Albany Youth Orchestras

The Albany Youth Orchestras are composed of two groups: Junior Orchestra, for students ready for a challenge beyond the intermediate-level school classes, and Chamber Orchestra, for the most advanced players. Placement is determined by audition only. Students who are enrolled in school classes may join an AYO ensemble at no additional charge, provided the student passes the audition.

AYO Junior Orchestra

The Junior Orchestra is a preparatory-level string orchestra open to all violin, viola, cello and string bass players up to age 18 with approximately two or more years of playing experience. Admission is by audition (see below for audition requirements). JO performs twice yearly in the AYO concerts.

AYO Chamber Orchestra

The Chamber Orchestra is an advanced string orchestra for players with approximately 4+ years experience. Admission is by audition only (see below for audition requirements). CO performs twice yearly in the AYO concerts.

Rehearsal Schedule

Rehearsals are 6:30-8:00 pm Wednesdays in the Memorial Middle School bandroom (JO) and cafeteria (CO). Musicians are expected to be in their seats ready to tune 10 minutes prior to rehearsal start.

2017-2018 Rehearsal Dates

All Wednesdays from October 4 to May 16, except for Nov. 22, Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Mar. 28.


Midterm auditions will be held Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 5:30-6:30pm at the Memorial Middle School bandroom. These are only for students who want to join an orchestra or move from JO to CO. Please be ready for your audition with instrument in tune, music and endpin stop (cellos). A music stand will be provided. Plan for your audition to take 4-7 minutes total.

Admission to both orchestras is by audition only, and placement auditions are also held each year for existing players. Auditions are held prior to the first rehearsal of each term. Auditions are held privately for the conducting staff, and decisions are final. Please contact the JO conductor, Denver Speelman, or the CO conductor, Kim Collar, for more information about the orchestras.

JO audition requirements: violin | viola | cello | bass

CO audition requirements: All instruments: play from memory a 2- or 3-octave (preferred) major and minor scale of your choice, with arpeggios (tonic minimum; all 7 preferred). Play 2-4 minutes total from a piece or pieces from the standard solo or etude repertoire that show contrasting styles (lyrical, technical) and show fluency in positions other than first position. Sight reading from standard excerpts also may be required.

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