This page contains general information about becoming a musician in one of SCYO’s ensembles.

For specific information about 2024 Audition, including excerpts and links to apply, please select the “Audition” page instead.

Am I ready?

Musicians are invited to attend our open rehearsals held annually in October as a tryout and to determine which level / ensemble they should audition for.​

As a general guide:

Ensemble Type of Ensemble AMEB Level
Amati Strings Preliminary and above
Sinfonia Strings Grade 2 and above
Concert Band Band Preliminary and above
Wind Ensemble [NEW] Band Grade 2 and above
Wind Symphony Band Grade 4 and above
Youth Symphony Symphony Orchestra Grade 4 and above

Please ask your music teacher if you are not sure what that means (it is recommended that you are studying with a private teacher).

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How do I join?

Auditions for the following year are held annually in early November. To sign up for the 2024 Audition, please visit the “Audition 2024” page.

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What are the fees?

SCYO fees comprise of two parts:

  • Annual Membership Fee:
    • First child: $550
    • Second child: $500 ($50 sibling discount)
    • Third child: $450 ($100 sibling discount)
  • Annual Associate Fee (one per family; compulsory): $50

There are no charges for participating in additional ensembles, i.e. Wind Symphony + Youth Symphony + Stage Band.

Fees are reviewed each year and may be amended before offers are sent.

The Annual Membership Fee covers a multitude of activities – membership, rehearsals, tutorials, conductors, guest conductors, music, local tours, other special events, performances and camp. The whole program is considered a package and is not costed separately. No refund can be given if a musician chooses not to attend any SCYO activities, such as the annual camp.

The Associate Fee must be paid to secure the position in the SCYO. Musicians under the age of 18 require one parent to be an Associate member. All committee members are required to be an associate member.​​

SCYO maintains Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance. Members are responsible for their instrument insurance.

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BOQ Nambour and Hinterland has generously partnered with SCYO to provide assistance with membership fees for students in financial hardship. More information is available here.

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What is the audition process?

A typical audition process is as below:

  1. Sign up online and choose an audition time slot. There is a $25 non-refundable audition fee. Audition booking platform will be online in October.
  2. Prepare a short solo piece and any excerpts as requested. Excerpts will be published online in October.
  3. Attend the audition at the time chosen. Auditions are usually held in early November.
  4. Audition results will be announced at the end of November.

If musician is unable to attend the audition in person, video recordings of audition materials can be submitted via email. $25 non-refundable audition fee and similar time frames apply.

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Joining mid-year

SCYO accepts mid-year applicants in circumstances including new family moving to the Sunshine Coast or musicians becoming ready halfway through the year. The process is similar to standard auditions:

  1. Contact to communicate your interest.
  2. Prepare a video of yourself playing a short solo piece.
  3. Send video to $25 non-refundable audition fee apply.
  4. Pro-rated membership fees apply:
    1. Joining any time in Term 1 – fees 100% payable, whether or not camp was attended
    2. Joining any time in Term 2 – fees 75% payable
    3. Joining anytime in Term 3 – fees 50% payable
    4. Joining anytime in Term 4 – Nil as there are no major concerts scheduled and fewer weeks of rehearsals. Term 4 membership will be considered a trial period and does not include a polo shirt or music folder.

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How are results determined?

SCYO ensembles can change from time to time, and can grow to support demand. It is quite rare to be unable to find a place for a musician. Existing ensembles cater for young musicians with around 1 year experience with an instrumental teacher through to more advanced musicians with 8 or 10 years experience.

The audition panel will consider a number of factors such as the current level of musical development, age, maturity, and speed of development in determining placements.​

Membership of advanced small ensembles such as Chamber Strings and Stage Band, are by invitation only, after auditions. Nominate interest in these groups during your audition or at camp.

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Accepting your offer / fee payment

Offers for membership and invoice of fees payable will be sent via email following the announcement of audition results in November.

Full fees are due no later than the first rehearsal of the year. Payment plans are available for families that require assistance with payment timeframe. This can be requested by responding to the email containing the invoice.

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Staying committed

Acceptance of a place in any SCYO ensemble is a serious commitment for the entire year! Carefully consider the need to attend Wednesday night rehearsals, weekend concerts, tutorials, workshops and other activities. An orchestral group cannot perform at a high standard unless all its members reliably participate.

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Parental involvement

The success of SCYO and the breadth of what it offers for the cost, is dependent on parent/carer volunteers, and assistance would be greatly appreciated. Please consider involvement. Most tasks are done during a Wednesday night rehearsal. Information meetings also occur on a Wednesday night. Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring musicians attend SCYO events, respond to requests, and for collecting musicians promptly from evening rehearsals and performances.

​Read more about volunteer positions here.

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Refund policy

SCYO offers a different range of activities across the year and would love to have a musician experience its breadth by staying with us for the full year. However, in the event that a withdrawal is inevitable, SCYO’s refund policies are as below:

  • All withdrawal requests must be received in writing to both and
  • The $200 deposit paid to secure membership is non-refundable and non-transferable to another musician or sibling under any circumstances
  • Withdrawal notice given before camp — initial $200 deposit is nonrefundable. Remaining balance of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Withdrawal notice given after camp but before June 30 — initial $200 deposit is nonrefundable. 50% of the remaining balance of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Withdrawal notice given after June 30 — no refund eligible.