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The HPYO is the foremost student-based symphony orchestra in the Greater Hamilton Region, offering a place for young musicians to develop their orchestral skills.

The HPYO 21-22 Season live programming begins January 8, 2022 with in-person rehearsals at McMaster University.

Auditions for live HPYO 21-22 Season activities are now open!

Musicians interested in participating in our live session beginning January 2022 are invited to submit a video audition. Musicians who have been accepted into the Fall Session do not need to submit a new audition to participate in the live portion of the season.


Live Session Tuition 

Tuition payments for the HPYO live session will be accepted beginning the first week of January. Details about how to pay tuition online will be provided well in advance.

Concert Orchestra Tuition $300

Philharmonic Orchestra Tuition $500

*Financial aid is available for qualifying participants. Please email HPYO General Manager Courtney Prizrenac for more information.


Have questions about the season? Scroll down to find FAQs.


Registration and Audition Checklist

1. Complete the online registration form

The deadline to register for auditions has now passed. If you would like to audition for the HPYO, please email HPYO General Manager Courtney Prizrenac for more information.


2. Review the Winter-Spring 2022 schedule

Concert Orchestra rehearsals take place Saturdays between 8:30 – 9:45

Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsals take place Saturdays between 10:30 am – 1:00 pm

View the Season Schedule



3. Review instructions for video audition submission and audition requirements for your instrument

Click on each image below to open the documents.

4. Download the provided audition excerpts for your instrument

Click on your instrument name below to open the excerpt package.


Flute Oboe Clarinet Bassoon
Horn Trumpet Trombone Tuba
Violin Viola Cello Double Bass

Be sure to submit your audition video by 4pm on Friday, November 19!



Who can audition?

Any musician 24 years of age or younger may audition. Former HPYO members must re-audition each season. 


What is the minimum skill level or RCM grade level required for the HPYO?

There is no minimum age or grade level required to audition or participate in the HPYO. Applicants are accepted into the orchestra based on their performance in their audition. Excerpt packets may include repertoire excerpts from the upcoming season’s planned repertoire as well as pieces that may not be performed in the upcoming season.

To prepare and get a sense for the required skill level, our coaches recommend that you:

  • Look up videos, recordings and scores of the orchestral repertoire from the excerpts in your audition packet
  • Watch and listen to these pieces to gain an understanding of the level of skill required to play these pieces


What is the difference between the Concert Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra?

Designed for musicians in the earlier stages of their music education, the Concert Orchestra provides a supportive environment for musicians to learn about the orchestra and develop their musical skills. The Philharmonic Orchestra is designed for more experienced musicians performing at a high musical level, and who have had past orchestral or ensemble experience. Placement in either of the orchestras is at the discretion of the coaching faculty and will be determined once auditions are completed.


What is required for an HPYO audition?

Auditions will be submitted by video for the 21-22 season. Please open and download the HPYO Audition Requirements document in Step 3 of the Registration and Audition Checklist to see specific requirements for your instrument. Your audition will be reviewed by HPYO faculty.


How do I know which orchestra I should audition for?

Private music teachers are an excellent resource when preparing for an audition – we encourage musicians to ask their teachers before beginning audition preparation which orchestra they would be best suited to audition for.  Musicians are welcome to prepare the materials for the Philharmonic Orchestra if they wish, but coaching faculty reserves the right to make placement decisions based on the audition results. Please feel free to reach out to the HPYO General Manager, Courtney Prizrenac if you have questions regarding audition preparation and the two orchestras.


What is the time commitment for the HPYO?

Both the Concert Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestras meet Saturday mornings throughout the season, September to May. The HPYO will begin the season online with workshops and sessions led by HPYO faculty, moving to in person activities beginning in January 2022. All HPYO activities will adhere to public health guidelines and restrictions. HPYO rehearsals generally take place weekly. In addition to weekly rehearsals there are three concerts. There may be additional musical opportunities and community events. HPYO members are required to check weekly emails throughout the season and note all schedule updates.


What is the tuition cost to participate in the HPYO?

Tuition for the Fall Session of the 21-22 HPYO season is $225 for Philharmonic Orchestra members and $150 for Concert Orchestra members. Financial aid is available to support qualifying musicians’ tuition costs. Please email HPYO General Manager Courtney Prizrenac for more information regarding available financial aid.

If you have further questions, please email HPYO General Manager Courtney Prizrenac at