SYOA cellist in rehearsal at the 2012 conference
SAA conferences provide numerous events designed for selected Suzuki students from across the Americas. Conference student events offer unique observation experiences for participating teachers and great coaching and performing experiences for students. The 2016 SAA Conference will offer more such opportunities than any previous SAA Conference!
Students may apply to participate in instrument-specific masterclasses coached by distinguished guest clinicians and/or they may apply to participate in coached ensembles. Most of the ensembles have the opportunity to perform before large, assembled Conference audiences during the latter part of the weekend.
Exciting additions to the performing ensembles at the 2016 Conference will be added this year.
Student participation in any of the events is level-specific and audition-based.
- Instrumental, Voice, and Chamber Group Masterclasses
- Instrument-Specific Ensembles & Choirs
Violin (New), Piano (New), Flute, Bass, Recorder, Guitar
- Piano Concerto
- Suzuki Youth Orchestras of the Americas (SYOA) 1 and 2
- Suzuki Young Artists String Ensemble (SYASE)
- International Ensembles Concert
Requirements for All Applicants
- Study with an Active SAA Teacher Member.
- Be high school age or younger, unless age limits are specified for the activity.
- Have a flexible schedule for May 26-29, 2016, as final event schedules may not be determined until February 2016.
Where appropriate, accompaniment is required for all instruments for all auditions, except piano, guitar, harp, recorder, and chamber music groups. Piano concerto requires second piano accompaniment. Memorization is required, except for chamber ensembles.
Applicants should record their auditions with the best lighting and sound quality available for professional results. Attention should also be paid to attire.
Where requested, applicant’s teacher must provide a recommendation letter including information on reading and chamber music experience and any other information required.
Separate application forms and fees must be submitted for each application, as applicable.
All materials must be submitted online (to SAA website) or by DVD, postmarked by the following dates—no exceptions:
- October 15: International Ensembles
- October 25: Masterclasses, Violin or Flute Performing Ensemble, Recorder Consort, Guitar Ensemble, SYOA, SYASE, 3-Piano Ensembles, chamber music ensembles, and other preformed ensembles
- December 15: Piano Concerto
Keep a copy of the application and video for your records. Your application materials and videos will not be returned.
Submit all materials and application fees online (strongly recommended) or by mail to the SAA:
SAA Conference Audition
PO Box 17310
Boulder CO 80308
Applications by courier service should be sent to:
SAA Conference Audition
2465 Central #204
Boulder, CO 80301
- $45 for SYOA, SYASE, Masterclasses, Piano Concerto, Guitar Ensemble, Violin or Flute Performing Ensemble, Recorder Consort, Cello Choir, Bass Choir
- $45 per student to apply for chamber ensemble or piano ensemble
- $75 for chamber music groups (one fee per group) and all preformed ensembles (one fee per group)
- $85 for International Ensembles Concert group applicants – one fee per group
Participation Fees (in addition to application fees, once accepted)
- $130 for SYOA 1, SYOA 2, SYASE, Flute Performing Ensemble
- $75 for Guitar Ensemble, Recorder Consort, Cello Choir, Bass Choir, Violin Performing Ensemble, 3-Piano Ensembles, chamber music groups, other ensembles
In addition to a high musical standard, the application review committees will consider a balance of ages, levels, instrumentation, and geographic area when prioritizing their results. Application materials will be reviewed carefully and information will be held in confidence by committee members.
Student must pay for own transportation, room, board, and any required fees.
Student must be available for participation any time during the course of the conference weekend and during the days indicated for rehearsals and performances.
In many cases, students will be selected to participate in no more than two activities due to scheduling constraints. SYOA participants are generally unavailable for participation in most other events.
Student must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian while at the conference (signed release required).
While students and their parents may be invited to attend specific sessions and performances, parents interested in attending other parts of the conference must pay the full participant conference registration fee for the day or days attending.
Student and parent or guardian must release to the SAA the rights to photograph and/or record sessions in which the student participates.
It is the policy of the SAA that no personal video recording take place in any sessions, rehearsals, concerts or masterclasses. Please note the SAA employs a professional video company for recording selected events at the Conference. Those recordings are generally made available to Conference participants at low cost.
Specific Audition Requirements
Instrumental, Voice, and Chamber Group Masterclasses
Applicants accepted for an instrument masterclass must perform the piece submitted on their application video, no exceptions.
Chamber Music Group Masterclass
Chamber groups may include any recognized Suzuki instrument and must be three- to seven-member ensembles, with one person on a part.
Submit one movement from the standard chamber music repertoire, appropriate to the level of the group (beginning, intermediate, or advanced). Less advanced groups should submit at least five minutes of appropriately selected early- and middle-level ensemble repertoire. Applicants accepted for a chamber music masterclass must perform the piece submitted on their application video, no exceptions.
- One piece or movement from Mozart Concerto level or beyond.
- One piece from the SAA’s Suggested Supplementary Repertoire for Violin Books 6-8
- One piece in Suzuki Viola Book 7 or above.
- One piece or movement from beyond the Suzuki repertoire.
Cello Masterclass and Cello Choir
Submit one of the following:
- Faure, Elegy
- Saint-Saens, Allegro Appassionato
- Eccles, Sonata in g minor
- A movement from Haydn, Cello Concerto in C Major
- A movement from Boccherini/Gruetzmacher, Cello Concerto in B flat Major (especially 3rd movement with the Casals cadenza)
- A movement from a Bach Solo Cello Suite
- A movement or piece from repertoire beyond the Suzuki books.
Cello Choir will be made up of the selected masterclass participants. Repertoire will be chosen and distributed well ahead of time based on the masterclass audition. Cello Choir participants pay a participation fee. (Please note: if you are selected as a masterclass participant and are also accepted into SYASE, the cello choir may not fit into your schedule.)
Students will be chosen from each of the following categories of repertoire for masterclass participation:
Beyond the Suzuki repertoire:
- Submit one piece/movement from beyond the Suzuki repertoire. Student must be at or beyond Mozart K. 331 level.
Later Suzuki repertoire: Submit one of the following pieces from Books 5, 6, 7:
- J.S. Bach, Inventions in C Major or F Major, Prelude & Fugue in D Major, WTC I
- Bartok, Roumanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
- Chopin, Waltz in a minor, Op. posth, or Nocturne in c-sharp minor, Op. posth.
- Daquin, The Cuckoo
- Debussy, La fille aux cheveux de lin
- Granados, Spanish Dance No. 5
- Grieg, Notturno, Op. 54, No. 4
- Haydn, Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI/35, one movement
- Mendelssohn, Venetian Gondola Song, Op. 30, No. 6
- Mozart, Sonatas, K. 330, K. 545, K. 331, one movement
- Villa-Lobos, O Polichinello
Intermediate Suzuki Repertoire: Submit one piece/movement from Suzuki Books 3 or 4.
- Clementi, Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 1, 1st movement
- Kuhlau, Sonatina in C Major, Op. 55, one movement
- Schumann, The Wild Rider
- Gurlitt, Little Waltz
- Clementi, Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 3, 1st movement – Spiritoso
- Bartok, Teasing Song
- Beethoven, Sonata in G Major, Op. 49, No. 2, one movement
- Tcherepnin, Bagatelle, Op. 5, No. 9
- J. S. Bach, Minuets I and II, from Partita in B-flat Major, BWV 825
- J. S. Bach, Gigue, from Partita in B-flat Major, BWV 825
Early Level Suzuki Repertoire: Submit one piece/movement from Suzuki Books 1 or 2.
- Chwatal, Little Playmates
- Dutton, Christmas-Day Secrets
- Suzuki, Allegro
- Anonymous, Minuet in G Major, from J. S. Bach’s Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach
- Bartok, Hungarian Folk Song
- Beethoven, Sonatina in G Major, Anh. 5, one movement
- Bartok, Children at Play
All levels welcome to apply. Submit your current polished piece.
Submit one piece from the Suzuki repertoire in Books 3 and beyond.
Submit one piece from Suzuki Book 6 (or its equivalent) or above.
Submit one of the following:
- Beginning Level: Submit one piece from Books One through Four.
- Intermediate and Advanced Level: Submit one piece from Book Four or beyond.
Recorder Master Class
Open to all levels. Submit most advanced polished piece on each recorder size available. Suzuki repertoire is required for soprano and alto recorders.
Audition pieces to be determined. Other voice student opportunities may be offered too.
Choose one of the following:
- J. S. Bach, Keyboard Concerto in g minor BWV 1058, 1st and 2nd movements, or 2nd and 3rd movements
- Haydn, Concerto in D Major Hob XVIII, No. 11, 3rd movement
- Mozart, Concerto No. 12 in A major, K.414, 1st movement—Allegro
- Beethoven, Concerto No. 2 in B flat Major, Op. 19, 1st or 3rd movement
OR choose one of the following to apply as a team of 2 pianists:
- J.S. Bach, Concerto for Two Keyboards in c minor, BWV 1060, 1st mvt.
- J.S. Bach, Concerto for Two Keyboards in c minor, BWV 1062, 1st mvt.
Instrument-Specific Ensembles & Choirs
Students chosen for ensembles and choirs will participate in several rehearsals over the course of 3+ days, culminating in a formal or informal performance.
Violin Performing Ensemble
Advanced violin students may audition to participate in a special small ensemble—NEW this year. Ensemble students will study and rehearse selected repertoire to be announced in advance. Repertoire pieces will be contrasting in style and performed in unison or parts. The ensemble rehearsals will be conducted group-class-style and will serve as special violin Conference sessions. Some participation by session participants is planned. Guest/special instructor TBD.
Students must be studying at the level of Book 9 or 10 or beyond.
Choose one of the following:
- Mozart Concerto in D Major or A Major, 1st or 3rd mvt.
- Praeludium and Allegro by Kreisler
- Other repertoire beyond Suzuki Book 10
Students auditioning at the level of Book 9 or beyond for the Violin Masterclass do not need to submit a separate audition piece or pay an additional audition fee but must otherwise complete the application process. A participation fee will be required of all who are selected for the Ensemble.
Flute Performing Ensemble
Submit one piece from Suzuki Book 3 (or its equivalent) and above.
Note: students auditioning for the Flute Masterclass do not need to submit a separate audition piece or pay a separate application fee but must otherwise complete the application process.
Students auditioning for the Flute Performing Ensemble only must submit audition, fee, and application form.
A participation fee will be required of all who are selected for the Ensemble.
All levels welcome to apply. Submit current polished piece.
Students auditioning for the Bass Masterclass do not need to submit a separate audition piece or pay a separate application fee but must otherwise complete the application process.
Students auditioning for the Bass Choir only must submit audition, fee, and application form.
A participation fee will be required of all who are selected for the Ensemble.
Submit most advanced polished piece on each recorder size available, with at least one piece at the Suzuki Book 3 level and beyond (i.e., one piece on soprano; or one piece on soprano and one on alto; or one each on soprano, alto, and tenor; or one each on soprano, alto, tenor, and bass).
Students auditioning for the Recorder Masterclass do not need to submit a separate application fee but must otherwise complete the application process.
Students auditioning for the Recorder Consort only must submit audition, fee, and application form.
Submit Waltz from Sonata No. 9 by Paganini.
Students auditioning for the Guitar Masterclass do not need to submit a separate audition piece or separate application fee but must otherwise complete the application process.
Students auditioning for the Guitar Ensemble only must submit audition, fee and application form.
A special event this year focuses on Three-Piano Ensembles. Ensembles will feature unison performances of Suzuki piano repertoire at various levels and some multi-part piano ensemble repertoire, as well. Groups will receive three coachings (at least one coaching will function as a piano teachers’ session) and will be featured in an informal concert.
To participate, choose one of three options:
—Pianists auditioning for masterclasses will need to indicate interest in the ensemble event on their application. An additional audition piece and application fee will not be required. Those chosen will receive their assignments in advance.
—Pianists who are not auditioning for a masterclass may apply to participate in a Three-Piano Ensemble by submitting an application and fee and uploading a performance of their current polished piece.
—Groups of 3+ students may apply as a pre-formed group and submit an audition of a well-prepared unison or multi-part ensemble performance.
Students selected to participate will pay a participation fee and be available to participate on each of 2-3 days during the conference.
Suzuki Youth Orchestras of the Americas (SYOA)
Activities tentatively scheduled from the evening of May 26 through late afternoon on May 29.
Students born on or after June 1, 2005*, and studying at the following minimum levels:
- Violin: Book 5 and above
- Viola and Cello: Book 4 and above
- Bass: Book 2 and above (Students may be one year older.)
Audition pieces for SYOA 1:
- Violin: Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, 3rd movement
- Viola: Bach Bourree
- Cello: Humoresque
- Bass: Bach Minuet 1 or beyond (must have studied at least eighteen months)
*Note: there is a 5-month overlap between allowable ages for SYOA 1 and SYOA 2, adopted to allow more opportunities for participation in SYOA 1.
Students born on or after January 1, 2004, and on or before December 31, 2005, and studying at the following minimum levels:
- Violin: Book 7 and above
- Viola and Cello: Book 5 and above
- Bass: Book 3 and above (Students may be one year older.)
Audition pieces for SYOA 2:
- Violin: Fiocco Allegro
- Viola: Telemann Concerto in GM, 2nd movement
- Cello: Breval Sonata, 2nd movement
- Bass: Saint Saens “The Elephant”
Suzuki Young Artists String Ensemble (SYASE)
Activities tentatively scheduled from the evening of May 26 through the evening of May 29.
Students born on or after January 1, 2000, and on or before December 31, 2003, and studying at the following minimum levels:
- Violin: Book 8 and above
- Viola: Book 6 and above
- Cello: Book 7 and above
- Bass: Book 5 and above (Note: Bass students may be one year older.)
Audition pieces for SYASE:
- Violin: Bach Concerto in a minor, 1st movement
- Viola: Marais La Folia
- Cello: Squire Tarantella
- Bass: Marcello Sonata in G Major, movements 1 and 2
International Ensembles Concert
This showcase event will feature three to four fine Suzuki ensembles comprised of eight or more players. Groups may include any Suzuki-recognized instrument areas, and must offer a varied repertoire reflecting a high quality performance. Selected ensembles will perform an 18 minute program for an all conference event.
In addition to the Audition Requirements listed above, the following applies:
Ensembles must be affiliated with a program or teacher with a current SAA active membership.
Performers are expected to meet the age requirements listed above.
Performing groups from the 2014 SAA Conference International Ensembles Concert are ineligible.
Audition and Application Requirements:
Video audition must be representative of the quality repertoire and type of performance which would be performed at the Conference. It generally must include most of the students who will participate in the event.
Audition must be 15-20 minutes in length.
Selection process should be completed no later than November 15, 2015. Selected groups will be required to respond by November 30, 2015 whether or not they will accept the invitation to perform.
All expenses must be borne by the group.
Groups to perform will be required to submit the following by January 30, 2016: final program with exact timings of each piece, group photo, complete list of students to perform, any special staging or accompaniment needs, and any other special needs.
Performance groups will be provided a space for rehearsals (up to one hour) in a private space and 30 minutes in the performance venue on stage.
Special equipment or other performance requirements must be approved by the SAA, arranged by the group, and additional costs paid by the group.
Each group is required to provide an adequate number of adult chaperones and must accept full responsibility for their group throughout the duration of their stay at the Conference.
A limited number of Conference Events may be open to the student groups. Additional fees may apply. Any additional (non-conference) activities must be planned and chaperoned by the group.