Prerequisite Skills

One of YOBC’s strengths is its ability to offer an ensemble experience that is suited to each student’s current instrumental ability. Our conductors refer to the prerequisite skills listed here when considering what is the appropriate placement for each student.


Symphony Orchestra

Full Orchestra: Mainly High School students

  • A refined tone and ability to adjust tonal color as appropriate to the instrumentand music.
  • An ability to perform all articulation in a well-executed, nuanced style, including but not limited to staccato, legato, slur, fp, sfp.
  • Finely tuned accuracy in performance of all rhythms.
  • An ability to perform technical passages with accuracy and ease.
  • A refined ability to tune and adjust intonation with accuracy when indicated.
  • An ability to perform with facility in all keys.
  • An ability to perform scales in all keys, with a sense of line and phrasing.
  • An ability to perform with refined sensitivity, expression and phrasing.
  • An ability to listen to themselves and others when performing.
  • An ability to visually respond to conductors and musicians.
  • An ability to change tonal color as needed and to blend with others.
  • An ability to perform with more nuanced dynamics to include the full dynamic range (ppp-fff)
  • Trumpets and horns should have some exposure to transposition.

Philharmonia

Full Orchestra: High School and Middle School students

  • An ability to adjust intonation with accuracy.
  • A comfortable ability to shift to and play in 1st through 4th position (violin, viola, cello), and half through 4th position (bass).
  • A degree of familiarity with higher positions.
  • An ability to perform most major scales in three octaves with accuracy of intonation.
  • An ability to maintain a consistent inner pulse.
  • Increased dynamic dimension with nuanced dynamics to include ppp through fff
  • An ability to change tonal color.
  • An ability to blend with others.
  • An understanding of rhythms including whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, dotted eighth and sixteenth notes and rests; syncopated and triplet figures; 6/8 meter.

Ripieno

String Orchestra: Mainly Middle School and some High School students

  • Play with good posture and playing position.
  • Use all four fingers of the left hand (including fourth finger) equally effectively.
  • Demonstrate developing vibrato skills.
  • Play in tune in first and third positions (violin and viola), first through fourth position (cello), and half through fourth position (bass).
  • Have some familiarity with higher positions.
  • Play in tune in major and minor keys through three sharps and three flats.
  • Produce a good tone in a variety of dynamic ranges and tempo.
  • Comfortably employ a variety of bow strokes including: détaché, martelé, spiccato, portato, slurts, hooked bowing
  • Play passages that include running sixteenth notes at a tempo of at least 112 beats per minute.
  • Accurately Interpret common rhythms found in simple and compound meters.
  • Demonstrate respect for themselves, their peers, their conductor, and the music-making process.

Concertino

String Orchestra: Mainly Middle School students

  • Proficient in positioning the instrument and bow.
  • Ability to identify fingerings and note names for the pitches both on the staff and using ledger lines.
  • Comfortable with meters including 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 2/2, 6/8, 9/8.
  • Violinist and violist should have started third position including all accidentals (eg: high/low 2, High 3, low 1 and 4th finger). Student should expect to begin practicing notes above third position.
  • Cellist must have started fourth position including all accidentals. Student should expect to begin practicing notes above fourth position.
  • Familiar with articulation marks of accents, staccato, legato, detaché, and marcato.
  • Student should have started a basic foundation of vibrato.
  • Familiar with basic conducting patterns.
  • Familiar with standard rehearsing procedures and its respectful atmosphere.
  • Level of playing is equivalent to Suzuki Book 4 and above.

Prima Strings

String Orchestra: Middle School and Elementary School students

  • Proficient in positioning the instrument and bow.
  • Ability to identifying fingerings and note names for the pitches on the staff. 
  • Comfortable with meters including 4/4, 3/4, and 2/4 
  • Proficiency in first position including accidentals (eg: high/low 2, High 3, low 1 and 4th finger). 
  • Familiarity with common note and rest values including whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth. Dotted rhythms are also included. 
  • Slurred and separate bows. May include double-up or double-down bows. 
  • Familiarity with basic articulation marks of accents, staccato, and pizzicato. 
  • Level of playing is equivalent to completion of Suzuki Book 2 – 3 and above.

Fanfare Winds

Concert Band: Mainly High School students

  • Ability to maintain a mature, controlled tone at all dynamic levels
  • Acute awareness of intonation and ability to adjust intonation by ear
  • Ability to perform all articulations at the highest artistic level
  • Ability to perform advanced rhythmic figures in all meters
  • Advanced technical facility
  • Ability to perform all major scales, minor and chromatic scales
  • Ability to perform with a mature sense of phrasing and musical style
  • Ability to perform with a steady inner pulse
  • Consistent ability to watch and follow the conductor
  • Command of the full range of dynamics on their instrument
  • Mastery of all fingerings on their instrument and ability to read all written notes within the instrument’s normal range

Wind Ensemble

Concert Band: High School and Middle School students

  • Ability to produce a good tone with good breath
  • Awareness of intonation and ability to adjust intonation by ear
  • Ability to perform all articulation with appropriate style, including but not limited to staccato, legato, slur, fp, sfp
  • Ability to perform advanced rhythmic figures in meters including 2/4, 4/4, or 6/4; 3/8, 6/8, 9/8 or 12/8 and 2/2 (cut time)
  • Advanced technical facility as appropriate o their instrument
  • Ability to perform major scales two octaves, up to 4 sharps and 4 flats and a chromatic scale within the instrument’s normal range.
  • Ability to perform with a sense of phrasing and musical style
  • Ability to perform with a steady inner pulse
  • Consistent ability to watch and follow the conductor
  • Command of the full range of dynamics on their instrument
  • Mastery of all fingerings on their instrument and ability to read all written notes within the instrument’s normal range

Wind Symphony

Concert Band: Middle School and some Elementary School students

  • Ability to produce a good basic tone with breath support.
  • Ability to perform basic articulations including clean attacks, staccato, legato, slur.
  • Ability to perform basic fingerings for the instrument for a 2 octave range. Flutes should know all fingerings through 3rd octave G.
  • Ability to use basic dynamics including f and p.
  • Ability to demonstrate a basic awareness of intonation.
  • Ability to comfortably play in a basic range of the instrument (at least 1 1/2 octaves)
  • Ability to maintain a steady inner pulse.
  • Ability to perform basic rhythms including whole, half, quarter, eighth, and some sixteenth note patterns.
  • Ability to demonstrate understanding of 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and cut time meters, and familiarity with 6/8 meter.
  • Ability to perform any two scales, at any tempo, in a one octave range.