Audition Information


Orchestra Auditions 2020– 2021


The NHS Orchestra program is comprised of Three performing organizations. All students involved in the orchestra program at Northwest study excellent literature, enjoy performing throughout the year, and have opportunities to travel and participate in social events. Orchestra placement is based on ability. Students will be placed where they will experience the most success. All orchestras are high caliber and need high-level students to serve as musical leaders within them.  


Chamber Orchestra:

This orchestra is our most advanced group. Being a chamber orchestra member requires a serious commitment. Preparation of parts, consistent outside practice, and dedication to the ensemble is expected. Members of the group are often active performers in area youth orchestras, pit orchestra, participants in Solo and Ensemble Contest and All-Region auditions. Members almost always study privately to help provide the support necessary to perform the level of literature studied in this group.


Philharmonic Orchestra:

This orchestra is our advancing group. Students must demonstrate a high level of musical maturity. It is considered a second “audition” level group. Many members study, or have studied privately, or engage in consistent personal practice outside of the school day.


Concert Orchestra:

This is our intermediate level group and the next logical step for students with three years of experience.  Students with any previous playing experience are welcome, but students in this group must still demonstrate a high level of musical maturity. Typically, almost all 9th grade students enroll in this orchestra, but it is open to all students 9-12.


All students interested in leveling up to a new orchestra should plan on participating in auditions.


The Audition Process:


Students interested in auditioning should plan on preparing the following:

  1.  Chose 1 Scale from packet (see attached)


Violin- 3 Octave G, A, or B-flat Major Scale

Viola- 3 Octave D, E-flat, or F Major Scale

Cello- 3 Octave D, E-flat, or F Major Scale

Bass- 2 Octave F, G, or A Major Scale



Violin- 2 Octave C, D, or E-flat Major Scale

Viola- 2 Octave D, E-flat, or F Major Scale

Cello- 2 Octave D, E-flat, or F Major Scale

Bass- 2 Octave E, F, or G Major Scale

         2.   Choose 2 of the excerpts from packet

Chamber: Must be from Excerpts 3-5

Philharmonic: Any of the Excerpts 1-5


 Choosing Excerpts:

  1. I recommend that you print out all 5 excerpts for your respective instrument.  Play through them, take them to your teacher, and decide which 2 excerpts you want to prepare for your audition.
  2. It is important that you pick 2 excerpts in which you are going to be able to play with great intonation, rhythmic precision, a steady tempo (at the metronome markings indicated), and all dynamics, articulations, and style considerations. Fingerings are suggestions and can be changed, but bowings are mandatory.
  3. Avoid picking excerpts that are too difficult for you or too easy for you.  That will not help me to assess you accurately, especially if they are too hard for you.  You might have big goals to be in a certain ensemble, but if you pick music that is beyond your abilities, it only demonstrates that you are not ready to play the level of music in which that ensemble plays.  I want everyone to have a solid, confident audition. 
  4. Even though you will select the excerpts you want to prepare for the orchestra you hope to make it into, it is NO GUARANTEE that you will qualify for that orchestra.  For example, if you choose to perform the Chamber orchestra excerpts (3-5) you may be accepted into Philharmonic or Concert if you are not accepted into Chamber.  All Orchestras perform at a high level; the process is designed to help find the group where you will experience the most success and fulfillment.

Students will be considered for the audition level groups based on the following criteria:

Audition, current rehearsal etiquette, positive attitude and commitment demonstrated on a daily basis, and schedule for the 2020 – 2021 school year.


Audition Submission:


Auditions will be submitted online via google classroom. You will upload a video of your scale and excerpts to NHS Orchestra Audition google classroom.  Sign up for the google classroom using the code l5raoo7 Make sure the camera angle is positioned so that we can see your left and right hand. This video will only be viewable by the audition committee.


If you prefer scheduling a live audition, you can email me to schedule an appointment (


All Video Uploads, or Live Auditions must be Completed by


Tuesday, April 28th


Results: Students and Parents will be notified about audition results via google classroom at the end of the school year. Guidance Counselors will be informed of your placement for scheduling purposes. You may choose to participate in a lower level orchestra if you have a schedule conflict (E.g., a student placed in Chamber could choose to play in Philharmonic or a student placed in Philharmonic could choose to participate in Concert).  We do have students take advantage of this option.  However, you may not choose to participate in a higher-level orchestra for scheduling purposes. Please make me aware of any schedule change requests that you have.


If you have questions regarding the auditions please feel free to contact Mr. Gemoets at


Thank you for investing the time and energy to participate in the audition process.