The following content includes audition requirements, expectations and general information regarding The Woodlands Area Youth Symphony. Students and parents along with new applicants should check this page for revisions before and after each semester. THE WAYS MISSION IS SIMPLE: To complete the arts – not compete in the arts”.

Policy and practice of health maintenance:

  • Social Distancing is still encouraged and required during breaks.
  • Masks are optional however string and percussion players can easily mask and play if desired.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided in the building and always wash your hands.
  • No food in building. Water only in individual bottles.
  • Students will assist in wiping down chairs before rehearsal and stack their own chair after rehearsal.
  • Not feeling well? Please call or text the director but DON’T COME. You will be excused later as long as it’s documented from your doctor.

W.A.Y.S in partnership with Lone Star College – Montgomery is a success because of the efforts, talent, dedication and desire that The Woodlands area has for their very own FULL Youth Orchestra. The group is now infused into the Woodlands along with the surrounding communities by performing the most well received, publicized and supported concerts of the past five seasons of the Woodlands Symphony. The Woodlands Area Youth Symphony has at their disposal the combined backing of sixty professional musicians, educators, resources of Lone Star College and volunteers that will CONTINUE to be the propulsion for the students of W.A.Y.S. Multiple orchestra teachers along with the WSO Artistic Director will be instrumental in launching the first year-long season. This year we welcome Ms. Tina Leblanc as our Associate Conductor and String Specialist.

This handbook contains VITAL information not just for the students that performed last season, but also for those waiting to join in weekly rehearsals (Mondays starting August 22, 2022 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Lone Star College) and scheduled concerts. Please continue reading this basic material that will assist in understanding re-enrollment, new auditions, and upcoming rehearsals/concerts.

1. ALL returning and new students will audition for chairs at the first rehearsal August 22
2. All new students wishing to join W.A.Y.S. must fill out the online application, pay the $30 registration fee in order to be considered for the group.
3. Audition requirements listed below along with the completed application and fee (if needed) stated above must be received by 12:00 PM Saturday August 20th, 2022. If you miss this date or show up to the first rehearsal without auditioning you will NOT be allowed you play. Students will be selected by quality and by receipt of ALL materials.
4. Proof of membership in your school orchestra/band school year 2022-23 must be on file on our before the first rehearsal should you be accepted. A copy of your first semester schedule is sufficient. If you are a Home School student, your school does not have a band/orchestra or you were not able to participate in your school music program because of scheduling conflicts, please state so in a letter signed by your parents.

Audition Requirements:
Due no later than Saturday August 20 at 12:00 PM. Students are encouraged to only
submit their very best recordings and should begin practicing immediately.
Do not wait until the last day to begin making your recordings.

All wind and percussion instruments must include full range chromatic scale in moderate eighth notes up and down on the same recording as the required major scales/arpeggios.

All string players  must include one octave chromatic scale in moderate half notes up and down on the same recording as the required major scales/arpeggios. STARTING NOTE OPEN D.

  • Violin: 3 octave G major with arpeggios
  • Viola: 3 octave C major with arpeggios
  • Cello: 3 octave C major with arpeggios
  • Bass: 2 octave Bb major with arpeggios
    (play scales quarter note=60 in eighth note triplet slurs);
  • Brass: 2 octave A and Ab Major concert using the region band required scale rhythm (quarter notes on the tonic, followed by eighth notes) with arpeggios (in eighth note triplets ). Metronome marking 90-100 (moderato) Full range chromatic stately all notes clearly in a comfortable tempo.
  • Woodwinds: 2 octave A and Ab Major concert using the region band required scale rhythm (quarter notes on the tonic, followed by eighth notes) with arpeggios (in eighth note triplets). Metronome marking 90-100 (moderato) Full range chromatic stately all notes clearly in a comfortable tempo.
  • Percussion: concert snare drum roll over three measures of 4/4 time quarter note = 60 starting piano, cres. to forte then decres. back to piano. C Major Scale 2 octaves and arpeggios on mallet instrument of choice in 16th note rhythm. Metronome marking 120 (allegro)
  • Harp: C major scale, hands together, at a comfortable tempo

All strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion: A solo piece where you can perform 16 measures of technical playing and ANOTHER 16 measure passage that is expressive playing OR TWO SOLO PIECES: 16 measure sections from EACH– one technical and the other expressive. Candidates should bear in mind that WAYS performs standard – difficult orchestral repertoire and your selection of solo material should reflect your readiness to perform at this level.


  • Rehearsals are every Monday evening from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Lone Star College Montgomery Campus in Building D. (located on Highway 242 at Interstate 45) In order to begin promptly at 6PM, the building will be open at 5:30 for students to practice and tune before hand.
  • There will be two concerts per semester. One with the group at Lone Star College and one Side-by-Side concert with the Woodlands Symphony. Outreach concerts and opportunities for small groups will be presented to families throughout the year. (such as The Woodlands Renaissance Faire, Arts in the Park)
  •  Tuition for WAYS is $700 per year paid to “Woodlands Area Youth Symphony”. Tuition costs pay for rehearsal space, concert venues, music, office supplies, conductor and clinician fees. Students accepted for W.A.Y.S. that have financial needs will submit a request for review along with tax documentation to be considered for scholarship.
  • WAYS will have a blending of students in senior/junior High Schools from multiple school districts and college musicians from Lone Star and Sam Houston State. Students are expected to study with a private lesson teacher or be enrolled in their school program for two to three years before auditioning.
  • Students “chair order” are based on the auditions before the second class of the semester. Chairs will be re-auditioned before the next concert to ensure fairness and opportunity.
  • Attendance is expected at all rehearsals and of course the major concerts. Missed rehearsal must be accompanied by a note from the parents the following week. Excessive absences and tardies are not acceptable as every player is important. If you feel you cannot make all the rehearsals and concerts, please consider how this affects the others in W.A.Y.S. and perhaps the organization does not fit into your schedule. Extending yourself in too many activities with also take away time from individual practice which is required as a member of WAYS
  • Darryl Bayer is the Principal Conductor of W.A.Y.S. and will be assisted by Tina Leblanc, string specialist during the semester. Mr. Bayer has led the Woodlands Symphony as Artistic Director for eight seasons now and founded The Woodlands Area Youth Symphony as an outreach to the young players. He comes from a culture of symphony and youth symphonies in Boston Massachusetts where he performed solos with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops and played from 7-12th grade in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra!
  • Ms. Leblanc is a graduate of Rice University and Cleveland Institute of Music with experience performing around the country and teaching in the Houston area including the Katy Youth Symphony.
  • Concert attire will be black button down shirt and black dress pants for young men. Women may chose similar attire such as a black blouse and loose fitting pants or choice the traditional long black concert dress.
  • Literature for the each season will be demanding but achievable with practice and dedication. Advanced players will have extra opportunities such as performing with the full WSO from time-to-time.

Please address all correspondence to:
Darryl R. Bayer, Artist Director
The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra
Woodlands Area Youth Symphony
Post Office Box 8004
The Woodlands, TX 77387
Call or Text to: 832.257.3048

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