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Students are eligible to apply beginning at age five. Students are required to be able to read music and it is required that all students take private lessons. Private lessons may be waived in certain cases; for example, if a student is already able to play at the maximum required skill level for the ensemble, or if a student is unable to find a teacher for his or her instrument. 
SCHOOL BAND/ORCHESTRA: If the student's school offers band or orchestra, the student is required to participate. Non-participation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The school's music teacher will be notified of the student's enrollment in CYO.
CYO is intended to complement, not replace, school music programs. Students participating in marching band will have excused absences during marching season, but they are required to notify their ensemble's conductor in advance of each absence.
SEVEN ENSEMBLES: CYO has four string only, one wind only, and two mixed ensembles. The ensembles are designed as a stair-step program in which the student can move up when ready for more challenging repertoire.
String Only - Prelude, Intermezzo, Intermediate, Chamber
Woodwinds and Brass Only - Wind
Mixed - Symphonic, Symphony



Auditions are required for all ensembles in two circumstances: (1) when first joining CYO and (2) to move to another ensemble. All auditions to move to another ensemble must be approved by your current conductor. Students in the Intermediate Strings must have performed with the Intermediate Chamber a minimum of one year before auditioning to move to the Symphonic Orchestra. Musicians remaining in an ensemble from the prior year ARE NOT required to audition for the new season.

An audition fee of $25 is required. 



Participation in the 3-day Labor Day retreat is mandatory for all musicians placed in the Symphonic and Symphony ensembles. This experience provides an opportunity to get to know fellow musicians and become acquainted with the repertoire that will be performed during the upcoming season. The primary focus is on the classical repertoire, but at the retreat some contemporary pieces are thrown into the mix for fun. Professional coaches are brought in for sectionals, and the retreat culminates with a performance on the last day. The retreat tuition is separate from the regular season tuition. All meals are provided. Transportation to the retreat is provided; transportation home must be arranged by families.

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Attendance at all events is mandatory.

This includes the summer Workshop for Prelude, Intermezzo, Winds and Intermediate Ensembles and the Labor Day weekend retreat for all Symphonic and Symphony members.

*The Summer Workshop is open to Non-CYO Musicians who meet CYO ensemble requirements. 

If a student is unable to attend any CYO sponsored event, please speak with the ensemble conductor in advance to ensure that the absence will be excused. 

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The goal is to provide a professional and consistent look which is not overly dressy (feathers, sequins, high heels are not appropriate). On the other hand, casual fabrics such as denim and canvas shoes such as Sketchers are also not acceptable: attire must be conservatively formal. 

NOT ACCEPTABLE are sleeveless or short sleeve dresses, plunging necklines, and short skirts.

Prelude, Intermezzo, Intermediate, Chamber

​Ladies:  long-sleeved or 3/4-sleeved white blouse with long black full-length skirt or palazzo pants, black stockings and black dress shoes. Palazzo pants are only allowed for cello.

Gentlemen:  white tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, black pants, black socks and black dress shoes.


Wind Ensemble, Symphonic and Symphony Orchestras

Ladies: long-sleeved or 3/4-sleeved floor-length all black dress or black full-length skirt and black blouse, black dress shoes and black stockings. Palazzo pants are only allowed for cello and some brass players. No tight fitting pants, bare arms or bare legs.

Gentlemen:  black tuxedo pants and jacket, white tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, black socks and black dress shoes.

Nutcracker Pit Orchestra Attire 

Ladies and Gentlemen: ALL BLACK - long sleeved shirt, long pants, socks, shoes. Anything that can be seen must be black. Ladies do not need to wear a skirt or dress. Black pants are fine for everyone.

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