What Group to Audition For


The SCPYO is made up of four orchestras of increasing technical ability, beginning with the Prelude Orchestra, and rising in age and ability levels through the Concert, Symphonic, and Youth Philharmonic orchestras.

Ensemble Level Average Experience
Prelude Orchestra Advanced Beginner Strings 1-2 years
Concert Orchestra Intermediate Strings 2-4 years
Symphonic Orchestra Intermediate Full Orchestra 3-5 years
Youth Philharmonic Advanced Full Orchestra 4+ years


Torn? No worries! Read a more in-depth guide below.

Placement Guide

What to Prepare for the Audition


All auditioning members are required to prepare a set list of:

  • Scales
  • Excerpts
  • Solo Piece

Youth Philharmonic auditions require sight-reading. Memorization is not required.

Excerpts are listed at the bottom of our AUDITIONS page.

What to Bring to the Audition

  • Your instrument
    • Percussionists must bring their own mallets
  • Audition Music
    • Excerpt(s)
    • 2 copies of your solo piece

What to Wear


Wear nice clothes that you are comfortable performing in. Keep in mind that this is the first impression you will make on those who will evaluate you.

We recommend practicing in the clothes and shoes you are planning to wear for your audition at least once.

When to Arrive


You should be early.

Arrive to check-in for your audition block AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to your audition block start. Please keep in mind you will need time to park and to navigate Downtown Columbia traffic.

Where Auditions Are Held


Auditions are held at the University of South Carolina School of Music in Columbia, SC.

Where to Park


Parking is available in metered spots on Assembly, College and Park streets. Metered parking is free all day on Sundays and weekdays after 5:00 p.m.

Parking is also available in the Discovery Parking Garage at 821 Park Street for an hourly fee. The garage is located behind the School of Music. Please note that if the university holds an event, a fee of up to $20 may be charged by an attendant.

The South Carolina Philharmonic has no control over events at the university.

Parking in the loop in front of the School of Music or in the loading dock behind the school is strictly prohibited and may result in the vehicle being ticketed and or towed at the owner's expense.

Please note parking is controlled by the University of South
Carolina and the City of Columbia. The South Carolina Philharmonic has no control, nor is responsible for any fees incurred if parked illegally.

How Results Are Determined


Acceptance to the SCPYO is a competitive, merit-based process in which auditionees must meet requirements for consideration. There are a limited number of positions available in each ensemble; an audition does not guarantee placement in our program.

If an auditionee falls short of or exceeds the expectations and performance requirements for the ensemble they are auditioning for, the student may be placed in the ensemble that more appropriately fits their skill set if available. This is at the conductor’s discretion.

Auditionees and families may not negotiate placement.

When Results Come Out


All auditioning students will receive correspondence, regardless of the outcome.


If you have any questions that were not answered on this page please reach out to us at SCPYO@scphilharmonic.com