Phone: 501-666-1761 | Email:

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles began as a dream of the ASO's founders in the 1960's and today continues to attract Arkansas' leading student-musicians. Ranging in age from 9-18 and traveling from over 37 communities throughout the state, the ASYO has grown to over 200 members.

For more information, please contact Barbara Burroughs at (501) 666-1761 ext. 116.

2016-2017 ASYO Handbook

ASYO Scholarship Application


Step 1: Apply to audition.


Step 2: After the student has been placed in an ensemble, complete registration for the ASO Youth Ensembles program.


Audition Information

Download Audition Information as PDF

Auditions are held twice yearly in January and May. January auditions are for those string, woodwind, brass and percussion students wishing to enter the Prelude, Academy or Youth Orchestras. January auditions will be on Sunday, January 22, 2017 noon till 6 p.m.  June auditions are for all students desiring to audition for entrance into the Prelude, Academy or Youth Orchestras, OR to move up to the next level. May auditions are on Saturday, May 20, 2017 (all day at Byrne Hall) for Strings and Woodwind Brass and Percussion on Monday, May 22, 2017 (4 p.m. at Byrne Hall) and Tuesday, May 22, 2017 (4 p.m. at Byrne Hall).To ensure the continuity of the program within each group, students are not allowed to move from one orchestra to another mid-year except under extraordinary circumstances.

Reservations for auditions must be made in advance. The ASYO audition form and the $20 audition fee must be sent to the ASO offices prior to the audition date. It is not necessary for a student to re-audition each year for entrance to the ASYO Program. And audition is required only when a student wishes to move from one level to another.

Students need to audition for ensemble placement. Once placed in an ensemble students should register at the link above.


John and Karen Flake Endowed Scholarship Award


Strings-only ensemble of beginning players, totals 70 students and entrance is by teacher recommendation only.

Audition Requirements

This orchestra is specifically for beginning string players. Students need to have studied their instruments for at least one year, to have learned at least two sharps in first position, and be reading music. A written recommendation from a teacher is required. All recommendation letters must be sent no later than August of each year, for entrance in the fall. Please send recommendations to the ASYO offices at PO Box 7328, Little Rock, AR 72217. Attn: Youth Orchestra.  Auditions for 17-18 will be on Saturday, June 3, 2017 and Sunday, June 4, 2017. 

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A strings-only group for students in 4th through 8th grades. Students need to have studied their instruments for at least 2 years.

Audition Requirements

An audition is required for entrance to the Prelude Orchestra. Students need to have studied their instruments for at least 2 years and demonstrate, in their audition, two sharps and two flats in first position. Experience in third position is desired but not required. Students in this group MUST be able to read music and be familiar with the concept, and have received an introduction to, shifting. Audition must include: One major scale, 2 octaves and two prepared pieces or movements of contrasting style and tempo. Sight reading is also a part of the audition. 

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For students 7th through 12th grade. An intermediate-level group that is a complete ensemble of woodwind, brass, string, and percussion players who must audition  for a spot in the group.

Audition Requirements

All students are requested to audition to move up after two years in this group, and no later than three years in the Academy Orchestra.  It is expected that STRING STUDENTS reaching the end of their sophomore year would audition for Youth Orchestra, thereby allowing spots for incoming string players. 

The Academy Orchestra is the intermediate level ensemble with a full complement of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Entrance is by audition only. String players must demonstrate facility above 1st position and in keys up to 4 sharps and 4 flats. Woodwind and Brass Players must be at the level to make All-Region Band and Orchestra.  The audition should include a major scale, 2 -3 octaves, one melodic minor scale, 2 . 3 octaves; and two prepared pieces or movements of contrasting style and tempo. Sight-reading will also be required.  

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For students 8th through 12th grade. The most advanced youth ensemble boasts some of the top student musicians in the state. Musicians in this group consistently place at the top of the All-State Band and Orchestra Competition and are leaders in their schools and communities.

Audition Requirements

The Youth Ensemble consists of the most advanced string, woodwind, brass and percussion players from around the state. Entrance is by audition only and for those whose audition demonstrates familiarity with advanced techniques in order to perform the standard orchestral repertoire. One major scale, 2 . 3 octaves; one melodic minor scale, 2 . 3 octaves; two prepared pieces or movements of contrasting style and tempos, unaccompanied; and sight-reading are required for each audition.

View Conductor and Schedule

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