The 2020 USM Youth Ensembles Instrumental Scholarship
Find the Rules and Application for the annual scholarship competition here.
Become a Member
Auditions for the 2020-2021 Youth Ensembles will be held in May 2020.
Instrumental auditions will be held the week of May 18, 2020. A full schedule will be available soon.
Please call the Music Office for information, Binney Brackett, 207-780-5003
See below for audition requirements.
Download the Instrumental Ensembles Schedule
Spring 2020 Instrumental Concert
The instrumental ensembles will present their concert at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland on Thursday, April 16, 2020.
Seating is general admisstion.
Admission at our instrumental concerts is by donation at the door and no tickets are needed.
Suggested donation $8 adults /$5 students and seniors, $20 per family.
Spring 2020 Choral Concert
The Southern Maine Youth Chorale will perform in a joint concert with the University Chorale on Sunday, May 3. The concert will be held at the State Street Church, 159 State St., Portland. Tickets are $8 and $5 and may be purchased at the door or in advance through the USM School of Music events page https://usm.maine.edu/music/boxoffice
Macy's is the corporate sponsor for the USM Youth Ensembles concerts.
Member Information, click here.
About the Choral Ensemble
The SMYC is comprised of singers grades 7-12, selected through an audition and voice screening process. We are looking for students with variety of attributes such as, talent, musicianship, vocal skill, singing experience, and a serious interest in singing choral music.
Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are on Wednesdays from 5:45 - 7:00 p.m.
Audition requirements: Candidate singers will be asked to sing a familiar song such as Happy Birthday or America (My Country 'Tis of Thee). Chorale members will have additional requirements that will be provided when scheduling your audition. The audition will also include singing back pitch and rhythm patterns and a range check. The audition will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
About the Instrumental Ensembles
For more information about auditions for the instrumental ensembles, please contact Binney Brackett at 207.780.5003, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About your instrumental audition: Auditions are approximately 8 minutes in length and will consist of a prepared piece(s) of the applicant’s choice. You may perform two different works or movements, or two portions of one work. The prepared piece(s) should be from your instrument’s standard repertory and demonstrate slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing. The piece(s) should demonstrate command of the elements listed under the following requirements. Please consult with your private instructor if you have questions about what is considered standard repertory.
The Portland Young People’s String Consort gives less advanced string players training for the PYJO, a chance to become familiar with playing in an ensemble situation, following a conductor, and gaining formal concert experience. Established in 1979, the PYPSC offers adjunct support to string programs in Maine schools.
Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 5:45 to 7 p.m.
Audition requirements: Candidates must have the ability to read music, use basic bow strokes (legato, staccato, detaché) and have started shifting and vibrato. Candidates should prepare one or two contrasting pieces of their choice and two-octave major scales through three (3) sharps or flats. Sight-reading will be asked.
The Portland Youth Junior Orchestra is an intermediate-level string orchestra, which has as its primary goal to train its players to move into the PYSO. It stresses the building of solid fundamental orchestral skills, improvement in sight-readiing ability, and presents members with challenging and varied repertory.
Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 5:45 - 7 p.m.
Audition requirements: Same as PYPSC (above). In addition, candidates must play one major and one minor three-octave scale (any form), demonstrate spiccato bow stroke, familiarity through five (5) positions (cellos should have an acquaintance with tenor clef), a well-developed vibrato and tone, and moderate sight-reading proficiency. Sightreading will be asked. Ferdinand Liva of the Deponta (DaPonte) String Quartet conducts PYJO.
The Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra is made up of more than 70 musicians, ranging in age from 11 to 18. Established in 1942, the PYSO has grown into a pre-professional program of high caliber, which challenges its members with a diverse repertory of orchestral literature.
Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 5:45 - 7:15 p.m.
Audition requirements: Candidates should have the same skills as described for PYJO (above) plus comfort in upper positions and advanced control of intonation and tone quality. All players should have previous ensemble experience and be well-advanced in the command of their instrument. Confidence in sight-reading and familiarity with all major and minor scales is required. The solo selection should demonstrate advanced technical command and lyrical expression. Sight-reading will be asked.
The Portland Youth Wind Ensemble began out of a need in the greater Portland area for a select wind ensemble for talented young wind players. It is dedicated to refining concert techniques through a sophisticated repertoire of wind and band literature. The principal chair musicians are also members of PYSO.
Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 7:30 - 9 p.m.
Audition requirements: All candidates should perform a piece(s) of their choice that best demonstrates their technical and musical skills in both fast/technical and slow/lyrical music. Auditions are approximately 8 minutes in length and will consist of a prepared piece(s) of the applicant’s choice. You may perform two different works or movements, or two portions of one work. The prepared piece(s) should be from your instrument’s standard repertoire and demonstrate slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing. The piece(s) should demonstrate command of the elements listed under “requirements.” Please consult with your private instructor if you have questions about what is considered standard repertory.
Those interested in youth music programs will also be interested in USM's Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps.