The following content includes audition requirements, expectations and general information regarding The Woodlands Area Youth Symphony. It is considered version 5.0 as we begin our fifth FULL season! 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”.

Covid 19 Statement

  • Masks upon enter and leaving building. Masks during breaks. Masks during rehearsal.
  • Social Distance of six feet or greater during rehearsals and breaks.
  • Students must bring their own music stand to each rehearsal.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided in the building and students are encouraged to bring their own.
  • No food in building. Water only in individual bottles.
  • Students will set up their chair in designated spot and stack their own chair after rehearsal.
  • Concerts will require social distancing for audience members, however families may sti together in small groups.

This statement will be updated and we navigate safe practices outlined by Montgomery County and local school districts. The follow guidelines are currently in place.

W.A.Y.S in partnership with Celebration Music School is a success because of the efforts, talent, dedication and desire that The Woodlands area has for their very own FULL Youth Orchestra. We are now infused into the Woodlands along with the surrounding communities by performing the most well received, publicized and supported concerts of the past four seasons of the Woodlands Symphony. The Woodlands Area Youth Symphony has at their disposal the combined backing of sixty professional musicians, educators, resources of Celebration Music School 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 handbook contains VITAL information not just for the students that performed last season, but also for those waiting to join in weekly rehearsals (Thursdays starting September 10, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:30 PM at Celebration Church) and scheduled concerts. Please continue reading this basic material that will assist in understanding re-enrollment, new auditions, and upcoming rehearsals/concerts.

1. NEW – ALL returning students will audition for chairs before the first class. This requires completing the audition information and submitting auditions recordings before 6:00 PM on Sunday January 17, 2021. (Please note that auditions to perform with Woodlands Symphony Orchestra require a separate audition. That information is located on the Auditions tab of this website.)
2. Students that auditioned in previous years but were not selected must re-audition and but do not pay the application fee.
3. All new students wishing to join W.A.Y.S. must fill out the online application, pay the $25 registration fee in order to be considered for the group.
4. Audition requirements listed below along with the completed application and fee (if needed) stated above must be received by 6:00 PM of Sunday January 17, 2021. 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.
5. Proof of membership in your school orchestra/band school year 2020-21 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:
All instruments must include full range chromatic scale along with the required major scales/arpeggios

Violin: 3 octave G major with arpeggios
Viola: 3 octave C major with arpeggios
Cello: 3 octave F major with arpeggios
Bass: 3 octave E 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.


  • All WAYS members must be part of their school band and orchestra program. A letter of approval from your orchestra/band teacher for the 2018-19school year must be on file on-or-before the first rehearsal. Exceptions made for home school students, students that attend schools without an orchestra or students that have academic/music requirement scheduling conflicts.
    Rehearsals are every Monday evening from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM at Celebration Church, Celebration School of Music. 6565 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands 77381
  • There will be two concerts per semester 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.
  •  Tuition for WAYS is $400 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.
  • The fifth year of WAYS will have a blending of students from area Senior/Junior High Schools from multiple school districts. Students are expected to be with a private lesson teacher or in their school program for two to three years before auditioning.
  • Students “chair order” are based on the auditions before the first class. 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 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 two 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 specialists that lead sectionals during the semester. Mr. Bayer has lead the Woodlands Symphony as Artistic Director for five seasons now and founded The Woodlands Area Youth Symphony. 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!
  • 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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