How to Join an Orchestra

How to Join an Orchestra. The steps needed to join an orchestra are designed to help you become a better musician. The audition process tests your skills against those of fellow musicians while rehearsals help you cultivate your ability to perform a specific piece of music. You need to think through the process of joining an orchestra before you sit down to perform a solo piece for panelists.

Review every word of the audition announcement before you try to join an orchestra. Panelists are on alert for simple errors from auditioning musicians. Such mistakes help them narrow the field.

Create connections within your community's orchestra when you join a youth orchestra. Children who participate in a youth version of a professional orchestra gain the tutelage of professional musicians while getting an opportunity to perform.

Attend an orchestral performance before you head in for an audition. Listen to the nuances of your instrument section while assessing the character of the entire orchestra.

Track down recordings from the first chairs in an orchestra before you join. Major orchestras, such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, have podcasts and MP3s of performances that are invaluable for musicians preparing for auditions (see Resources below).

Invest in a new carrying case and other supplies after you join an orchestra. You should use websites like Band and Orchestra to move up to better equipment if you are moving from a community orchestra to a regional one (see Resources below).

Adhere to suggestions and notes offered by panelists during failed auditions. Experienced musicians can provide suggestions on composure, reading skills and performance.

Print off sheet music needed for solos and accompaniments after you join an orchestra. You can find a full range of classical and contemporary music on websites like Free Scores (see Resources below). These printouts can help you practice before rehearsal.


Pursue lessons to sharpen your skills physically and mentally before you join an orchestra. Most communities have a few music schools led by experienced musicians who can help you learn hand placement, sight reading and audition preparation. Calculate the amount of travel needed to join an orchestra outside of your community. You need to compare the potential payoff in professional opportunities and exposure with hours spent on the road.

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