The Essex County Symphony Orchestra (ECSO) is comprised of our most advanced students. The majority are in high school, but it does sometimes include middle school students with extraordinary ability and maturity. The following audition guidelines will tell you if your teen or tween-aged musician is ready for ECSO:
First violins: must be able to play above 5th position, and to use vibrato.
Solo: prepare a single movement of a solo violin work on the level of the Bach A minor concerto, Mozart Concerto no. 3 in G major, or higher. No cadenza is necessary.
Scales: G, Ab, A, and Bb major scales in 3 octaves. All other major scales in 2 octaves.
Second violins: must be able to shift to 3rd and 5th position, be studying in Suzuki Book 4 or 5 (or equivalent), and over the age of 13.
Solo: prepare a piece on the level of Suzuki Book 4 or 5.
Scales: C, G, D, A, E, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab major sales in 2 octaves.
All other strings:
Solo: prepare a solo piece on the level of Suzuki Book 4, 5 or above.
Scales: Violas and Cellos:
F, G, Ab, A, Bb major in 2 octaves,
C, D, Eb, and E major in 3 octaves.
Basses: G, E, F, Ab major in 2 octaves, A, Bb, C, D, and Eb major in 1 octave.
Woodwinds and Brass:
Solo: perform a single movement from a solo piece on the level of the NJSMA Junior High School or High School required solos list. No cadenza is required.
Scales: Woodwinds and mallets: All 12 major scales in 2 octaves, chromatic scale for the full range of the instrument.
Brass: All 12 major scales in 1 octave and a 2-octave chromatic scale to demonstrate high range.
Percussion: knowledge of snare rudiments, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, and mallets (see woodwind scales above for mallet sales).
Piano and harp: scales, arpeggios, and solo piece should be the equivalent of those listed on the ABRSM level 5 exams or above.
Harp and piano are limited to 1 position each in ECSO. Auditions will only be held for these instruments when there is an opening.