Additional FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Timeline & Age Requirement

Q: What is the timeline?

A: Here is our normal calendar.

  • November 30: audition application opens
  • December 31: audition video submission deadline (piano & early)
  • January 1 – 15: piano concerto competition/early results notified via email
  • March 31: audition video submission deadline for orchestra | band | choir
  • April 1 – 15: audition results for orchestra | band | choir notified via email
  • May 1 – June 30: music sent to the selected performers
  • June – July: the selected performers individually rehearse and prepare
  • Three rehearsals prior to concert; in-person or online

Q: What is the age/grade range/audition level? 

A: The auditions are open to the students in 5th-12th school grade for orchestra | choir and 7th-12th school grade for band. Younger students who have been playing an instrument or singing in a choir at an earlier age and their playing level is above Level 5 “with distinction” in our syllabus may apply for the audition. Click StringsWoodwind/Brass/PercussionPiano/Organ, or Honor Choir/Voice to figure out your current playing level.


This is a school grade level chart (not for playing level). Playing Level is different from school grade levels

Playing Level

Q: How can I determine my playing level?

A: Here is a guideline for the LAYP Playing Levels.

LAYP Playing LevelCM LevelRCM GradeABRSM Grade

Our Playing Level 5-6 are similar to RCM Grade 4-5 or ABRSM Grade 3-4
Our Playing Level 7-10 are similar to RCM Grade 6-8 or ABRSM Grade 5-6
Our Playing Level 11-12 are similar to RCM Grade 9-10 or ABRSM Grade 7-8
CM syllabus can be purchased at the MTAC Teacher Portal store.
Click here to see RCM syllabus.
Click here to see ABRSM syllabus

Q: I am participating in another certificate or competition program such as ASTACAP, SYMF, Satori, WMCF etc. How can I determine my playing level in this case?

A: Talk to your private teacher along with this playing level information (above). Your teacher will easily figure out your playing level referring to this chart.

Returning Students

Q: I am a returning student. Do I need to apply for the audition again?

A: Yes, all returning and new students must take an audition every year.


Q: Are the auditions for summer season only?

A: No. Once you are accepted, you are qualified to participate in the chamber music series or recitals prior to the next summer concert.

Q: Would you be able to clarify the difference between the piano concerto competition and the regular audition for orchestra | band | choir?

A: Piano Concerto Competition is to select a student pianist who can perform a concerto from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Modern/Contemporary period or premiere the commissioned piano concerto. The regular auditions for orchestra call for a concerto-playing level whereas the auditions for band and choir offer an alternative repertoire if the applicants are not ready for a concerto or operatic aria (normally accompanied by the orchestra).

Q: What is the normal length of an audition video?

A: It depends on your solo piece. For example, if a violinist selects a concerto (fast movement) by Vivaldi for Level 5-6, it takes about 4-5 minutes. To play a scale and arpeggio takes about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Thus, the total may be within 5-7 minutes for this case.

Q: I have technical difficulties combining my scale/arpeggio/chromatic part and the solo piece videos together. I recorded my videos separately. Is it possible to send 2 different links for each portion?

A: Yes, that will be fine.

Q: How do you determine “playing level”?

A: It depends on how you as an applicant play the audition solo piece and scale/arpeggio/chromatic. We divide the playing levels into the three categories: Level 5-6, Level 7-9, & Level 10-12, providing the suggested repertoire for each level category. You need to talk to your private teacher in order to see if you are ready to apply for the audition and to select an appropriate level piece from the suggested repertoire or comparable pieces. Your ensemble level is determined  based on your audition result, experience, engagements and current school grade level. You will be placed into each appropriate level ensemble. Soloists are nominated by the audition adjudicators and selected by each concert committee.

Q: Is there a specific reason why the suggested repertoire for the piano/organ audition is all concertos? 

A: Concerto is one of the great musical forms in which orchestral students can experience/express group playing and harmony (Italian, from concertare ‘harmonize’). To perform a concerto is strongly recommended not only for piano/organ students but also other orchestral instrumental students as you can see their syllabus on our website.

Q: I have a simple question on the video recording. Do all pieces must be done in one sitting?

A: To sit or stand when you play your instrument is up to you. Notice that your video frame needs to capture your posture, face, instrument, fingerings, bowing, hand shapes, lip shape etc..

Q: May I apply for multiple instruments? For example, piano & organ, violin & viola, flute & piano, piano & percussion, etc.

A: Yes, we accept multiple applications.


Q: What is the process to determine if s/he will be a concerto soloist? 

A: The Performer Selection Committee nominated outstanding student performers as a potential soloist during the regular auditions. A potential soloist may be invited to perform at our Chamber Music Series which takes place in October, December, or March. A potential soloist may be nominated as a concerto soloist by the Performer Selection Committee when there is an opening upon a finalization of a summer concert repertoire each year. A vocal soloist may perform an operatic aria with the orchestra at a recital of the chamber music series or at a summer concert.

Q:  If nominated then there is an extra audition for the solo performances?

A: There will be no additional audition.  After the summer concert, a potential soloist will be asked to submit his/her solo repertoire.

Google Forms & PDF Copy

Q: We are not able to upload a file via Google Forms. How can we fix this problem?

A: In order to upload a file via Google Forms, you are required to sign in to Google. If you do not have a Google account, click this link https://support.google.com/families/answer/7103338?hl=en and create one for your child.

Q: We are wondering if you still need a copy of the music scores if it is part of Suzuki? My kids are in book 6 and their scores are marked up and a bit messy.

A: Yes, we value markings on the audition scores.

Q: Can you recommend a scanning app?

A: Suggested mobile app: Adobe Scan- Mobile PDF Scanner (https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/mobile/scanner-app.html). If you use other apps, please make sure to select a letter size as US Letter Portrait.

Q: How can I merge multiple pages into one?

A: On your computer. If you cannot merge multiple pages into one with your smartphone, share them via AirDrop to transfer to your computer or send them to your email address as an attachment (then download and save them on your computer in order to merge them using the following program).

  • Visit https://www.ilovepdf.com/
  • Click “Merge PDF” and follow instructions.
  • Download and save a merged file on your computer in order to upload it to Google Forms.

Recommendation Letter or Supplemental Materials

Q: Do you accept a recommended letter from my private studio teacher/school orchestra director/mentor?

A: Yes, we do. A recommendation letter is not required but optional. You may include it or any other materials when submitting your final audition video via Google Forms in order that the Performer Selection Committee may know more about you.

Q: May I submit my concerto repertoire, resume, or more materials?

A: Yes. To submit your concerto repertoire, resume, or supplementary materials is optional. You may submit it via Google Forms along with your audition video.

Fee & Ticket Sale

Q: What, if any, cost is involved? 

A: The audition application fee is $55 (per student; non-refundable); There will be the registration fee ($195) for each qualified student who passes the audition, and this fee for each performer will cover all the rehearsal expenses.

Q: Do you sell concert tickets?

A: The Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office will start selling tickets 4-6 weeks prior to the concert. 

Rehearsal Schedule

Q: Where will the rehearsal be held? 

A:  The rehearsals take place at a school or church in Pasadena, downtown LA, or online.

Q: Do you have any other information regarding the frequency, duration, and schedule of intensive rehearsals?

A: There will be three intensive rehearsals prior to the concerts. Each rehearsal runs about four to eight hours as below. The finalized rehearsal schedules will be announced in April or May each year.

A: I have time conflicts with the intensive rehearsals. Will I be disqualified if I miss any rehearsals?

A: We offer alternative rehearsals so that you can set up your available rehearsal schedule at your convenience. See the details below.

Orchestra & Band Rehearsals: Subject to changethis schedule will be confirmed in April or May

Rehearsal 1Sat. June 17.10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Rehearsal 2Sat. June 2410:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Rehearsal 3Sat. July 110:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Tutti RehearsalFri. July 7Place: Pasadena Christian School/TBA
Time: 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM/TBA
In-person only
Dress Rhs & PerformanceSat. July 8Walt Disney Concert Hall
(111 S Grand Ave. LA, CA 90012)
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM Dress Rehearsal
8:00 PM – 10:15 PM Performance

*If you have time conflicts with the rehearsal above, you can customize/set up three rehearsals from the options below at your convenience, or you need to contact us to arrange a make-up rehearsal on other days or watch the recorded rehearsal videos.
*Optional/alternative in-person rehearsals on Sundays 6/18, 6/25, & 7/2 at 4:00-9:00 PM will be available.
*Optional/alternative in-person rehearsals on Wed. 7/5 & 7/6 at 4:00-9:00 or 6:00-9:00 PM will be available.
*Section rehearsals may be added.
*Time Zone: Pacific Time (Los Angeles)

Choir Rehearsalssubject to changethis schedule will be confirmed in April or May

Rehearsal 1Sun. June 18Place: Holliston United Methodist Church
Address:1305 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106
Time: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
In-person only
Rehearsal 2Sun. June 25Place: Holliston United Methodist Church
Time: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
In-person only
Rehearsal 3Mon. June 26Place: Holliston United Methodist Church
Time: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
In-person only
Tutti RehearsalFri. July 7Place: Pasadena Christian School/TBA
Address: 1492 N Garfield Ave. Pasadena, CA 91104
Time: 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM/TBA
In-person only
Dress Rhs & PerformanceSat. July 8Walt Disney Concert Hall (all-day)
(111 S Grand Ave. LA, CA 90012)
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM TBA
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM Dress Rehearsal
6:00 PM – 10:15 PM Performance

*If you have time conflicts with the rehearsals above, you need to contact us to arrange a make-up rehearsal on other days or watch the recorded rehearsal videos.
*Optional in-person rehearsals on Wed. 7/5 & Thur 7/6 will be provided.
*Section rehearsals may be added.
*Time Zone: Pacific Time (Los Angeles)

The rehearsals for soloists/duet/trio/small ensemble performers will be arranged on other days with conductors and accompanists.

Rehearsal Rule: All the intensive rehearsals are mandatory for all the qualified student performers to be the finalists, and there will be no excuse for the dress rehearsal.

Makeup/Alternative Rehearsals: If you have time conflicts with your school/community orchestra/choir concerts, exams, competitions, camps, workshops, family events, or any other engagements, you need to contact us to arrange a make-up rehearsal on other days or watch the recorded rehearsal videos.

Q: Your website states “attending all rehearsals is mandatory for accepted student performers to qualify as finalists.”  What does “qualify as finalists” mean? 

A: The finalists mean the performers who completed all the required rehearsals. If you miss a rehearsal, you cannot be qualified as a finalist to perform at the concert hall. See Rehearsal Rule above.

Q: I would like to know the schedule of the performance day at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  What time will we need to participate?

A: It is all day. The draft is 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM (morning rehearsal), 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (dress rehearsal), & 8:00 PM – 10:15 PM (performance), which will be finalized in April or May. As the situation is subject to change, we plan to announce it when we receive the confirmation from Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Q: Where does the summer concert take place?

A: Walt Disney Concert Hall (physical address: 111 S Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012)

Q: Can you provide any information as to what/how many pieces each ensemble will be doing?  

A: The repertoire will include original concert pieces, concerto, vocal pieces, & arrangements. Each group will perform about 20-30 minutes respectively including the stage walk-in/out process.

Performing Ensembles

Q: May I know more about the honor groups?

A: Based on an applicant’s audition result, experiences, engagements, and current school grade level, a qualified student performer as a semi-finalist will be placed into each appropriate honor group:

Orchestra: There are Orchestra 1- LA Youth Philharmonic Orchestra which is mainly composed of high school students whose playing level is 9-12 and Orchestra 2- LA Youth Symphony Orchestra which mainly consists of middle & elementary school students whose playing level is 6-12.

Band: 7th-12th Grade Symphonic Band. If there are not good enough applicants who do not meet our audition requirements, the formation of this ensemble may be postponed to next season.

Flute/Clarinet Choir: as an ensemble, a flute choir, clarinet choir, woodwind choir, or wind choir may be formed.

Vocal Choir: 5th-12th school grade SATB Chamber Singers. This choir is subject to change into a festival choir or vocal ensembles.

Symphony Chorus: College students & adult singers will be placed in this Symphony Chorus. This choir is subject to change into a festival choir or vocal ensembles.

College Students: College music students may serve as a section coach assistant in addition to an orchestra player or choir singer, and they also may receive a stipend. A qualified college student who is not majoring in orchestral instruments or vocal arts including piano, organ, and voice may still serve as a section coach assistant without a stipend. A college student may participate in an orchestra, band, or choir (qualifying via the same audition process) without serving as a section coach assistant.

Dress Code

Q: What is the attire/dress code for the rehearsal/performance?

A: For rehearsal & performance:

For rehearsals: free dress

For performance:

  • Boys: White long-sleeve collared shirt with a black necktie (not a bowtie), black dress pants, black dress socks, and black dress shoes (no sneakers/boots, no hat).
  • Girls: White long-sleeve blouse, black floor-length skirt or dress pants, black dress stockings, and black dress shoes (no white stockings); hair band or hair pin for long hair style
  • Soloists: Free-colored formal concert dress

Click here to see the detailed information on the LAYP Dress Code.


Q: Do you accept donations?

A: Yes, we do. Donations are one of the great resources for our huge summer concert project. Our four major financial resources are 1) grant from the government, 2) ticket sale, 3) registration fee, and 4) donations.

Q: When can we make a donation?

A: We normally present Donation Drive 3-4 weeks before the concert day and list the donors on the printed program booklet. We receive donations at any times. Please email us at layouthphil@gmail.com to make a donation.

Miscellaneous Questions

Q: Is it alright if I am also a member of another symphonic/orchestral/choral organization? 

A: Yes! It is a summer season program.

Q: Would a classical guitarist be included? 

A: The guitar is not included in the orchestra, but we love to perform a piece for guitar solo and orchestra. Classical guitar students may apply for a potential soloist position.

Q: What kind of music binder does a student performer need?

A: Each individual performer needs to have an orchestra binder or choral folder even though stringed instrumentalists share a music stand: orchestra binder (color: black/dark; ring size: ½ inch; paper size: letter; available online: click here Staples Office Depot ); choral folder (click here Choral Folder or 1/2 Inch Binder White)

Q: Is this audition open to the students living in the LA area? Can students in other states apply for it?

A: It is open to all around the world.

Q: Do you offer housing options for students not in the near vicinity?

A: No. If you travel from another state or country, you need to arrange your travel/stay plan by yourself. You may visit https://www.airbnb.com/https://www.expedia.com/https://www.priceline.com/ for travel and hotel information.

Piano Concerto Competition

Q: Does this competition require multiple rounds or live auditions ? Is December 31 the final deadline?

A: The deadline is the final. There will be NO multiple rounds like first round, second round, and final. There will be NO in-person, live, or synchronous auditions. All the auditions will go on by the recorded video only.

Q: How many winners do you select?

A: We select winners in three areas: high school grade level, middle school, and elementary school. The number of the winners depends on the participants’ playing level and readiness as a concerto soloist.

Q: What is your age requirement?

Over 4th school grade (4th through 12th). Younger students (K-3rd) who have been playing the piano at an earlier age and who can play a concerto from the suggested repertoire above may apply for the competition.

Q: What pieces (concertos) will be performed in concert? Will the audition piece be the concerto that the winner will be performing with the orchestra?

A: The conductors will select the repertoires for each concert. The finalized repertoire will be notified about 6 months prior to the concert, usually in January so that a piano soloist can have enough time to prepare for a concerto from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Modern/Contemporary period or premiere the commissioned piano concerto.