When and where are rehearsals for Alaska Youth Orchestras (AYO)?
AYO Rehearsals are Mondays, 4:00-6:45 pm at East Anchorage High School and generally follow the Anchorage School District calendar. Refer to the calendar for details about if/where/when rehearsals will be held on holiday weekends. Refer to the calendar for any other specifics.
What if we’re regularly involved in after-school activities (sports, etc.) that will conflict with the rehearsals. Will I be able to miss rehearsals?
We recognize that student’s lives are very busy. However, we have only one rehearsal each week to properly prepare our members. AYO membership is a privilege and every musician’s presence at rehearsal is vital for preparation. We ask our members to make AYO a top priority for each rehearsal day and adjust their schedules to meet that commitment. Please see the AYO ATTENDANCE POLICY for information about longer term leave of absences due illness or unavoidable circumstances, email the AYO Executive Director at: ED@AlaskaYouthOrchestras.org.
Is there a break during rehearsal?
Yes. Every rehearsal includes a 15-minute break. A light a snack is provided. If your student requires special dietary considerations, please plan to send something appropriate with them to rehearsal.
Please bring a reusable water bottle to rehearsal.
What is the concert schedule?
AYO has three concerts each season at The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts,
1. Fall Concert – prior to winter break
2. Winter Concert – prior to spring break
3. Spring Concert – prior to summer break
Other events are planned throughout the year. Our schedule is published on the website. Please see the AYO CALENDAR for exact dates.
What is Alaska Youth Orchestras non-profit status?
Alaska Youth Orchestras is a registered 501c(3) non-profit organization. Tax ID# 92-0082750
What fees are required to belong to the Youth Orchestras?
There are 2 fees associated with AYO enrollment.
1. The 2019-20 audition fee – $25.
2. The tuition fee – $675.
Tuition is paid only if you are accepted into one of the orchestras and can be paid at one time or in installments.
Tuition is reviewed and set on an annual basis in the spring prior to auditions for the following season by the AYO board. Every AYO musician’s tuition is subsidized through donations and grants at the rate of approximately 67%, leaving the musician responsible for only approximately 33% of the cost incurred to seat each musician. Continued effort is made to keep tuition as low as possible through accessing many and varied outside sources of funding.
AYO funding comes from multiple sources beyond tuition. Grants, individual or corporate contributions, sponsorships and other fundraising efforts are vital to AYO’s ability to operate. To secure these grants and contributions, we depend on dedicated board members and parent volunteers who work to ensure AYO remains financially solvent. If you are interested in knowing more about the AYO budget or helping with fundraising in any way, please contact our Executive Director at: ED@alaskayouthorchestras.org or our Board President at: BC@alaskayouthorchestras.org.
What does the tuition pay for?
AYO provides a premiere experience to musicians in a fiscally responsible way, making every effort to keep costs as low as possible without compromising the quality of service. This includes providing an opportunity to perform under an accomplished music director, many hours of specialized coaching from some of the most well-respected professional musicians in Alaska, opportunities to perform in small ensembles, and three performances at Anchorage’s world-class Center for the Performing Arts where AYO is a resident company. We also employ an executive director who manages the business of AYO, works to increase and improve the opportunities available to our musicians, promotes the organization in the community, coordinates and supervises contract staff as needed, negotiates contracts on the organization’s behalf, and oversees grant applications and donor relations.
Are there tuition scholarships available?
Yes. AYO works to ensure as many students can participate with us as possible. During the 2018-19 AYO Season, $5,000 as awarded in financial assistance to 12+ musicians. Our 2019-2020 Season has been subsidized by an additional grant funding specified for Scholarship use. Eligibility is determined based on financial merit and/or minority status according guidelines set forth by the AYO Board of Directors which are available upon request. Application for an AYO Scholarship is completed during the registration process. To request a copy of AYO’s Financial Assistance Guidelines, email ED@AlaskaYouthOrchestras.org.
Can I donate to a tuition scholarship fund?
Yes. If you would like to contribute to another student’s ability to participate in AYO you may click here – DONATE – to do so. Please note in the memo line if there is a specific student you want to support or if it is a general scholarship contribution.
Can I volunteer?
Yes! Every aspect of running the organization requires volunteers. Email our Executive Director at: ED@alaskayouthorchestras.org from more information about volunteer opportunities.
What is Concert Black?
Please see CONCERT BLACK REQUIREMENTS.
Can I join the Board of Directors?
Yes. The AYO Board would like to see a brief resume which includes: past board experience, special skill-sets you have to offer, and a written explanation on why you would like to serve. If you would like to learn more about serving on the AYO Board, please contact us at (907)538-6406 or email ED@AlaskaYouthOrchestras.org.
Can students or parents suggest repertoire?
Yes, our conductors are always open to suggestions for repertoire. However, they are usually planning the next season far in advance and are not able to make last-minute changes. If you have any questions regarding the AYO repertoire, you can talk to either conductor during the break at Monday rehearsals or email our Music Director at: MD@alaskayouthorchestras.org.
When and where will the auditions be held?
Auditions for AYO’s 2019-2020 Season are complete. Auditions for AYO’s 2020-2021 will be held May 11 and 12, 2020. Visit our AUDITIONS page to signup for an audition spot and to find the required audition materials. Audition materials are posted each year at the beginning of February. Audition registration opens on the first of March.
How do I schedule an audition?
Audition material and signups will be available on our website February 1, 2020. Please click on AUDITIONS and follow the process completely to ensure you’re signed up to audition.
Are video auditions available?
We would prefer to see you in person for auditions. However, if that isn’t possible, please register for a Pre-Recorded Audition at: AUDITIONS.
What do I do when I arrive at my audition?
Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the time of your audition and do the following:
1. Check in at the “CHECK IN” table to confirm your contact information, audition time, audition room, etc.
2. Warm up for your audition in the “WARM UP” room
3. Proceed to your designated audition room 5 minutes before your assigned audition time with your instrument and music
4. Wait to be called into the room for your audition
5. When you’re called in, the audition panelists will instruct you on how to proceed
6. Try to stay calm and play your best – good luck!
What do I play at the audition?
Please refer to the instructions for each instrument. Click on AUDITIONS to access material for each instrument.
What paperwork do I bring to the audition?
Please bring the audition music provided here on the AUDITIONS page for each instrument. In addition, bring an extra copy of your selected solo music for the coaches, if possible.
How do I prepare for the audition?
Practice! Practice! Practice! Listening to recordings of your audition music excerpts on YouTube may also be helpful to give you a sense of the style and speed.
Will I be able to warm up?
Yes a warmup room will be available. Be sure to arrive early enough to warm up properly.
What can I do if I get nervous at the audition?
Everyone gets nervous at auditions. All of the coaches are aware of this and they will try to put you at ease so that they can hear your best. The best thing you can do is come absolutely prepared. This will increase your confidence level and will help your nerves.
Who will hear me at my audition?
Auditions are heard by a panel of AYO coaches (usually 3-4).
When and how are we notified of audition results?
All participants will be notified, no matter the response, within approximately 2 weeks of auditioning by USPS mail.
Is it possible to request a late audition?
In general, no. However, you may contact us to see if we have any openings in sections. Please contact our offices at (907)538-6406 or email our Executive Director at: ED@alaskayouthorchestras.org