Audition Process


Saskatoon Youth Orchestra

Prospective members should be serious students of their instruments with several years experience. They should have already developed good technique and facility and be able to play with good tone and intonation.

Player candidates will be provided with audition music specific to their instrument and may be asked to play other material to demonstrate proficiency. Only the candidate and the music director will be in the room during the audition.

String players who have not yet achieved the minimum level for the senior ensemble should consider auditioning for the Saskatoon Strings.

We do our best to eliminate undue stress during our auditions and to make it a worthwhile experience. We don’t expect perfect performances, nor do we tally mistakes.

Audition Dates for the 2019-20 season:

The SYO will be holding auditions for the 2019-20 season on Saturday, June 1, Sunday, June 2 and Friday, June 7, in the Education Building at the U of S.
You can book an audition time at: SIGNUP LINK
To be added to the audition contact list, please email Paul Sinkewicz at:

Download the required audition music:

French Horn*|EMAIL|*
Bass Trombone*|EMAIL|*
Double Bass*|EMAIL|*                         

Saskatoon Strings

All incoming members of the Saskatoon Strings are required to pass an audition, but don't worry! This is a developmental ensemble. The audition process merely helps the Music Director to choose music that will suit the orchestra on any given year. Members in the past have ranged in age from 10 – 18. It is a fact that the group represents many different levels of playing, and Music Director Bernadette Wilson makes every effort to ensure that everyone in the group has the opportunity to learn, whatever their age, and whatever their level of playing.

Candidates are provided with audition music specific to their instrument and may be asked to play other material to demonstrate proficiency.

Audition for the 2019-20 season:

Auditions will take place Friday, May 31, beginning at 7 pm. Please go to the main level of the Education Building at the University of Saskatchewan, in the main foyer. Rooms to be determined. Please arrive 15 minutes early to register and warm up.

To book an appointment, please sign up online at: SIGNUP LINK

If you have questions, please email Paul at

SSTR Audition Materials:

SSTR Violin*|EMAIL|*



SSTR Double Bass*|EMAIL|*


Expectations of players

The Saskatoon Youth Orchestra and Saskatoon Strings are high-calibre music programs. Our players are expected to learn their music prior to rehearsal and attend all rehearsals and performances.

In addition they are expected to:

  • practice on a regular and continuing basis
  • take weekly private lessons, working on repertoire with your tutor as needed
  • participate in all scheduled events
  • arrive at least 15 minutes prior to rehearsal
  • have a well-maintained instrument capable of being played with good tone and intonation
  • participate in their school music program
  • conform to the concert dress policy
  • represent the SYO Inc. in a creditable manner

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where do the ensembles of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra Inc. rehearse?

The SYO and Saskatoon Strings rehearse Sunday evenings in the Education Building on the University of Saskatchewan campus. (SYO: 5:45-8:30 p.m., Saskatoon Strings: 5:45-8 p.m.)

What are the ages of the players?

Saskatoon String players are generally 10-18 years of age.

Saskatoon Youth Orchestra players generally start in the 13-14-year-old range and go up to 25 years of age. Younger players may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What are the fees for the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra Inc.?

Fees for the SYO Inc. are as follows:

SYO (one player): $590. Each additional player (SYO or SSTR) from one family is $350.

SSTR (first player): $450. Each additional player from one family is $270.

Members in the SYO Inc. are required to also be members of the Saskatchewan Orchestral Association. The fees are $25 (first player), $5 (each additional player).

Is there travel involved with these groups?

The Saskatoon Strings does a school tour each spring. A bus is provided for them as well as lunch. The group generally visits about 3 schools. 

The Saskatoon Youth Orchestra travels to Rosthern in September for a retreat and also does one other trip throughout the year.

Is there opportunity for fundraising to cover fees and travel costs?

There are several different options available to players and parents in regards to fundraising. Some of the various activities that are undertaking include: QSP Magazine sales, grocery gift card sales, Saskatoon Youth Orchestra Spring Gala ticket sales and silent auction.

What involvement is expected of parents and players?

Each player must work at Sundog Craft Faire (Early December) and usher for a Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra concert. Two shifts at each event are all that is required for the year and these can be worked by the player or by the player’s parent(s). In addition, parents contribute to the general operation of the organization by completing one or two tasks during the season. Sign-up sheets for these required duties are available at registration. Parents are encouraged to attend parent and board meetings and become involved in the various committees.

Is there a concert dress requirement?

The Saskatoon Youth Orchestra and Saskatoon Strings dress codes are as follows:

SYO males: Black attire, including long-sleeved shirt, tie (optional), suit jacket (optional), long pants, black socks, black dress shoes.

SYO females: All black attire, including dresses and skirts that come at least to the knees, or full length pants, black suit jacket, black hosiery or stockings, black shoes and black blouse (shoulders and midriff must be covered).

SYO players are encouraged to dress stylishly and express their individual styles, within the confines of good taste in keeping with representing the institution of the SYO Inc. in public in a creditable manner.

Saskatoon Strings males: White, long-sleeved dress shirt, black bow tie, black belt (optional), black full length pants, black socks and black shoes.

Saskatoon Strings females: White blouse, black full length pants, or black dress or skirt that comes at least to the knees, black hosiery or socks, black dress shoes.