SYO and SCC 2020-2021 Youth Auditions

Join the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras and Children’s Chorus!

Do you enjoy playing your instrument in your school band, orchestra or choir program? Do you enjoy making music with friends? Do you simply have an interest in performing?

The Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras and Children’s Chorus is excited to start another wonderful 2020-2021 season. SYO and SCC provide a comprehensive and enriching musical education experience for students ranging from elementary school through high school ages. Like many other organizations that are adjusting plans due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras and Children’s Chorus will be moving forward with online auditions for the 2020-2021 year.

The audition period will be between now and September 16th at 11:59pm. Students will be required to submit videos for their audition to be considered as a member of the Springfield Youth Orchestras and Children’s Chorus for the 2020-2021 season! A video audition is required from ALL applicants, whether or not you have been a member of SYO/SCC in the past.



The Springfield Children’s Chorus will be 100% remote for the fall semester, out of an abundance of caution. The Springfield Youth Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, and String Ensemble (SYS, SYCO, and SYSE) will have both an in-person and online option for students.





What would the SYO/SCC Schedule look like?

How will the SYO/SCC program be handled during the current COVID-19 pandemic?

The first priority of the SYO/SCC program is the health and well-being of our young musicians. We are fully committed to making sure our students have a wonderful and safe experience while they make music. The SYO/SCC will host virtual orientations (Open Houses) at 3:00pm on Saturday, September 12th and Sunday, September 13th for auditioning students and parents to be presented with our youth orchestra plan. You would only need to attend one. While the John Legend Theater is under the jurisdiction of the Springfield City Schools, we will have to abide by a set of protocols that ensure the safety of everyone. These protocols would include, but are not limited to, the following:

-There would be both an in-person AND online option for students to attend rehearsals. Students that select for the online option would be able to tune into the rehearsal with the conductor. We would humbly ask that if a student is a principal musician (mainly regarding strings), to please be present for the in-person rehearsals, to allow us to have at least one instrument represented at the rehearsal. However, this would not be required.

-There would be NO IN-PERSON Springfield Children’s Chorus for the fall semester. However, there will be a virtual alternative! We hope to have the chorus return in-person in January 2021.

-ALL students and staff would have to adhere to social distancing (6 feet between all musicians) anytime they are in the building. Chairs and stands would be appropriately distanced during rehearsals. Students would not be allowed to congregate inside the building before or after rehearsals.

-ALL students would be required to wear a mask while in the building. Once we decided on an arrangement for the wind students, they would be allowed to remove their mask while they are playing in their seat.

-ALL students and staff would be required to take a temperature check and health questionnaire as they enter the John Legend Theater. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees F or greater will NOT be admitted to the rehearsal. We would try to make this process as quick as possible. However, we would most likely ask families to arrive a little earlier to rehearsals than in the past, to allow us enough time to screen everyone properly. Students would also have to be prepared for a staggered dismissal from rehearsals, to ensure that there will be no congregating.

-There would be no sharing of food or beverages while in the building. This unfortunately means that we would not have snacks sold by the SYOPA during breaks at this time.

-All rehearsal spaces and equipment, including chairs and stands, would be disinfected after every rehearsal.

-There would be no set restroom break for students during rehearsal. Any student that needs to use the restroom would be permitted to with an “ensemble pass.” This would simply mean that any student can use the restroom during rehearsal at any time, but no other student would be allowed to go until that previous student returns to rehearsal.

-Rehearsals would be shorter than in the past, for safety precautions.

-Hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations would be available throughout the John Legend Theater. We would also provide each student with their own hand sanitizer to use during the semester (best to keep this sanitizer in your case, so the student can use it each time they come for rehearsal).

-Our concert would be held virtually for the fall semester, with the chance for a limited audience (socially distanced).

This SYO/SCC season will be an adjustment for all our students and families, and we will face the current pandemic with great optimism, but great caution. We ask all families to please be prepared for adjustments to the youth orchestra season as we monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.”

What is LiveWire?

Live Wire is a chamber music society featuring a Brass Ensemble, Woodwind Quintet, two String Quartets, and a Percussion Ensemble. This unique performing opportunity for Youth Orchestra members encourages artistic excellence and personal achievement through the vehicle of chamber music. Participants are chosen by audition and other criteria, and perform in a wide variety of community settings. LiveWire ensembles receive professional coaching from members of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

What would I expect from my experience with the SYO/SCC?

Members of the SYO/SCC program should expect an incredibly fun experience while they make music with their peers! Students will have the opportunity to perform a wide array of music, work in sectional coachings with SSO musicians, improve their playing on their instrument, and have memorable performances for large crowds. Students feel a sense of belonging and purpose during their time in our programs! The experience of a SYO/SCC member cannot be underestimated, and we continue to strive to make every student feel respected and valued during their time in the program!

How much does it cost to be in the SYO/SCC program? Is there financial aid?

The tuition price for a student in the Springfield Youth Symphony, Chamber Orchestra or String Ensemble is $275 a year. A student in the Springfield Children’s Chorus is $200 per student. Have a sibling that wants to join?! Siblings receive 50% off tuition!

Financial aid is available in the form of partial and full tuition waivers on a need-based basis. Families may apply for aid prior to the start of the season, and will receive decisions regarding their application for funding when rehearsals begin. Families may also arrange to pay tuition in the form of monthly payment plans! We will NOT turn away any student that has a deep interest in our programs due to financial concerns!

We ask parents to please keep in mind that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the SYO/SCC program will be investing in extra equipment and gear for the safety of all our students. A large part of each student’s tuition will be going towards this extra equipment.

What kind of music will we play?

Be prepared to learn ALL different types of music! Our youth orchestras are known to play many different styles from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century periods, along with performing other repertoire from the stage and screen, including Harry Potter, Star Wars and more! Also, students accepted into a LiveWire ensemble can expect more exposure as a soloist while they work in a smaller ensemble. Our Children’s Chorus also performs a variety of styles, including Bel Canto, jazz, gospel, contemporary, Broadway and more. Our conductors try to provide a wide array of music to keep things fresh and enjoyable for our students!

What is so great about the youth orchestra and programs?

The SYO/SCC programs are such a rewarding experience for young musicians to make music in a fun environment with their peers. Our quality musical performances become some of the trademark memories that students remember from their middle and high school years. We take pride in the fact that many of our students go on to great professions after their time in the program, and still think back on their times in the program fondly! We want our students to look forward to Monday nights rehearsing with their friends at the John Legend Theater and be proud of the awesome music performances they put on for packed crowds!

Check out these testimonials from our youth orchestra students and parents

What if I think I am not good enough to be accepted?

The Springfield Youth Orchestras and Children’s Chorus encourage ANY student that has an interest in making music to audition. WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR PERFECTION IN AUDITIONS! For our instrumental students, we are looking for students who have a basic understanding of how to read music, good control of their basic scales, and a great attitude! For our chorus members, we want students that have a good ear, projection, great attitude, and are willing to learn how to work in an ensemble!

For the 2020-2021 auditions, students will be sending in videos for consideration into the SYO/SCC. For students that may have a few defects in their original videos, we may ask the student to send in a second video with the proper revisions. This will allow students every opportunity to succeed and join our program, while showing the conductors that they are able to adapt to what they are looking for. So please DO NOT be afraid to audition! We want every student to succeed!!

What are the audition requirements?

In general, it is preferred that students in the SYO/SCC program are currently receiving instruction in their band, orchestra and chorus programs at school, or taking lessons with a private instructor. However, this is not required. For the 2020-2021 year, students will send in audition videos to be considered for the SYO/SCC program.

For specific audition requirements, please click here

Musicians from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra will be providing online 30-minute Zoom Lessons through the SSO Virtual Conservatory to assist students who are preparing for their video audition!!! These lessons will be one-on-one with an experienced and encouraging musician from the SSO, who will serve as a mentor to students who are preparing for their video auditions! We highly recommend that students who do not currently take private lessons to take advantage of this opportunity. The first lesson is FREE, and every subsequent lesson will be $28 per 30 minute lesson.

How far is Springfield from me?

Springfield is the county seat of Clark County, OH. However, almost half of our students in SYO/SCC come from Champaign, Green, Franklin, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, and Shelby counties. Springfield is located approximately 25 miles northeast of Dayton, 45 miles west of Columbus, and is drivable from communities such as Urbana, Cedarville, West Liberty, Beavercreek, Mechanicsburg, London, South Charleston, Yellow Springs, New Carlisle, Troy and more! We ensure that even with a commute, our SYO/SCC members can rely on having a fun, safe and rewarding experience in our youth orchestras and children’s chorus!

Who is eligible to join?

For instrumental students (winds, brass and percussion), the age can range between 10-18 years old. The Springfield Children’s Chorus is open to ages 10-15 years old (grades 5-10), with some exceptions. However, we will consider all students of elementary, middle or high school age, as long as they show a deep enthusiasm for making music!

Where and when are rehearsals and concerts?

All ensembles rehearse during the school year on Monday nights at 6:00-9:00pm at the John Legend Theater in downtown Springfield. There are two major concerts a year- one in both the fall and spring. There will also be many additional performance opportunities throughout the year, especially for students selected for the LiveWire ensembles and the Children’s Chorus.

For the Fall 2020 semester, the SYO/SCC program will offer students the option to tune into rehearsals online. This is to provide the chance for students and families to still participate, even with COVID-19 concerns.

What is the Springfield Youth Orchestras (SYO) and Children’s Choir (SCC)?

The SYO/SCC programs were established in 1959, the Springfield Youth Orchestra offers school age students ranging in elementary school through high school the opportunity to perform and learn in a variety of solo, chamber, and full ensemble settings. The SYO/SCC currently boasts FOUR major ensembles, including the Springfield Youth Symphony, Springfield Youth Chamber Orchestra, Springfield Youth String Ensemble, and the Springfield Children’s Chorus. We also present our multiple chamber ensembles, known as LiveWire, which includes our woodwind quintet, brass quintet, string quartets, percussion ensemble and others.

To learn more about the SYO/SCC programs, click here 


Whether or not a student has been in the SYS/SCC program before, ALL STUDENTS MUST REAUDITION.

Ensemble placements for the year will be made based on the Fall 2020 online auditions.

If you have any questions regarding the audition process or 2020-2021 SYO/SCC season, please email the SSO Education and Operations Mangager, Axl Pons, at

If a student is unable to do a recorded audition for the fall, please contact Axl Pons immediately.



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