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2020 Orchestra

The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra. All participants rehearse with professional orchestral musicians under the direction of internationally recognized conductors. The daily schedule includes full orchestra rehearsals as well as individual and sectional coaching. Repertoire consists of standard and contemporary symphonic literature. Students may also participate in chamber music and ensemble work. The orchestra performs two concerts during the Institute, and the chamber music ensembles will have one evening performance.

Students may NOT audition on the following instruments: English horn, piccolo, saxophone, contrabassoon, bass clarinet, E-flat clarinet, bass trombone, or euphonium (baritone).

Requirements for Applicants

1. Complete an online application and schedule your audition no later than noon the weekday before your desired audition date. See dates in right side bar or view full audition schedule here. Audition spaces fill quickly, so schedule as soon as possible.

2. Bring a government-issued I.D. or birth certificate to your audition for age verification purposes.

3. Read below guidelines to prepare your audition.

4. Arrive at your audition at least 15 minutes early to check in and warm up.

You must bring the following items:

  • Bring a copy of your selected solo piece to give to the facilitator. (OAI will retain this copy; you will not receive it back after the audition. Please do not include your name anywhere on the copy.)

Audition Guidelines

The audition consists of 4 components.

1. Scale

  • Play the following scale at a tempo that’s comfortable for you. Playing with or without vibrato will have no effect on your score.

    – Violin, Viola, and Cello: 3-octave major scale
    – Double bass: 2-octave major scale
    – Winds and brass: 2-octave chromatic scale
    – Percussion and Harp: scales not required. Please see instrument-specific guidelines below.

2. Solo Piece

  • All applicants must perform a work, maximum of one minute, which represents overall musicianship. Because the instrument-specific excerpt selected for you below will demonstrate your ability to play technically, you are encouraged to choose a solo piece which demonstrates your ability to play lyrically. The work can be a solo, etude, All-State etude, or excerpt from an orchestral work. The work does NOT have to be memorized, and no accompanists are allowed.
  • Applicants must provide a copy of the work performed for the audition.
  • Percussionists must prepare a two- or four-mallet solo that can be performed on a marimba. A variety of repertoire is acceptable and applicants should select a piece they are comfortable playing.

3. Instrument-Specific Excerpt

4. Sight Reading

  • Each applicant will have 45 seconds to review the sight reading before performing the music.
  • Percussionists will sight read on snare, marimba, and timpani. After reviewing the timpani music, you will have an additional 30 seconds to tune the instrument before playing the sight reading.
  • Harpists will not sight read.
  • Download and review a sight-reading sample of comparable difficulty here.

PERCUSSIONISTS PLEASE NOTE: All percussion instruments will be provided, but please bring your own sticks, mallets, and a tuning fork or pitch pipe to tune the timpani. (These items will NOT be provided at the audition.) Electronic tuners are NOT allowed. You may bring your own snare drum if desired. We cannot guarantee that the instruments provided at each location will be adjustable. If you need special accommodations, please email oai@oaiquartz.org or call 405.605.7500.

Audition Tips

Watch our video to learn what to expect at your OSAI Orchestra audition.

Feel free to wear casual/comfortable attire. Since auditions are blind and will be audio recorded for adjudication at a later date, you will not be interacting with judges at your audition.

Visit the sight-reading practice and preparation resources below. Remember, the best way to become a better sight reader is to PRACTICE sight reading!

Judging Criteria

PLEASE NOTE: OSAI audition scores may be used to determine chamber music or orchestra part assignments, so prepare for your OSAI audition accordingly.

Strings, brass, and woodwinds

• Prepared material – 25%
    Scale – 5% 
    Solo – 10%
    Excerpt – 10%
• Sight reading – 25%
• Overall tone, intonation, technique, and rhythm – 50%



• Prepared material (marimba solo and snare excerpt) – 30% 
• Sight reading (marimba, snare, and timpani) – 30%
• Overall tone, technique, and rhythm (marimba and snare) – 40%

Read general information about our adjudication procedures here.

Funding for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute orchestra program is generously provided, in part, by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Orchestra Endowment Fund.