This page outlines the requirements and guidance for recording and submitting your audition video.

Audition Requirements

If you are a new member, to audition for the National School Symphony Orchestra courses in 2024, we need you to send us a continuous, unedited video, as follows:

  • For Philharmonic and Sinfonia applicants: two contrasting pieces lasting up to 8 minutes duration in total.
  • For Academy applicants: one piece lasting up to 4 minutes in duration

Don’t worry if your video is a bit longer than this but the panel may not be able to listen to the whole recording.

If you are a returning member, you do not need to re-audition. However if you wish to apply to play in a different orchestra from the one you previously played with, we ask that you submit a recent video recording (taken within the last 3 months) of you playing your instrument.

Audition process

Once we have confirmed a place is available and you have paid your deposit, we will email you with instructions of how to submit your video audition. We aim to confirm audition results within 2 weeks of submission, but at busy times of the year this may take longer.

If, having submitted your audition, you are not offered a place, you will be refunded your deposit.


That all seems simple enough!  But, here are a few guidelines to help you make the best possible recording, in order to do justice to your application.

  • Most smartphones, tablets and laptops will be suitable for making the recording.
  • You can film in landscape or portrait format, but make sure that you are central to the picture – avoid very wide shots with lots of background and you as a small dot in the middle! Take care, too, not to film yourself close to a bright light source.
  • Make sure that you tune your instrument properly before you start recording.
  • Once you start the recording you should not stop it until the end of the audition. The video must not be edited in any way before you submit it.
  • If the composer wrote an accompaniment (e.g. piano) you should perform with it; you can use a backing track if you have one.
  • Announce the name of the composer and the title of the work before each of the two pieces.
Checking You’re Happy:
  • When you have finished everything, check that you are happy with your performance and the quality of the recording before submitting it for the audition.
  • In assessing your recording we are looking for your personal musical qualities – technical achievement and expressive understanding – not the production values of the recording.
Technical Criteria

Before submitting your audition video, please check your video complies with the information below:

  • Ensure the file is no bigger than 2GB in size.
  • The file format should be one of the following: .MP4, .MOV, .WMV or .MPG.
  • The video file name should contain the first and last name of the player auditioning and the instrument. E.g. John-Smith-Violin.MP4


Submit Your Audition

We will confirm the arrangements for uploading your video once a place is confirmed and your deposit is paid. Please do NOT email videos to us as the file size will clog up our mail server!

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If you have an enquiry about any aspect of NSSO please feel free to get in touch:

NSSO, Malvern College, College Road, Malvern, WR14 3DF

T: 01684 581695


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