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Seating Auditions


Auditions play an important role in the training and development of a musician, and the system in use by the SYS is typical of all elite ensembles, whether student or professional. While every care is taken to seat students fairly and on the basis of their audition, it is important to recognize that auditions are by nature subjective, and that there is no perfect system for evaluating students. It is important to understand that audition outcomes are in no way intended to discourage students or to belittle their efforts.  Auditions judge a player’s abilities on a given day, but are not meant as a judgment of a student’s character or as a way of assigning their relative value to the organization. The SYS conducting staff endeavors to reward hard work and to value every student’s contribution to the organization and the musical product. 


Wind/Brass Seating
If there is more than one woodwind or brass player per part, the following seating order will be observed:  Principal 1st (#1 rank); Principal 2nd (#2 rank); assistant Principal 1st (#3 rank); assistant Principal 2nd (#4 rank).  In certain exposed soloist passages, the assistant principals may be asked to be tacet for artistic and/or balance reasons.

Seating Changes following auditions
If auditions occur during a rehearsal series, changes to the seating order will usually be applied to the next concert series.  This decision, however, will be at the director’s discretion.  If string seating is rearranged during a concert series, players should continue to play their original divided (divisi) part.

Missed auditions
If a member is unable to attend a regularly scheduled seating audition, the audition must be recorded in advance and the recording sent by email to the Executive Director at least one day prior to the audition.  The musician must understand that the recording may carry less weight than a live audition. Students who miss the seating audition and fail to provide a recording will likely be seated at the back of the section for that concert and rehearsal series, at the discretion of the conductor.

Performance Standards
If a member does not appear to be meeting performance, leadership or behavioral standards, the director may reassign the seating.


  • All seating decisions are at the Conductor's discretion, and decisions are final. 

  • A student’s tuition must be current in order to be seated.

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