Frequently Asked Questions
- You must be between the ages of 8 – 23.
- You must be able to read music.
- You must already have a basic understanding of your instrument. Typically, string players can join after one year of playing experience.
- If available, you must be a member of your elementary/middle/high school orchestra or band.
- You must provide your own instrument.
The main audition periods are during the summer. We do allow students to join at any point during the season depending on positions available. Please fill out our online application and we will get in touch with you.
All those seeking to audition into or within the EPSYO must abide by the posted Audition Requirements for their instrument and group sought. The Audition Requirements are not optional and all auditioners are held to the same requirements. A part of this audition includes preparing a short solo for your instrument: 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.
There is no need to specify which orchestra you wish to be in unless you are auditioning from one ensemble to another within the EPSYO. 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.
Rehearsals times depend on what ensemble you are placed in. All four ensembles will now rehearse on Sunday afternoons.
Rehearsals are now held at William H. Burges High School, 7800 Edgemere Blvd.
The EPSYO is closely and regularly monitoring the situation surrounding Covid-19. Decisions will be made in regards to the program (rehearsals and performances) as often as possible or needed. The health and safety of our EPSYO young musicians and their families are our highest priority. Questions can be directed to our offices by calling or emailing the EPSYO.
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.
Yes, there is a tuition for participation which varies depending on your ensemble. Tuition ranges from $430 – $530.
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 3:30 – 6:30 PM. Tuition for the 2023-2024 season is $530.
- 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 – 3:30 PM. Tuition for the 2023-2024 season is $480.
- 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 Sundays from 3:00 – 5:00 PM. Tuition for the 2022-2023 season is $430.
- 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 Sundays from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. Tuition for the 2023-2024 season is $430.
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.