Audition Information

Auditions for Winter Quarter 2020 will take place via Zoom beginning on 14 December 2020. Everyone who has registered for MUSIC 160/160Z Stanford Symphony Orchestra (SSO) or MUSIC 160A/160AZ Stanford Philharmonia (SP) is required to audition even if they’ve played in SSO or SP before. Select an audition time here, noting that there are separate tabs for 14 and 16 December. Everyone also must fill out the Orchestra Participation Form if they haven’t done so already.

Rosters for SSO (Sections 1 and 2) and SP (one or two sections to be decided pending the auditions) will be determined by 21 December 2020. At that time, students selected for SSO and SP may need to change their registration to the orchestra section to which they’ve been assigned. All students in SSO and SP should register for the course. Anyone who prefers to register for the zero-unit version of SSO or SP should fill out this form to receive the permission code needed in order to register.

Because of the coronavirus restrictions, participation in SSO and SP in Winter Quarter 2021 will be limited to strings, percussion, harp, and keyboard. Enrolled Stanford students, faculty, and staff may audition. At this time, it is doubtful that community members will be allowed to join SSO or SP in Winter Quarter. Any wind player willing to help out on percussion (easier parts not requiring advanced technique) should notify Professor Phillips of this at and audition on their main instrument and not on percussion. Hopefully, the restrictions will be lifted by Spring Quarter 2021, allowing all instruments to participate in SSO and SP.

Students assigned to SSO or SP will be provided with JackTrip kits to allow them to rehearse online during the first half of Winter Quarter, before in-person rehearsals on campus begin in February.


For everyone:

1) Solo piece. A work of your choice that displays your best playing such as an etude; a movement of a suite, partita, sonata, or concerto; or orchestral excerpts. Length: 2-3 minutes. A second contrasting piece is not required, but might be heard in the audition if time allows.

2) Excerpt for your instrument.

3) Scales. Play scales in the way you’ve prepared them with your private teacher or learned them at school. While there is no set requirement as to which ones you should know, knowing all the major scales is desirable, and knowing majors and minors is optimal.

4) Sight-reading. An excerpt will be provided via Zoom at the audition.

The audition will last 10-12 minutes.

Music majors and non-music majors are treated the same in the auditions, with non-music majors having the same chance of being admitted to SSO and/or SP as music majors.

Any questions concerning the auditions should be emailed to Professor Phillips at