Phoenix Youth Symphony thumbnail

Phoenix Youth Symphony

Start an Application

Narrow your Search

68th Season – 20/21

Expanding horizons through music and developing the next generation of artists, patrons, and leaders.

In 1947, a forward-thinking group formed the Phoenix Symphony Guild with a dual purpose to create the Phoenix Symphony and to raise funds in their support. In 1952, this same group created a Youth Orchestra to train young musicians for The Phoenix Symphony. 

In 1955, due to increasing demand, the Guild formed the Symphonette Orchestra. Eleven years later, the Junior Strings were added, giving beginning string players an opportunity to learn basic orchestral skills. 

Fast forward to 1992, when the Youth Orchestra and Symphonette Orchestra had both evolved into full symphonic orchestras with 80-100 members each. To answer the need for more advanced preparation of strings for these ensembles, Junior Strings evolved into the String Orchestra and no longer admitted beginners. That same year, the Symphonic Winds was added to further woodwind, brass, and percussion students’ orchestral training. A Percussion Ensemble was added in 2004 and Chamber Winds was formed eight years later providing an enhanced musical experience for the highest-level wind, brass, and percussion players from Symphonette and Symphonic Winds. 

In January 2007, the Guild voted to conduct its operations as The Phoenix Youth Symphony (PYS) and in 2018 adding Prelude Strings, a debut orchestra providing young string musicians a chance to play in their first ensemble.

Please use this portal to submit your application, application fee, and upload your audition video material.

Deadline for audition submissions is Saturday August 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM (PST) 

Requested Scales for PYS-Acceptd Video August Auditions 2020
August 7, 2020 4:00 at PM


Thank you for auditioning for the Phoenix Youth Symphony via Acceptd. Scales are important in student development. Our Audition Requirements list many scales and ranges (octaves) we feel are important to success in the corresponding ensemble.

Please be sure to perform the scales in succession on your single scales video – one continuous video. You may record as many takes as you like and then select the best take you like to upload and submit.

You need to perform the scales requested for the highest ensemble in which you are auditioning.

Ex 1: auditioning for Youth Symphony; also considered for Symphonette and Symphonic Winds – perform and video the scales for Youth Symphony

Ex 2: auditioning for String Orchestra; also considered for Prelude Strings – perform and video the scales for String Orchestra

Ex 3: auditioning for Symphonette only - perform and video the scales for Symphonette.

Important: Complete audition submission deadline is Saturday August 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM (PST)

Steps to complete your audition for PYS:

Step 1 – Start your application

Please select the ensemble and instrument group in which you are interested in auditioning from the menu on the left. 

Unsure which ensemble(s) to select? Click here

You will then sign-up for an account on Acceptd.

Within the Application there will be a question if you would like to be considered for other ensembles. We encourage all students to select yes and then the other ensembles in which you are interested. For example: brass students may be interested in being available for the 3 groups that need brass players; Youth Symphony, Symphonette and Symphonic Winds.

Please note: Acceptd has an 'under 16 years of age 'safety feature'. If the student is under 16, there will need to be verification required from the student and parent email to proceed with the account verification process. This will need to be done to create an account in the student's name. Please watch for this. 

Step 2 – Submit Video(s)

At the end of the application, 
you will be prompted to upload your audition videos directly to the Acceptd site. All videos (solos, scales, and excerpts - Youth Symphony only) must be uploaded by the August 8, 2020 deadline. The audition submission is not complete until all videos have been uploaded. Please review the Video Audition Instructions and the program guidelines.

Recommendation: It is suggested that students have their solo piece and excerpt (Youth Symphony submission only) already video recorded and uploaded prior to the release of the specific scales. PYS values the importance of scales and wants to ensure students are practicing all possible scales from the Audition Requirements. Exact scales asked from the Audition Requirements will be emailed on August 7th at 4:00 PM.

Step 3 – Upload a PDF file of your solo piece sheet music with the section you are playing clearly marked with brackets. The PDF should be uploaded when the solo video is submitted.

Please note: once all files are uploaded you may see a spinning 'Processing' indication. Please be reassured that your videos and pdf are uploaded. They are simply being processed in the Acceptd servers for adjudication purposes. You can proceed to hit the 'Submit' button. Acceptd will not allow you to submit with a missing file.

You will be prompted to submit the $35 application fee upon completion of your video uploads.

Please note that Youth Symphony students will be having Seating Audition videos due on August 15. These videos will be submitted to a cloud site , NOT Acceptd. If you are selected for Youth Symphony you will need to submit the seating audition. The Seating Audition Excerpts can be found on our website. Click here. We strongly recommend preparation now as you are also working to submit your entrance audition videos. Please email Todd Betz at pysmanager@gmail.com with questions.

Audition questions can be submitted to Todd Betz – Orchestra Manager at pysmanager@gmail.com

For technical questions please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.

Thank you and good luck!

Important Links