Pandemic modernizes auditions for Philadelphia Youth Orchestra

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The world-renowned Philadelphia Youth Orchestra will hold its annual auditions this month. But this year — like most of our interactions nowadays — they’ll be held online. 

Youth ranging from ages 6 to 21 can audition — usually with three live, consecutive performances. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, they instead must record their auditions at home and send them to adjudicators for review.

“It’s really building life skills here by maintaining this audition process,” said Louis Scaglione, president, CEO, and music director of the orchestra. 

He encourages the candidates to record the video in one take.

“You start with your scales. You then proceed to your solo piece, and then you proceed to your orchestral excerpts — and try to do the video in one take, replicating what it would be like in a live audition,” he said.

Students still have to option to upload each segment separately, if necessary.

“We are trying to make it as user-friendly as possible in these difficult times,” Scaglione said.

The first video submission deadline for priority review is May 15. Those selected will be placed in the appropriate orchestra program.