COYO Audition and Membership FAQs:
Q. What is the due date for recommendation letters?
A. We prefer to receive your recommendation letters by the application deadline, however, they can be submitted separately and later by email to or by mail to Severance Hall. We must have them no later than your assigned audition date.
Q. What are the auditions like?
A. Auditions generally take place at Severance Hall in May of each year. Auditions are about 10 minutes in length and are heard by the Youth Orchestra music director and members of The Cleveland Orchestra.
Q. Can I warm up before my audition?
A. Yes, there are a limited number of practice rooms for candidates to use before their audition. We ask candidates to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to their audition at which time they will be placed in a warm-up room until their audition.
Q. When will I find out when my audition is?
A. After the deadline, audition times will be assigned based on many factors including the schedules of the audition committee members and the availability of the space at Severance Hall. Letters and/or emails will be sent to each candidate with his/her audition date and time. Unfortunately, we are unable to change audition times due to the very busy schedule of the audition committee and the hall.
Q. When are rehearsals?
A. Regular rehearsals take place on either Saturday or Sunday of each week, late-August through May, primarily at Severance Hall in the University Circle area of Cleveland. Although we try to avoid them, weeknight rehearsal are occasionally scheduled.
Q. What if I have to be absent from a rehearsal?
A. COYO follows a trimester format with concerts in November, March, and May. Each member is allowed 2 absences per concert cycle. Dress rehearsals and performances are mandatory.
Q. Does COYO Tour?
A. COYO toured to Boston and its surrounding areas in June 2009, Prague, Vienna and Salzburg in June 2012, and to China in June of 2015. COYO recently toured Europe in 2019, performing concerts in Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. Ideally, all current members will participate in the tour. Students are assessed fees for tours; these fees are in addition to tuition. View tour pictures and programs here!
Q. Who are the coaches that work with each section?
A. Members of The Cleveland Orchestra conduct weekly coaching sessions throughout the season. See this season's coaches here.
Q. Does The Cleveland Orchestra and/or COYO have a concerto competition?
A. Yes, COYO has an annual concerto competition open to current members of COYO. The winner performs his/her entire concerto as part of COYO's third subscription concert. Finalists may also be chosen to perform as soloists with COYO and/or The Cleveland Orchestra in outreach and education concerts.
Q. Does COYO have interaction with guest artists that perform with The Cleveland Orchestra?
A. Master classes or coachings are occasionally given to COYO members by guest soloists. Guest conductors also occasionally work with COYO.
Q. What is the cost of tuition for COYO?
A. For the 2020-21 season, the tuition cost is $400. Need based financial assistance is available.