RFYO Ensembles & Rehearsal Times 


There is no audition requirement to join the Prep. In the Prep students learn the basics of playing together and the experience the fun of making music with others. Students work on note-reading and rhythm with games and other activities. Current Prep students range in age from 5 to 12. Only in Glenwood Springs at this time, the Prep meets Thursdays, 4:15-5:15 at GSES with Shaunna Wilsky leading rehearsals. Great for students who have played for as little as a couple of months up through 1-2 years. 


Sinfonia is the intermediate string ensemble of the RFYO program (Level 1 on the audition sheet). Students learn how to make music as an ensemble with each section playing independently. Sinfonia is a good next step for students graduating from the Beginning Strings program. 

Glenwood Springs Elementary School (2nd floor) - Thursdays 4:15-5:15

Carbondale - Ross Montessori School - Thursdays 4:15-5:15

Aspen - AMS Band Room - Tuesdays 3:45-4:45


Camerata is the advanced-intermediate string ensemble of the RFYO program (Level 2 on the audition information). Students play string orchestra repertoire and are at a level where they are learning to shift, play vibrato, and play more complex music as an ensemble. Students in this ensemble are mostly in middle and high school.

Carbondale - Ross Montessori School - Thursdays 4:15-5:30

Aspen - AMS Band Room - Tuesdays - 3:45-5:00

(No Glenwood location at this time)


Philharmonia is a full orchestra with strings, winds, brass, and percussion (Level 3 on the audition information). The Philharmonia plays music from the orchestral repertoire including excerpts from symphonies by Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert. Students in this ensemble are dedicated young musicians who have previous ensemble experience and regularly practice 45 minutes of more at least 4 days per week. 

Aspen - AMS Band Room - Tuesdays 5:00-6:30

Placement Auditions (No auditions required for 2020-21)

All students are accepted into the RFYO. Students 8 and under, or anyone joining the Prep, do not need to audition. 


Auditions are a way for students to demonstrate their playing ability, and for us to place them into the best ensemble for them. This ensures that students have a good experience and learn new skills, building from their current level. Students also learn about how auditions work.

Following your child's audition you will receive an email indicating your child's placement into an RFYO ensemble. Auditions take place in late May and early September.


All wind players audition for Philharmonia (formerly know as Orchestra). 

Interested in joining the RFYO for the 2020-21 school year?

Contact Sarah at sarah@rfyouthorchestra.org or 970-306-1235 

Students are accepted throughout the school year.

Audition Requirements by Level

General Audition Requirements:


All students will play 2-4 minutes of a solo piece (does not need to be memorized), the required scales according to level below, and sight-reading. String pieces do not need to come from the Suzuki books. These are used to reference the levels of repertoire. ​

  • Please prepare for the audition with the help of your private teacher. 

  • If you do not have a private teacher and are interested in joining, please contact us. We will help you find a teacher and make a plan about auditioning when you are ready.

Download and Print Audition Requirements HERE or read below.

Prep — pre-level 1  - No Audition required 


Level 1 - Sinfonia (Strings)

Minimum Repertoire Level: 

Violin: Suzuki Book 1, Etude or later

Viola: Near end of Suzuki Book 1

Cello: Suzuki Book 1, Etude or later

Bass: Suzuki Book 1 


Scales — Half Notes and Quarter Notes at Quarter=60, Separate Bows

Violin: 1 Octave: A Major, D Major, Possibly 2 Octaves: G Major

Viola: 1 Octave: D Major, G Major; Possibly 2 Octaves: C Major

Cello: 1 Octave: D Major, G Major; Possibly 2 Octaves: C Major

Bass: 1 Octave: G Major, D Major


Sight Reading/Ensemble Level: 

Basic ability to read quarter, eighth, half and whole notes that fall within the above scales in first position — able to identify the note names from the staff and find them on the instrument with relative ease (notes included in the above scales) Some basic familiarity with F Naturals, C Naturals and G Naturals (violins on the E string), though they may be a new concept. Can identify where  the key signature is on the page and has some knowledge of how to determine the sharps or flats. Can identify the time signature and has some knowledge of playing in 3/4 and 4/4 time. 


Level 2 - Camerata  (Strings)

Minimum Repertoire Level

Violin: End of Suzuki Book 2 — past Boccherini minuet up through the middle/end of book 4

Viola: Suzuki Book 2 or later

Cello: Suzuki Book 2, Witches’ Dance or later



Played with the metronome at Quarter = 60 

Half notes (long legato bows); Quarter Notes, 2 notes slurred; 2 staccato eighth notes per note

Violin: 2 octaves: G Major, D Major, C Major 

Viola: 2 Octaves: C major, D Major; Possibly G Major, 2 Octaves

Cello: 2 Octaves: C Major, D Major, G Major; 1 Octave: F Major, B Flat Major

Bass: 1 Octave C Major, G Major, D Major, F Major, B Flat Major


Sight Reading/Ensemble Level

Violinists are starting to shift into 3rd position and possibly half and 2nd. String players are either doing vibrato or are starting to work on adding it into their playing. Ability to sight-read a short excerpt using quarter, eighth, sixteenth, whole and half notes — with notes from the scales above — shifting between first and third positions for violins (will be clearly marked in the music), and between first, second, third, and fourth for cellos with fingering suggestions provided. Recognizes and can define basic dynamic and tempo markings

Practice: Average of 45 minutes per day

Level 3 - Philharmonia (Strings, Winds, Brass, Percussion)

Previous ensemble experience required

Minimum Repertoire Level

Violin: Near the end of Suzuki Book 4 or later

Viola: Beginning of Suzuki Book 3 or later

Cello: Suzuki Book 3, Beethoven Minuet/Humoresque or later

Double Bass: By teacher recommendation

Woodwind and Brass: Please choose a solo piece or orchestral solo excerpt to play in your audition


String bowings: slur 2 quarter notes, 4 eighth notes at Quarter=60; and four Spiccato notes per scale degree at Quarter=60

Violin: 3 octaves: G Major, A major and, G melodic minor 

Viola: 2 octaves: C and G Major, C melodic minor (optional, C Major 3 octaves)

Cello: 3 octaves: C and D Major, 2 Octave G Major, 3 Octave C melodic minor

Bass: 2 octaves G Major Scale, and one octave G melodic minor scale

Woodwind and Brass: Chromatic scale and major scale of choice (quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes at quarter=80)


Sight Reading/Ensemble Level:

Ability to play a short excerpt using quarter, eighth, sixteenth, whole and half notes — with notes from the scales/key signatures above — shifting between first, second, third, and fourth positions for violins, and between first, second, third, and fourth for cellos with fingering suggestions provided. Recognizes and can define basic dynamic and tempo markings.

 Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion: You are welcome to use this a practice audition for all-state material — using orchestral excerpts in place of solo repertoire, and substituting all-state scale requirements for the scales above.


 Practice: Average of 45 minutes + per day

Audition Etiquette

  • Arrive early, about 30 minutes before your audition. That way you have time to find the room you are to audition in, and locate where you can tune, and warm up.


  • Come in quietly, so as not to disturb other auditions that are happening when you arrive. 


  • If you have questions, be sure never to interrupt someone else’s audition, wait until they are completely done playing and leaving the room to knock and politely ask what you need to know.

  • Dress: We realize that many students are staying after school for these auditions. With this in mind it is optional to dress up as you typically would for an audition. Please know that in other situations (auditions for all state, regional ensembles) you would need to dress nicely. Usually you would dress formally, like you are playing in a recital, or wearing black, or black and white is an option as you would for an orchestra concert. Make sure what you choose to wear is comfortable to play in and doesn’t cause any buzzing or noise on your instrument.


  • In the Audition: Shake the judges’ hands. Introduce yourself if you don’t know them. Ask what they would like to begin with.


  • Know the names of your scales and pieces of music. 


  • Don’t ask to start over unless it is impossible to keep going (ex.: your string went out of tune, or you began the wrong scale).


  • Say thank you afterwards, no matter how you felt you played.

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