The RDYO FAQ Sheet

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Welcome to our RDYO Frequently Asked Questions page. (FAQ)

If you have to be absent from a rehearsal please let us know in advance if you can. Contact either our administrator or your orchestra manager and let them know so that the information can be passed on to the conductor.  Attendance is taken by the orchestra manager at each rehearsal.  Having unexcused absences (absences where we did not know why you were away, or where you did not inform us that you would be away) may harm your chances at getting scholarships and bursary support.

The Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra is sponsored by the Delta Symphony Society, founded in 1971. The youth orchestra began with one division and thirty students in September 1971 under the direction of Harry Gomez, the founding conductor.

We are an orchestral training program for young musicians serving the needs of Richmond, Delta and Metro Vancouver. We strive to give all our members the very best youth orchestra experience possible.

Your orchestra director will inform you 1 week before hand which excerpt you will be required to play. This excerpt will chosen from the current repertoire for the orchestra.  As an example – if you are playing Violin 2 in  your ensemble you would possibly be asked to play an excerpt of one of the parts that you currently were working on for an upcoming performance.

Auditions for current members to take part in the Delta Symphony Society Scholarship program occur in the spring of each year.  Award winners are announced at our final concert in June.

Required orchestral excerpts for auditions are linked from our page called “Join us”.  On this page you will find orchestral excerpts and information that we provide for you.  Also check our FAQ and look for more entries under “auditions” for more information.

The concerto competition is open to members of the orchestra.   The concerto competition itself takes the form of a concert where students perform their chosen piece with piano accompaniment. At this concert the participants perform for an external adjudicator who decides on who will be eligible to perform their chosen piece with the orchestra in the following season.  This concert is open to the public.

The student must choose a selection that is originally composed for soloists and orchestra. A Concerto or Concertino would be the most usual selection but works chosen for this do not necessarily need to have the term “Concerto” in the title, but they do need to be works originally composed for soloist with orchestra. All selections for this event must be pre-approved by the Music Director.

We have a scholarship audition / competition each spring. All orchestra members are encouraged to participate.  Members play a short audition for an external adjudicator made up of a piece of their own choice together with an orchestral excerpt chosen by the orchestra conductor.  Scholarships are merit based and awarded based on marks from the external adjudicator together with marks from the orchestra conductor.

After you have become a member of the orchestra it is possible to move from one group to another.  Many of our members join at the Junior and wind ensemble level and progress  to becoming members of the next oldest group until they are in the Symphony and Chamber Music divisions.  Students may move from one ensemble to another by auditions. These auditions take place in June and September.  As a rule students do not move between ensembles during the season unless by recommendation of the faculty

The orchestra audition allows our faculty to make an assessment of your musical skills and performance. Audition requirements are as follows:

1) scales of your choice these should reflect the total compass of the instrument that you are comfortable playing in, so a beginning student may only play a one octave scale at a slow tempo, where more advanced students will play 3 octave scales to show their technical ability and comfort in playing in the extreme ranges of their instruments.

2) Two contrasting pieces – these do not need to be huge pieces, but a couple of movements maybe of larger works. The important thing is to show the faculty both your musical expressive side (probably a slow piece), and also showcase your technical ability (usually a faster piece, but not always.)

3) Orchestral excerpts (Intermezzi, Symphony) – Orchestral excerpts are standard procedure in auditioning for orchestras, and these excerpts are chosen from the standard repertoire. They give you an idea of what the difficulty level of the groups is like, the excerpts are from pieces the orchestra has previusly performed, or may be planning to perform.

4) Sight Reading – Sight reading can be a quick and easy tool to use for the faculty to see where you are at, and how successful you might be in joining one of our groups. We don’t expect you to play perfectly, the sight reading indicates to us where you are at in your development and helps us determine which group would be the best fit for you in terms of technical difficulty.

Auditions are important as they can serve several functions.

First they let us know whether or not you are really serious about joining the orchestra. By taking the proper care and commitment to prepare for an audition you are signalling to us that you are ready to take on the commitment of being an orchestra member.

Second, the audition allows the faculty to hear you play and determine which of our groups would be best for you, and also help maybe determine what role you might play within your chosen group. This is not about one student being better than another, it is about trying to determine that best placement for all our students to give them the best possible experience with the youth orchestra. Finding that best possible experience for everyone is our ultimate goal!

All new prospective members must first audition. This is placement audition so that we can help you determine which group would be best for you. Several factors play into determining what group you would play in. These include the musician’s age, level of schooling, and musical level achieved on his or her’s instrument of choice. Also social factors can play into this; and as well scheduling factors. As an example you may be best to play in a group but have another scheduling conflict that prohibits you from joining.

n order to find out more about the youth orchestra.:

  • Check out our website – have a look around
  • Read through this FAQ
  • Drop into one of our rehearsals and say “hello” and let us know you are interested in us and that you want to find out more about us
  • Come to a concert or performance of the orchestra
  • Ask us questions by contacting  us by email, phone , or through the contact form on our website.

Our original Delta Youth Orchestra webpage was first created by board member Iain Staveley in the fall of 1995, making it actually one of the first youth orchestras in Canada to have a website.  Conductor Stephen has been looking after it since rebuilding the site and launching it on April 5, 1997 and hosting it on Geocities (which is now long defunct).  The original site was built for Netscape 1.0. in HTML in a plain text editor. Credits and website development history.