWYO continues its two exciting competitions in 2020:

  1. NSWYO Concerto Competition. The winner plays their chosen Concerto with the NSWYO.
  2. Australian Composer Competition. Submit your orchestral composition (<15mins) now or throughout the year and the NSWYO will perform a winning composition.

Application and Auditions

Audition details

All Auditions will be via video.

  • Applicants must be aged 25 or younger on 1 January 2020.
  • Playing standard: equivalent to ~ AMEB Grade 6 or higher.
  • We accept applications throughout the year. Please fill in the application form and we will be in contact.
  • Pay 20% of total fee to confirm position.
  • Priority will be given to applicants playing in all 3 concerts for competitive positions.

Video Instructions

  • You will play a 2 minute solo of your choice (can be whole or part of a piece) followed by the excerpts for your instrument.
  • The video must not be stopped during the recording. If it is, you will have to start again.
  • Video recordings may not be edited, nor any effects added. Phone videos are acceptable. You will not be penalised for the quality of your video, although it is important that it is good enough to see and hear you clearly.
  • Videos should be available for watching online – download links will not be accepted.
  • If you submit YouTube links, be sure your videos have the proper settings: VIDEO MANAGER → videos → Basic Info → from the dropdown menu, please choose “Public” or “Unlisted” instead of “Private”.
  • Please email your weblink to: auditions@nswyo.com.au, insert your name and instrument in the subject heading.

Rehearsal and Performance Commitments

  • Musicians are expected to attend all rehearsals throughout the year;
  • Rehearsals are held in the Crows Nest Community Centre on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 9:15pm beginning 5 weeks before the performance;
  • There will be an extra rehearsal on the day of the concert.

In order to ensure that the orchestra is able to give the best possible performance at each concert, you would be expected to:

  • Inform us well in advance of any rehearsal you cannot attend, and if you are playing a solo part, to help find a substitute player;
  • Assist with setup and packing up of the rehearsal/concert venues;
  • Practice sufficiently in your own time so that you are proficient with the music;
  • Pay membership fees on time.

Membership Fees

Membership fees, including all discounts & audition fee deduction if paid before due date :

  • 3 Concerts $380
  • 2 Concerts $280
  • 1 Concert $150

Payment plans are available. Please contact us to discuss.


A number of merit-based scholarships will be awarded to NSWYO musicians who play in all 3 concerts. Scholars will be selected from their NSWYO audition. In cases of genuine financial hardships (proof required), NSWYO may consider fee reductions.

Section Leader and Concertmaster Responsibilities


Attendance at rehearsals is critical to a successful performance. For section leaders we require a steady commitment:

  • Play in all 3 major concerts;
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to rehearsal start time to ensure their section is set up and stay back to help pack up (or organise someone in section to do this); and
  • Help to recruit players as required.


Section leaders should feel comfortable in making musical decisions for their section and  then guiding their fellow instrumentalists in forming a unified musical unit, all time with respect, confidence and pleasantly. 


The concertmaster be able to gain respect of their fellow musicians through a comfortable confidence in their own playing, musicianship and approach to resolving issues that arise during rehearsals and performances. 

Percussion Leader

Ensure percussion equipment is returned to the correct place after each rehearsal, tutorial or concert. Enlist help as required.