The Dr. Shirley Linzy Young Artists Orchestra of Las Vegas 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 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 & 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 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 live performance. Please visit the Application Page for further information.
**Due to COVID-19, the YAO will only accept video auditions. If you play percussion, then submit an application for live audition. We will then schedule you for a live audition this summer.
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). Please send us an email if you have any questions: YAOrchestra@gmail.com
Application Fee: $40
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
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 YAO Academy rehearses on Thursday’s from 4:30 – 7 PM and the Symphony rehearses on Friday’s from 4:30 PM – 7 PM. The Percussion Ensemble meets the weeks leading to performances on Wednesday’s from 4:00 – 6 PM. All groups rehearse at the YAO Space 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I send a video for my audition?
YES! Students may choose to send in a video audition. Please select the video audition tab at the end of your application and upload your video. Be sure to include 1-2 minutes of a solo and the required excerpts.
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. 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 who have multiple unexcused absences will be dismissed from the program and could be liable for a tuition rate of $500. 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.
Have other questions? Please send us an email at YAOrchestra@gmail.com