Membership in any of the Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia ensembles is open to young musicians (possessing the requisite music skills), ages 7 – 18, and living in central Virginia. Placement in a youth orchestra or ensemble is determined by audition. Auditions are typically held in May or June, and again in August.

The information below highlights the most important policies for prospective YOCVA members. Interested parties can access a full listing of our member policies by clicking here.


Auditions take place for all youth who wish to be in a YOCVA orchestra or ensemble, with the exception of Junior Strings, which does not require an audition to join. Auditions are specific to each orchestra or ensemble, and acceptance is at the discretion of the conductor. Seating placement within each orchestra takes place during the rehearsal season. Audition registration is online, prior to audition, and must be completed fully to secure an audition time slot.

AUDITION FEE REQUIREMENT: A $75 audition fee will be required at the time of audition. If a musician is accepted into an orchestra, this fee will become a non-refundable deposit to hold a seat for the coming season, and the amount will be credited to the participation fee balance due. If the musician is not accepted and does not participate in the season, the fee will be refunded.

School Participation Policy

YOCVA members are expected to take an active part in their school music programs. Participation in school programs strengthens and enhances members in their development as both musicians and leaders in their school communities. YOCVA members are often the strongest players in school music programs, and we rely on our partnerships with school teachers to help identify and attract members to fill our ranks. We understand, however, that participation in a school music program is a decision each family must carefully weigh among a variety of academic and enrichment options. While we strongly encourage YOCVA families to support their school programs, we do not mandate school participation as a requirement for membership in YOCVA. If your child does not participate in a school music program, YOCVA staff and conductors wish to know the reasons why. This helps us better understand your decision and maintain our strong partnership with school programs.

Additional Membership Information

Members are asked to commit to participation for the full season, typically September through May, in the group in which they have been accepted.

Annual auditions are required for membership in the YOCVA orchestras and ensembles. However, the audition requirement is waived for all string players who are currently members in good standing in an orchestra and who wish to return to their current orchestra. Seating auditions for all current strings in Evans and Youth Orchestras take place three times a year. String players who wish to move up to a more advanced orchestra must audition for that ensemble. All woodwind, brass, and percussion players must re-audition each season if they wish to continue in a particular orchestra/ensemble or move up to a more advanced group.

The manner and results of auditions will be determined solely by the conductor of the group for which a musician is auditioning, unless the musician is also a private student of the conductor/director. In such cases, additional adjudicators will be present. Each conductor has the responsibility to select players who can handle the challenges of the ensemble he or she conducts, and each conductor has the discretion to leave a position vacant after the spring auditions if he or she believes that no sufficiently qualified player has auditioned for that position.

If positions remain open after the spring auditions, or if filled positions become open before or during the season, these vacancies will be announced to local music teachers and posted here on the YOCVA website and will be filled through additional auditions in late August or early September prior to the first rehearsal or, if necessary, by additional auditions during the season. Students who wish to audition in August/September or during the season must first contact the executive director who will arrange for a time when the conductor can conduct the audition. The material to be prepared for these supplemental auditions is the same as that listed in the Auditions Requirements, and the manner and results of the auditions are solely within the discretion of the conductor.