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With its sophisticated programming, professional music series, superb musical leadership under Music Director Yunior Lopez, and professional level community, The Dr. Shirley Linzy Young Artists Orchestra of Las Vegas sets itself apart as one of the finest music programs in the nation. The after-school orchestra program is the only tuition-free and premier youth orchestra program in the state of Nevada. Young musicians ages 8-22 can audition for and join the Academy Orchestra (string orchestra for students up to age 18), the YAO Symphony (advanced students & young professionals up to age 22), and the newly created Percussion Ensemble (students up to age 22). Musicians accepted into the program will be on full-scholarship, perform regularly in our diverse concert season, take part in masterclasses, work alongside nationally and internationally recognized artists, participate in unique cultural musical projects, and have access to high quality instruments from our instrument bank.

Students must play an excerpt of a solo of their choice (between 1-2 minutes) and the required excerpts and scales for their instrument. Video auditions must have an introduction with student name, instrument, and why they want to join the YAO. Please check the Excerpts Page to download audition music for your specific instrument. Students have the opportunity to audition via video or request live performance. Please visit the Application Page for further information.

The Academy Orchestra accepts up to 24 violins, 12 violas, 12 cellos, and 8 basses. The Symphony Orchestra accepts 24 violins, 12 violas, 12 cellos, 8 basses, 3 flutes, 3 oboes/English horn, 3 clarinets/bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, 4 French horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba, 1 harp, 1 timpani, and up to 5 percussionists.

Students should stand at least 5-6 away from the camera and must introduce themselves with name, instrument, and why they want to join the YAO. Cell phone video recordings are accepted. YouTube video links are preferred (please make videos unlisted or public). Students can record each excerpt and create a YouTube playlist, and submit a link to the playlist. Please send us an email if you have any questions: YAOrchestra@gmail.com

APPLICATION FEE: $40 (non-refundable)
Fee Waivers: Applicants who cannot afford the application fee or are on free/reduced lunch at school can request a fee reduction or waiver by sending an email to YAOrchestra@gmail.com

There is no tuition for the Young Artists Orchestra Academy and Symphony. The orchestra program is free to all students contingent on full participation for the season.

Each season the orchestra performs in a variety of orchestral and unique collaborative performances. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with featured guest artists in a chamber and/or orchestral like setting. Additional and optional concerts include student recitals and private events. The (3) mandatory concerts are held in October, December, and March/April of each season. Performances take place at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Performing Arts Center at the Windmill Library.

The YAO Academy rehearses on Tuesday’s from 4:30 – 7 PM and the Symphony rehearses on Friday’s from 4:30 PM – 7 PM. The Percussion Ensemble are members of the Symphony and meet irregularly on Wednesday’s for sectionals. All groups rehearse at the YAO Rehearsal Space located at Maryland Square – 3661 S. Maryland Parkway across the Boulevard Mall.

Sectional rehearsals are led by some of Las Vegas’ top professionals including violinists Yuri Cho and Susan Kim, violists Yunior Lopez and Omar Shelly, cellists Andy Smith and Moonlight Tran, bassist Brycen Ingersoll, and wind/brass coach, John Seaton. Visiting artists also lead specific sectional and/or group classes.

Submit your application by visiting www.lvyao.org/auditions

Frequently Asked Questions

Which group should I audition for?
String students with at least 2 years experience should audition for the Academy Orchestra. The Symphony Orchestra performs at a professional level and requires students to be comfortable in various musical styles & positions. If you are unsure of which group you would quality for, then please send us a message. Regardless of which group you choose to audition for, we may offer you a position in the opposite group if we feel it is better suited for your current capabilities. Many students in the YAO Symphony have started in the Academy and learned the necessary skills needed to successfully perform in the Symphony.

Can I send a video for my audition?
YES! Students are encouraged to submit video auditions. Please select the video audition tab at the end of your application and submit a link to your audition video or playlist. Be sure to include 1-2 minutes of a solo and the required excerpts & scales.

If I audition for the Symphony and do not qualify can I still join the Academy?
Students who do not qualify for the Symphony group may be offered entrance into the Academy Orchestra. In the past many students have started in the Academy and entered the Symphony within 1-3 audition attempts. If you do not get into the Symphony, then you might be offered a spot in the Academy.

What is the attendance policy?
Students are allowed to miss rehearsals for sickness, emergencies, conflicting school events, and/or family matters. All excuses have to be made in writing via email to the YAO.  Unexcused absences are capped at (3). Students may also miss up to (1) concert cycle per season upon approval of the directors. If students play a woodwind instrument, then students must find their own substitute (if needed).

What is the commitment policy?
Students are expected to commit to the program for the entire season. All conflicting school events will be excused. Students may also substitute out of (1) concert/project cycle with advance notice and approval from the Music Director. The YAO is a free-tuition program based on commitment and full participation. Students must abide by attendance and commitment policies to keep their tuition-free status. Students who withdraw or are expelled will be liable for the yearly tuition as stated in the student contract.


Have other questions? Please send us an email at yaorchestra@gmail.com