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Audition FAQs

What performing ensembles make up Contemporary Youth Orchestra?

All CYO musicians participate in both full orchestra and chamber ensembles. CYnfonia is a chamber ensemble of selected students who have opportunities to perform with artists that collaborate with CYO.

Tell me about the performing ensembles

All students accepted into CYO participate in full orchestra and and will participate in chamber ensembles. Students receive insightful, expert coaching from CYO’s faculty, enabling them to reach for a truly professional level of performance.

Our full orchestra consists of 110 students ages 13-18 and is dedicated to performing professional-level works by contemporary composers. Recent performances have included works by Pascal Le Boeuf, Vince Mendoza, Valerie Coleman, Joe Hisaishi, and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

CYO’s signature Rock the Orchestra concert pairs a legendary rock artist with the orchestra to perform well-known popular music on the symphony stage. Previous collaborations include Chris Thile, Jason Mraz, Melissa Etheridge, Ben Folds, Kenny Loggins and Tommy Shaw.

CYNfonia is a chamber ensemble that participates in additional performances in collaboration with other artists and organizations. Students selected for this group have performed with Les Delices, at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, and have performed soundtracks to films in collaboration with the Tri-C Film Academy and composer Scott Hallgren.

Who are the musicians who make up CYO?

CYO is comprised of musicians in grades 7-12 from all corners of the greater Cleveland area, including students from surrounding counties like Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Geauga, and Lake. Musicians in CYO come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds and experience levels. What they all have in common is a passion for making music, an interest in exploring music they do not typically have opportunities to play in their school programs, and a desire to connect with other musicians.

When do CYO students rehearse?

CYO meets weekly on Saturday from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Main Auditorium of the Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus.

Where do auditions take place?

There are several ways that you can audition for CYO, including from the comfort of your home! CYO offers in-person and pre-recorded audition options. Email Kristopher Morron, Music Director & Conductor, to learn more about which audition option is best for you!

If I Choose to submit a pre-recorded audition video, how should I prepare?

Familiarize yourself with the audition requirements and practice each of the elements. We recommend you warm up before you begin your recording. We also recommend that you record a few takes so that you are familiar with the equipment you are using and feel comfortable and relaxed once you do the final video.

What Happens After I Audition?

Members of CYO’s team will carefully review and assess your audition. You will receive notification of your audition results via email after June 1.

What Do I Need To Play For My Audition?

You may choose from two levels of Audition Packets: Advanced and Intermediate. Advanced Packets include more challenging excerpts than Intermediate Packets, and we encourage you to consult with your Private Instructor and School Orchestra or Band Director to decide which level you should select.

We recognize that this may be your first audition, and we are giving you two different levels to choose from to make your audition more comfortable. Your choice will not influence the panelists’ judgment of your audition. All students will be considered for all CYO ensembles.

Do I Need To Have My Audition Music Memorized?

No. Memorization is not necessary. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your recording.

Do I Need To Have An Accompanist For My Audition Video?

No. While we understand your solo work most likely includes an accompaniment part, we just want to hear you with no accompaniment.

How much is tuition for CYO?

Tuition is $660. Tuition includes 2 tickets to each of CYO’s 4 concerts performed at Tri-C Metro Auditorium.

No student will be turned away due to an inability to pay tuition. Scholarships are available. Please email for more information.

Is School Music Participation Required For CYO Musicians?

Yes! CYO is a strong supporter of school music programs, and believes these programs are the foundation of our music community. CYO is an extended outlet for music and artistic growth and not a substitute for a school music program.

If you have a REQUIRED class that prohibits you from participating in a music program, a note excusing you from this requirement is necessary from your school guidance counselor and/or orchestra, band, choir (or equivalent) director. If you are homeschooled or you don’t have access to a music program in your school, we encourage you to look for equivalent options that might apply to your situation. It is expected that students will discuss their schedules and opportunities with their orchestra, band, choir (or equivalent) director to be able to make the best decision for their individual situation.

Is taking private lessons required of all CYO participants?

Yes. CYO members will be challenged by the music that is selected and 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. If you are not currently taking private lessons, ask your school teacher or email CYO Music Director, Kristopher Morron to ask for recommendations.

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