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CSOYO Principal Auditions

All students who are selected for Symphony or Philharmonic orchestras will be eligible to audition for Principal of their section. The first 4 stands (or 8 chairs) of Violins and the first stand (or 2 chairs) of Violas, Cellos and Bass will be selected from Principal auditions. One Principal from each section of winds and percussion will be selected from Principal auditions.

(Members selected for the Etude or Prelude orchestras will be seated based on their audition scores and may be moved within their section during the season at the discretion of the conductor.)


  1. The Principal will be listed as such in all programs.
  2. The Principal will be selected to play solos on major works at the discretion of the Conductor. Other 1st parts may rotate among all members of the section as is appropriate.
  3. The Principal will act as student leader and liaison of the section, responsible for communications between the conductor, the CSOYO manager, and the section, and among section members. The Principal is also expected to act as a mentor to the rest of the section and assist other players as needed.
  4. The Principal will be eligible to attend a Principal training session held in the fall.

Members who aspire to be Principal should be strong musicians who are also excellent leaders.

***PLEASE NOTE: Auditionees are not guaranteed selection merely because they audition. In the event that no one from a section auditions, or an auditionee is not selected by the panel, the section members will be ranked based on their spring audition scores and seated initially in this order and the member with the highest audition score in the section will be named Principal.


Members must indicate their interest in auditioning for Principal by signing up on the CSOYO website (see below) by August 1, 2019. Auditionees will receive an email by August 5 with an audition time.

WHEN:                  Monday, August 12, 2019

TIME:                    6:00 – 9:00 PM

WHERE:               First Baptist Church, 401 Gateway Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37402

HOW:                    Principal Auditions will be judged by a panel, not an individual judge

AUDITION:          The audition will include:

  • Excerpt selected from 2019-2020 repertoire
  • Sight reading selection

**The previous requirement of a prepared solo piece has been dropped. 

The excerpt selection is available in the music folders of selected members, available for pick up from the CSO Office at 701 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN beginning on July 8, 2019.

Candidates who audition late (in August) are not eligible to audition for Principal. QUESTIONS? Please contact the CSOYO manager, Stephanie Pearson, at