Rossen Milanov, Music Director

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The Chorus welcomes singers with significant choral experience to become part of the organization, in performing choral masterworks alongside the Columbus Symphony.

The CSO Chorus holds auditions several times throughout the year, attracting singers with substantial choral experience to join the organization in performing choral masterworks with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra under the inspiring leadership of Music Director, Rossen Milanov, and Principal Pops Conductor, Stuart Chafetz.

The Chorus is prepared for performances by Chorus Director, Stephen Caracciolo: a professional conductor and published composer who holds degrees in conducting from Westminster Choir College and the Jacobs School of Music-Indiana University.

People who commit to the Chorus’ dynamic performing season find the organization to be a diverse ensemble of friendly, welcoming, and supportive choral music enthusiasts who hail from many walks of life and professions, and enjoy varied interests inside and outside of music. The Chorus is a family of talented, dedicated, and hard-working singers who focus their efforts on presenting magnificent works of musical art to the citizens of Central Ohio.

when and where does the chorus rehearse?

Weekly rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings from 7-9:30pm in the spacious Rehearsal Room 1 at the Ohio Theatre. Safe and convenient parking is available at the Columbus Commons Underground Parking Garage.

Are singers expected to prepare for rehearsals?

Chorus members are sent weekly emails from Dr. Caracciolo specifying precisely what titles will be rehearsed the following two Tuesdays. Singers are expected to target and master those portions of the program ahead of each rehearsal. Links to recordings, part tracks, and language diction help are provided to aid in rehearsal preparation. Preparing for your Chorus audition, therefore, imitates on a smaller scale the same pattern Chorus members follow when preparing for rehearsals.

What may I expect on the evening of an audition?

Singers are greeted by members of the CSO Chorus Board when they arrive. You will be guided to a comfortable place to wait while you enter contact data into our files and sit for an informal picture. A space will be provided for those who wish to warm up for a few minutes.

When you meet with Dr. Caracciolo, other Chorus Board members will be in the room to assist and to listen. He will check your range, note your singing tone, and assess your musical acuity in about 10 minutes of time. Singers who audition for Dr. Caracciolo routinely note that the experience was enjoyable, engaging, and not at all what they expected!

Sightreading is not assessed. Rather, the skill to thoroughly master the prepared excerpts and sing them accurately, musically, and beautifully at your audition is what we find most important! There is no expectation that those who audition will memorize the choral excerpts for their audition and singers are asked to bring the scores they downloaded in preparation.

How do I schedule an audition time?

While the CSO Chorus schedules larger audition events in July and January, singers are encouraged to schedule an individual audition any time during the season to be considered for seats in upcoming performances. To express your interest and to schedule an audition, contact Chorus Director, Dr. Stephen Caracciolo at Kindly offer several dates and general times in your email to detail your availability. Expect a return communication within 48 hours.

Where are the auditions held?

Auditions are held at All Saints Lutheran Church, 6770 N High Street in Worthington.

What are the materials for me to prepare and bring to the audition?

PRINT the audition excerpts for Mozart and Handel, and kindly complete the included Audition Form and bring it to your audition.  

Mozart Requiem, ‘Dies Irae’ excerpt.

YouTube Recording of the ‘Dies Irae’ (You will sing with this recording.)

Soprano Part

Alto Part

Tenor Part

Bass Part

Latin Pronunciation

Handel Messiah, ‘Worthy Is the Lamb’ excerpt.

YouTube Recording of ‘Worthy Is the Lamb’ (You will sing with this recording.)

Soprano Part

Alto Part

Tenor Part

Bass Part

The Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras are committed to supporting the lives of young musicians and their families through professional and enriching rehearsals and performances. Membership in the CSYO is open to any talented young musicians in grades 3-12 who wish to make music with their peers.

All CSYO members are required to: 

Each of our four ensembles has different Audition Requirements as part of the musical experience. To view each of the ensemble’s requirements, click the listing below!

How many openings are available for new members?

Openings for new members depend upon both the number of current members leaving their orchestra and the conductor’s digression. 

If you submit an audition application and fee but there is no opening for your instrument, the CSYO will notify you and refund your audition fee.

When are auditions for new members?

Annual auditions take place each spring. The CSYO does accept other members throughout the year on a rolling basis based on specific instrument needs for each ensemble.

What if I am unable to submit a video audition recording?

We highly encourage everyone to submit an audition video, however, if you DO NOT have a camera available or there are other extenuating circumstances, we will have live audition dates available upon request. Please let us know if this is necessary and we will contact you directly.

What is the cost to audition?

Audition fees are $40 payable with audition registration. If you are auditioning for more than one orchestra, there is only one fee. Checks can be made out and mailed to:

CSYO Auditions, Attn. Nia Dewberry
55 E. State St.
Columbus, OH 43215

What is the cost to participate? Do I pay now?

The annual fees are as follows:

You will be billed for your tuition upon acceptance into the program. Need-based financial aid and payment plans are available.

My grade level qualifies me for two or more ensembles. How do I decide which ensemble to audition for?

We suggest string students in sixth grade (or younger), who have not yet played in an organized ensemble, audition for Junior Strings, as there are a few differences between playing solo pieces and playing as part of an ensemble. Similarly, string students in seventh or eighth grade should audition for Chamber Strings. Woodwind, brass, and percussion students who have performed in an ensemble for fewer than two years should audition for the Repertory Orchestra.

*Grade parameters are not flexible. Limited exceptions can be made. Students should consult CSYO staff and private teachers on the right ensemble fit for them.

Students whose grade qualifies them for more than one orchestra are welcome to audition for each eligible orchestra. Students will audition using the higher-level ensemble’s audition requirements. If you audition for more than one orchestra, you must indicate so on your Audition Application. You will only need to pay one $40 audition fee.

Will I receive comments from my audition?

No. Any written notes that conductors make during your audition are solely for personal use.

Does the CSYO require vaccines?

No, vaccines and/or boosters are not required to participate in the CSYO program. The CSYO is committed to the health and safety of its musicians, families, and staff and reserves the right to update this policy to reflect safe practices.

Why am I also required to play in my school’s music program?

The CSYO is firmly committed to the importance of school music programs and strives to cooperate with the music education community. Members must participate in their school instrumental music programs and take private lessons on the instrument on which they perform in CSYO. We expect our members to be role models and musical emissaries in their school ensembles.

At the beginning of each season, students are required to obtain proper music teacher, private teacher, or counselor signatures to participate.

What are my responsibilities as a member of a CSYO ensemble? 

CSYO musicians are expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals and concerts. Musicians are expected to practice their music at home and come to weekly rehearsals prepared to work as an ensemble.

I have other extra-curricular responsibilities that could conflict. Is that a problem?

CSYO musicians are expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals and concerts. If you believe you won’t be able to make these dates a priority, you should carefully consider your decision to audition.