• Audition Video Guidelines


    Your audition video is a key element of your application to NYO-USA. Please see the sample video above, based on the 2013 clarinet excerpts, for reference, bearing in mind there are many recording environments and a wide range of equipment that will produce a successful video.

    If you do not have access to video equipment or space with a piano needed to make an audition video, you may wish to ask if your teacher, school, or orchestra/ensemble program is able to help you support your application. Should you need additional assistance, please contact NYO-USA staff at nyo-usa@carnegiehall.org or 212-424-2024. We will be happy to work with you so that you will have the opportunity to record your audition successfully. For questions about uploading videos, DecisionDesk will offer technical support from the NYO-USA application page.  

    Where possible, we encourage you to keep the following in mind when making the recording:

    1. Consider lighting, framing, and camera placement. Film in a well-lit space and be sure that there is more lighting in front than from behind. Place the camera so that you, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times, and so we can see both you and your pianist during the accompanied work. Choose a medium distance that shows as much detail as possible while still allowing the image to be framed as described above. 
    2. Try to place the camera on a tripod or flat surface when shooting. 
    3. Test the audio level so that there is no distortion during the loudest passages of your selections, and so the softest portions can be heard. If possible, consider using an external microphone connected to your camera to record your playing and speaking. 
    4. Prior to recording your audition video, clean and/or adjust your instrument to be sure it is in the best possible condition. You may wish to ask your music teacher or a professional repair person to look at your instrument to assist with any necessary adjustments. 
    5. While it is not necessary to use a grand piano for the accompanied segment, please be sure the instrument is in good tune before recording. 
    6. Other than stopping and starting the camera between segments, no editing of the audio or video is permitted. Applicants whose videos show evidence of any cuts, splicing, manipulation of pitch or other alteration within a performance segment will be subject to disqualification. Please note the selection of a complete, unedited performance segment from multiple takes is permissible. 
    7. You will be uploading your video files using NYO-USA’s online application tool (DecisionDesk). The following common digital formats are accepted: AVI, M4V, MP4, MOV, MPG, WMV. File sizes up to 5 GB are accepted. We recommend using a format and resolution that is consistent with high quality internet video. 
    8. For ease of recording and uploading, we recommend recording your audition video in segments, which should be uploaded as individual files according to the instruction to be found within the application.

      The required segments are:

      • a. Introduction and Solo Work: Applicants should state their name, home town and instrument and introduce the work they have chosen for their accompanied solo. If possible, please include both the spoken introduction and performance together in one segment. Note that the three-minute maximum duration for the performance applies to the musical segment only, excluding the spoken introduction. 
      • b. Orchestral Excerpts: Please record each required excerpt, as well as any optional (auxiliary instrument) excerpt(s), as a separate segment. It is not necessary to introduce your excerpts, and you may record and upload in any order. In cases where an excerpt has multiple sections, we would prefer that you keep those together as one file. (Segments of an excerpt that come from different movements may be recorded and submitted separately.) 
      • c. Personal Statement: Please state the question you are answering and then respond briefly to that question on camera.
        • • Who inspires you musically and why? 
        • • How would you describe your instrument's personality? 
        • • Describe your most memorable musical experience.
    9. If you are not familiar with the required orchestral excerpts, we encourage you to look at the score and/or listen to the work from which they are drawn to help prepare for your audition recording. Our selection panelists will be listening for accuracy of rhythm, pitch, and dynamics, as well as for musical expression and a sense of how the excerpt relates to the larger work. 
  • National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America Founding Sponsor

    Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.

    Additional funding has been provided by the Jack Benny Family Foundation for Music Education; Yoko Nagae Ceschina; Andrew and Margaret Paul; and Sir David Tang.