2019-20 Audition Information


Auditions for the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia are open to all Stanford students, faculty, and staff. Community members of all ages are also welcome to audition and participate with the understanding that Stanford students will be given priority for membership.

The auditions for 2019-20 will take the week of September 16th. New and returning members are required to audition each year. Please fill out this online audition form prior to your audition. The audition schedule is:


The Audition online form and the time sign ups for the auditions will be uploaded in two weeks



A) For 1st-year students and anyone who has not been a member of SSO or SP previously:

1) Solo piece. A two-minute work of your choice that displays your best playing, or a two-minute portion of a longer work (such as an etude, or movement of a suite, partita, sonata, or concerto). A second contrasting piece is not required, but can be prepared and might be requested if time allows.

2) Sightreading. Sightread an excerpt provided at the audition.

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.

B) For returning members of SSO or SP:

1) Excerpts. Prepare the excerpts for your instrument found below. Violinists have the choice of preparing Violin I or Violin II excerpts.

2) Sightreading. Sightread an excerpt provided at the audition.

3) Scales. These may or may not be asked for.

The audition will last 10 minutes.


Prospective members of SSO and/or SP may audition on violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, and keyboard. Anyone who plays a related instrument like piccolo, English horn, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, etc., is encouraged to bring it to the audition if they have it available. (These related instruments are available on free loan to Stanford students during the academic year.)

Anyone planning to audition on more than one instrument (i.e. violin and piano) who thinks they would need more than 10 minutes should sign up for two audition times (either back-to-back or separate). For auditions on closely related instruments (i.e. flute and piccolo), sign up for one audition time only.

Anyone who will be away Fall Quarter and wants to play in SSO or SP later in the year should notify Professor Phillips in September at orchestra@stanford.edu or (650) 498-6957. Although prospective SSO and SP members may audition later during the year, they are very strongly encouraged to audition by 24 September, since the annual rosters will be determined mainly from the Fall auditions.

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.

Seating in the string and wind sections will rotate, and every effort will be made to ensure that each orchestra member will play on every program, with parts distributed as equitably as possible.


Excerpts for Fall 2019 auditions for SSO and SP will be posted by the end of August. The excerpts will come mainly from Beethoven – Symphony No. 6 and Bizet – Symphony in C.