What are the prerequisites to your program?
- You must be between the ages of 8 – 22
- You must be able to read music
- You must already have a basic understanding of their instruments. Typically, string players can join after only 1 year of playing experience.
- If available, if you are in elementary, middle, and high school, you must be a member of your school orchestra or band
- You must provide your own instrument
When do you accept new members?
The main audition periods are in May/June and August. We do allow students to join at certain points during the season depending on positions available. Please email us to see if we are currently accepting members on your instrument.
What should I play for my audition?
You should prepare music that most demonstrates your current playing ability. You should prepare the scales listed on your instrument’s individual audition requirements download, and prepare a short musical selection (1-2 minutes maximum). Typically, students perform solo repertoire, etudes, or music from their school music program. Play something that you have studied for at least one month and don’t try to play a piece that is beyond your level of experience.
I am confused about which orchestra I should apply to. What should I do?
There is no need to specify which orchestra you wish to be in. All auditions are heard by a panel of EPSYO artistic staff members, and decisions about placement are determined by them based on your audition. You will be placed where the panel best sees fit to help your musical development.
When are rehearsal held?
Rehearsals times depend on what ensemble you are placed in. The younger string ensembles rehearse on Saturday afternoons and the upper full orchestras rehearse on Sunday afternoons.
Where are rehearsals held?
Rehearsals are held at Jefferson High School, 4700 Alameda. Click here for a map and directions.
Do I have to take my own instrument?
Yes. All members must provide their own instruments at each rehearsal. The only exception is for percussionists. In most cases, the instruments will be provided, but percussionists must bring their own sticks and mallets.
Is there a tuition for participation?
Yes, there is a tuition for participation which varies depending on your ensemble. Tuition ranges from $375 – $475. Our ensembles are listed below:
- El Paso Youth Orchestra – The El Paso Youth Orchestra (EPYO) is a full orchestra for the most advanced string, wind, brass, and percussion (typically high school and college students). Rehearsals are held on Sundays from 2 – 5PM. Tuition for the 2019-2020 season is $475.
- El Paso Youth Symphony – The El Paso Youth Symphony (EPYS) is a full orchestra for intermediate string, wind, brass, and percussion players (typically upper middle school and high school students). Rehearsals are held on Sundays from 1:00 – 3:30PM. Tuition for the 2019-2020 season is $425.
- El Paso Youth String Ensemble – The El Paso Youth String Ensemble (EPYSE) is a strings-only ensemble for intermediate players with some orchestral experience. Rehearsals are held Saturdays from 2:00 – 4:00PM. Tuition for the 2019-2020 season is $375.
- El Paso Youth String Philharmonic – The El Paso Youth String Philharmonic (EPYSP) is a strings-only ensemble for beginning players with limited orchestral experience (typically elementary and middle school students). Rehearsals are held on Saturdays from 1:00 – 3:00PM. Tuition for the 2019-2020 season is $375.
Do you offer financial assistance or payment plans?
Yes. EPSYO has a firm belief that no student should be turned away due to financial reasons. To apply for financial assistance, please visit here. Payment plans can be arranged with the EPSYO Office at (915)-525-8978.