Audition plans for 20-21 are subject and likely to change due to the current pandemic. Please stay tuned for more info on this page or email with any questions. Thank you and stay well.

Hopkins Symphony Orchestra auditions occur every fall and are open to all orchestral musicians including JHU students (undergraduate and graduate), JHU faculty/staff, alumni, and community members with no direct JHU affiliation. Percussion and piano auditions are scheduled separately—those interested should contact for information.

2020-2021 Auditions & Schedule

Online signups for the 2020-21 season will begin on Aug. 3, 2020. If you missed the deadline, if you want to audition on percussion or piano, or if the scheduled audition times conflict with a religious observance, contact the HSO General Manager at or 410-516-6542. DO NOT submit a form without contacting the HSO office.

Auditions for the Hopkins Symphony's 2019-2020 season will be held on (subject to change):
Thursday, Sept. 3, 20205 – 8 pmstringsSDS Room, Mattin Center
8 – 10 pm woodwinds/brass
Friday, Sept. 4, 20205 – 8 pmstringsSDS Room, Mattin Center
8 – 10 pm woodwinds/brass
Saturday, Sept. 5, 202010 am – 12 pm woodwinds/brassSDS Room, Mattin Center
1 – 6 pm strings

Location & Parking

Auditions are held in the SDS room, located in the Mattin Center at 33rd Street and North Charles Street. Visit our Venues and Directions page for more information on how to locate the Mattin Center. Audition registration is just outside the SDS Room. You may find street parking where available or park in the South Garage off Wyman Park Drive. Please allow plenty of time to find parking and make your way through campus.

How to Sign Up

Complete the audition application within the specified timeframe (above). Audition times are assigned according to the designated slots. Specific requests should be included in the “Audition Time Preference” section of the form and best efforts will be made to accommodate requests. Please contact the HSO office if you miss the deadline, if you want to audition on percussion or piano, if the scheduled audition times conflict with a religious observance, or you do not receive audition confirmation: or 410-516-6542.

Audition Process & Info

  1. Audition slots are 10 minutes.
  2. Auditions are unaccompanied.
  3. Prepare two contrasting selections of your choice—one fast and one slow. Selections may be two different pieces, or from the same piece.
  4. Choose selections that show the range of your abilities but do not exceed them.
  5. Auditionees are asked to play a major scale (selected by the audition panel) and given a brief excerpt for sight-reading.
  6. Those auditioning on French horn or trumpet, be prepared for a sight-reading excerpt with transpositions.
  7. Plan to arrive at the audition location at least 20 minutes early, allowing time to register, warm up, and begin on time.
  8. Auditionees will have use of a warm-up room.
  9. Auditionees are expected to bring their own instrument.
  10. Bring at least 1 copy of of your solo repertoire selections.
  11. JHU students, faculty, and staff may use the Mattin Center’s music practice rooms to prepare for their audition.

Deciding Which Orchestra(s) to Audition for

You may audition for the Symphony Orchestra and/or the Concert Orchestra. One audition covers both orchestras. To help you decide, view a comparison of the two orchestras.


You will be informed of the result of your audition by email no later than one week after the audition. For those accepted into either orchestra (Symphonic or Concert), string players will be expected to attend the first rehearsal. Newly accepted woodwind and brass players will probably not play the first concert. Wind assignments are assigned on rotation throughout the season. Cellists in HSO are typically on a rotation, with priority given to JHU students. Musicians not accepted into the orchestras are welcome to audition again next year.

Please note: Hopkins Symphony Orchestra does not take part in the Johns Hopkins University admissions process. Applicants to JHU who wish to submit a music resume and recording should send them directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.