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Singapore National Youth Orchestra 

The Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) is a National Project of Excellence made up of talented young musicians from schools. 

Application and Audition Information

Your adventure starts here!

Joining the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) has been a life-changing experience for many of our members and it could be for you too.


The SNYO is recognised by the Ministry of Education as a National Project of Excellence. Members in mainstream secondary schools with sustained involvement in the SNYO will have their participation in the orchestra recognised in lieu of a school-based Co-Curricular Activity (CCA). The SNYO is managed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, which is under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

The SNYO comprises two ensembles tailored to the skill levels of members, offering each individual the support and attention to develop his/her ensemble and orchestral playing skills. The Youth Orchestra (YO) is for young musicians who are performance ready, while the Youth Sinfonia (YS) is for young musicians who would benefit from developing the necessary ensemble skills to play symphonic works. The Youth Orchestra has an age limit of 21 years old and the Youth Sinfonia has an age range of 10 to 16 years old.

At the SNYO, members who have not previously taken private individual lessons or are learning a new instrument assigned by the Orchestra based on the Orchestra’s needs may be eligible for limited lesson subsidies. These lesson subsidies are offered at the discretion of the SNYO management and are not a membership entitlement.

Commitment to SNYO

Upon a successful audition, you will be offered SNYO membership. Accepting the SNYO membership will entail your promise to commit to all SNYO programmes. You will be required to attend all scheduled rehearsals and activities.

Rehearsals generally follow the following schedule:
  •  Youth Sinfonia: Saturdays, 12 – 2pm
  • Youth Orchestra: Saturdays, 2.30 – 5.30pm and Thursdays, 7 – 9pm 

Rehearsal frequency will typically increase during the week of the concert. The SNYO member is also expected to attend all other ad-hoc events organised for the SNYO such as camps, tours, workshops and masterclasses. 

SNYO members taking major examinations such as the GCE ‘O’ or ‘A’ levels will be allowed to take one term of examination leave, typically from August to December, during their examination year. Applications for long-term examination leave are to be submitted at least one month in advance.

As an SNYO member, you will get the opportunity to:

  • Benefit from an enriching orchestral experience
  • Share your passion for music with like-minded young musicians
  • Perform in Singapore and abroad
  • Participate in overseas tours, masterclasses and workshops

SNYO Audition Information

2017 Audition Dates: 1 April, 3 June, 9 September, 9 December

Applications for each audition will close one month before the audition date. Applications received after the deadline will be retained for consideration at the next audition. We will notify you of the audition time and venue two weeks before the audition date should you be shortlisted. Results will be released one month after the audition.

The SNYO is looking for young musicians who:

  • Are aged between 10 to 18 years old as of 1 January 2017*; and
  • Play an orchestral instrument**; or
  • Play the piano and are interested to learn an orchestral instrument***

* Applicants above the age of 16 are expected to play at an advanced level and possess ensemble playing skills in order to gain entry into the Youth Orchestra.
** Violinists / Pianists must have attained a standard of playing equivalent to ABRSM Grade 6 at age 10 or Grade 8 for those 12 years old and above. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
*** Pianists must have attained ABRSM Grade 8 in Piano (or equivalent) and be between ages 10 to 13 at the time of audition.

Audition Guidelines
The auditions will be conducted by the Principal Conductor, Assistant Conductor and/or tutor(s) of the SNYO and will comprise three components:

1. Scales and Arpeggios
  • For violin and piano applicants:
o Must be able to play all major and minor scales from memory.
o Violinists are expected to be able to play scales in spiccato and in groupings of 3, 4, or 7 notes to a bow and might be requested to play up to 3 octaves.
  • For all other orchestral instruments:
o Difficulty of the scales tested will depend on the technical level of the applicant.

2. Pieces
  • Two (2) contrasting pieces (unaccompanied), of which at least one must be a non-ABRSM exam piece:
o Applicants are strongly encouraged to audition with pieces that are not in the ABRSM exam syllabus. An example of a good audition piece is an etude or a movement from a sonata or concerto that demonstrates technical facility and musicality.
o The two pieces can be of any duration but the audition panel may stop the applicant halfway through the piece or request for specific sections of the music to be played.

3. Musicianship Tests
  • Applicants may be tested on sight-reading, sight-singing and aural skills.
All applicants are advised to give careful consideration to these guidelines before submitting the application for audition to the SNYO. Interested applicants who may not be able to fulfil all audition requirements can write to us at snyo@sso.org.sg to discuss your situation.

Please attention this form to the Singapore National Youth Orchestra via email, fax or post.
Email snyo@sso.org.sg
Fax +65 6602 4222
Post Singapore National Youth Orchestra Auditions, 11 Empress Place #01-02, Victoria Concert Hall, Singapore 179558