2023 Music for All National Festival

presented by Yamaha

Honor Orchestra of America

March 30 – April 2, 2023
Indianapolis, Indiana

Larry J. Livingston

Artistic Director and Conductor
Chair, Conducting Department, Thornton School of Music
University of Southern California

The national Honor Orchestra of America is an inspiring, meaningful, and thrilling experience for outstanding high school orchestra musicians. Students get to rehearse and perform with a renowned conductor and perform for a “dream audience” of outstanding school musicians and educators from across the United States.

Honor Orchestra of America members hail from across the country, from music programs large and small. Our Honor ensemble alumni have gone on to impressive musical careers as instrumentalists and educators in some of our country’s leading musical institutions. More have gone on to be supporters of music education thanks to the spark created from experiences like this.

How to Apply

Members are selected from recorded audition and application. Applicants receive written evaluation on their audition recording.  The application fee is $45.

Application Deadline: October 1, 2022

Audition Video Recommendations: 

  • Since this is the only chance for the student to be heard, the quality of the recording should be of utmost consideration. The quality of your recording will affect the evaluators’ ability to review and comment. A high quality audio and video recording is expected. 
  • Your audition should be prepared like any professional audition. 
  • Dress for performance. An evening gown and tux are not necessary, but ripped jeans, ball caps and tank-tops are not professional. 
  • Consider lighting, framing, and camera placement. Film in a well-lit space, and be sure that there is more lighting in front of you (rather than from behind). 
  • Stay away from clutter, use a simple back ground. No food, laundry, music, instrument cases, or other distractions should be in the shot. 
  • We recommend using a tripod, stand, or place camera on a flat surface while shooting. 
  • Place the camera so that you, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times. When using music, be sure the music stand does not block your face, hands, or instrument. 
  • Choose a medium distance that shows as much detail as possible, while still allowing the image to be framed as described above. Do not use the zoom function as this makes the image grainy or fuzzy. 
  • Try to avoid using “selfie” mode on your devices as it does not allow for a wide enough camera angle. 
  • Be aware of the acoustic environment in which you record. Background noise (television noise, other people practicing, dancing, cooking, etc.) and poor sound quality make your recording difficult to evaluate. If you are recording from your phone or tablet, it should be set horizontally. Be sure to set it in Airplane mode or Do Not Disturb mode to avoid interruptions. 
  • Review your recording(s) before you submit and check the sound level to ensure the best audio quality.  
  • Only unedited recordings can be accepted, and should be in high fidelity stereo. Other than stopping and starting the camera between segments, no editing of the audio or video is permitted. Applicants whose videos show evidence of any cuts, splicing, manipulation of pitch, or other alteration within a performance segment will be subject to disqualification. 
  • It is encouraged to state your name, age, high school and state at the beginning of your audition recording. 


  • Two (2) two-octave major scales of your choice 
  • Two contrasting (in style and tempo) excerpts of your own choosing, each approximately two minutes in length.  
  • Students are encouraged to perform an excerpt that showcases technique and range, as well as an excerpt that showcases expressive and lyrical qualities. 


  • Two (2) two-octave major scales of your choice 
  • One two-octave chromatic scale – starting pitch of your choice 
  • Two contrasting (in style and tempo) excerpts of your own choosing, each approximately two minutes in length. 
  • Students are encouraged to perform an excerpt that showcases technique and range, as well as an excerpt that showcases expressive and lyrical qualities.


  • Percussion applicants must submit a representative solo on snare drum, marimba, and timpani. Please verbally list the titles of these solos at the beginning of your recording. 
  • All applicants must submit the following excerpts IN ADDITION to their solo work above:  
  • Tambourine excerpt from Dvorak’s Carnival Overture – begin at rehearsal letter Q and play through rehearsal letter S 
  • Crash cymbal excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet – Begin at rehearsal letter E and play until 6 measures before F  
  • Total time of audition recording not to exceed 15 minutes. More than one solo example is permitted, if within the time limit. 
  • When recording snare drum, please record in a “dry” non-resonant location. This will allow the details of your playing to be clearly heard. However, a resonant location is very good for recording marimba
  • The recording should NOT use “Automatic Volume Control”. This will normalize the dynamic range of the recording and significantly impact the accuracy of the performers dynamic range. Please check the levels/balance before you record and review the video submission before sending it.