“ It has been such an honor to become part of this orchestra. I grew up listening to my grandfather’s recordings of DSO performances, so I have tremendous respect for this organization’s signature artistry and growing reputation as a leader in new orchestral music. ”— Robyn Bollinger, DSO Concertmaster
• Assistant Principal Trumpet: Audition Letter | Repertoire
• Principal Harp: Audition Letter | Repertoire
• Principal Horn: Audition Letter | Repertoire
• Principal Second Violin: Audition Letter | Repertoire
To receive more information and apply for a posted audition, please click on the above links. These links include audition and application information as well as the required audition repertoire. All applications are to be submitted online.
If you are interested in applying, please complete the online JotForm application within the Audition Letter. Please upload your resume within the application. Following your submission, mail the deposit to the address below. Please note that all further correspondence will be done via email. Please ensure your email address within your application is correct, as this will be our primary method of communicating with you.
Deposit Submission Address:
Auditions-Orchestra Personnel Office
Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
3711 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
DSO Auditions Contact Information:
Auditions & Operations Coordinator
3711 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
a) What materials do I need to submit in order to apply for an audition?
In order to apply for an audition, you will need to complete and submit an online application, a one-page resume, and your audition deposit. The deposit check will be returned to you upon check-in for your audition or will be destroyed if you cancel before the refund deadline. All the available applications and additional information can be found at the top of this page.
Applications and resumes are submitted electronically while the deposit check must be mailed. Your application will only be considered complete upon the arrival of all application materials. Please note that all audition materials must be filled out completely and received by the application deadline in order to secure your audition time.
b) What information needs to be on my resume?
Your resume should include your name, instrument(s), complete contact information (including email and mailing address), and any relevant work experience and/or education, including dates.
Please limit your resume to one page.
c) Do I need to submit a recording?
No recording submission is needed as the DSO does not accept recorded auditions. The only exception to this is for the DSO African American Orchestra Fellowship audition where the preliminary round is a recorded audition via an electronic submission within the application. You can learn more about this audition and upcoming deadlines by clicking here.
d) When will I receive further information?
You will typically receive correspondence from us within 2-4 weeks via email should your deposit arrive within a timely manner. If you have not heard from us within this time period, please feel free to follow up with us via email.
All information regarding your audition is posted on the DSO website. This includes an informational letter detailing the audition schedule, deadlines, a repertoire list, and the online application. If the materials are not posted on the DSO audition page wt the time the audition advertisement appears in The International Musician, it is because they are not yet available. We aim to have the website updated before the auditions are announced publicly, but in the event that it has not been posted, we recommend you keep an eye on our auditions page over the next few days. If the audition information has been posted without the repertoire list, this also means the list has not yet been finalized. We will upload it to the website as soon as it becomes available.
e) What if I need to cancel my audition?
If you need to cancel your audition before the deadline, no questions will be asked, and your deposit check will be destroyed.
If you need to cancel your audition past the deadline, your deposit will not be refunded unless you provide sufficient cause and documentation. For example, if you are sick, you will be required to submit a doctor’s note or a positive covid test to confirm your illness. Deposit refunds are ineligible for auditions that are cancelled after the deadline for reasons including insufficient preparation, receiving another opportunity, or anything scheduling and preparation-related. If you have a pending issue which may or may not allow you to attend your audition, please let us know about the situation ahead of time so that we can plan accordingly. We are happy to help in any way possible given any request within reason and advance notice!
This policy may seem strict, however much thought and care goes into scheduling these auditions. To have the schedule disrupted is simply not fair to the other candidates who may be asked to adjust their schedules to accommodate the unanticipated absence. Thank you for your understanding of this policy.
f) What if I miss a deadline?
Unfortunately, if you miss the deadline, we aren’t able to accept your materials. If extenuating circumstances are at play, an exception may be made, but typically this is not the case.
g) Can I request a specific audition time?
Yes, you can! When you submit your completed application, please email us at email@example.com with your audition time request. This email should include your requested audition date and time, as well as your reason for the request. If you need to request a specific audition time, we strongly encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. This greatly increases the odds of getting the day and time you need, as requests are honored on a first come, first served basis.
If you receive an audition date or time that doesn’t work for you, you may submit a time change request at that time, but your request may not be granted, as it is much harder to change your audition time once it has been set.
We are happy to help whenever possible, and planning ahead on your part will greatly improve the opportunity for us to work with your schedule.
a) How do I get the repertoire list?
The repertoire list will be posted to the DSO audition page as soon as it is available.
b) Does the DSO provide copies of the required repertoire?
Copies of music for audition repertoire will not be provided unless the piece is under copyright protection and/or unavailable for purchase. You will receive the preliminary round excerpt packet upon your check-in for the audition.
c) Measure numbers and/or rehearsal numbers don’t match with my music. How can I find out exactly where the excerpts are?
You can email the DSO Audition Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) in order to clarify the excerpt in question.
d) I’m having trouble finding a particular piece or excerpt, what do I do?
You can try contacting the following music libraries. If the piece in question is unavailable, please contact the Audition Coordinator at email@example.com.
Luck’s Music Library
P.O. Box 71397
Madison Heights, MI 48071
Phone: (800) 348-8749
Educational Music Service
1 Commercial Drive, Suite D2
Florida, NY 10921
Phone: (845) 469 5790
Edwin F. Kalmus LC
P.O. Box 5011
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: (800) 434-6340
a) Does the DSO have special rates with any area hotels?
Unfortunately, the DSO does not have any discounted rates for local hotels that we can offer for audition candidates at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
b) Which hotels are within walking distance?
Unfortunately, there are no hotels within a short walking distance of Orchestra Hall. Most of the downtown hotels are just a short cab, rideshare, QLine, or shuttle ride away. We highly recommend you look on Airbnb/Vrbo as there may be some locations available within a short walking distance to the hall.
c) Is it necessary to stay in a downtown hotel?
No, it is not. There are lots of great hotels near the airport and throughout the Metro Detroit area. A list of recommended hotels will be sent via email along with your scheduled audition date/time.
d) I’m flying in for the audition. Which airport should I use?
If you are flying into Detroit, the airport that is most often used is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), located at 11050 Rogell Drive #602, Detroit, MI 48242. It is approximately 30 minutes west of the downtown area.
e) How much is cab fare from the airport to the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center?
A cab or Uber/Lyft fare from the airport should be around $40 to $50. You can contact one of the following cab companies to confirm their current rates:
Metro Cars (airport): (800) 440-2593
Detroit Airport Town Cars: (800) 381-1714
f) Where exactly is the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center?
The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center is located at 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201. If you are taking a cab, you can tell the driver you need to go to Orchestra Hall at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center between Parsons and Seldon Street on Woodward Avenue.
g) Is Orchestra Hall at a different location than the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center?
No, they are at the same location. The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center is an expansion built upon Orchestra Hall. To clarify, this is a different location than the Fisher Theatre.
h) Where can I find some general travel information?
Visit Detroit is the official tourism site for Detroit. There you can find a plethora of useful travel information, including hotel recommendations and local area attractions. We also recommend checking out some of our fabulous local restaurants and downtown shopping areas when you can!
a) How early can I arrive for my audition?
You should plan to arrive approximately one hour prior to your scheduled audition hour block. Generally, an individual warm-up space will be available when you arrive, or shortly thereafter. If you arrive more than an hour in advance, a warm-up space may not be available. If you arrive more than 2 hours before your audition, you may be asked to leave and wait at a different location.
b) Where do I park?
You can park in the parking structure on Parsons, just off Woodward (81 Parsons Street, Detroit, MI 48201). Parking is currently $10 per day, and validation is unfortunately not available for auditions. The parking structure is under 24-hour surveillance and is a short walk to Orchestra Hall. There is also free parking on the streets around the hall and on Cass Avenue, however we cannot guarantee the safety of your vehicle should you choose to park there.
c) Where do I enter the building?
You can enter The Max through the Stage Door located on the west side of the building. This is the side of the building that is opposite Woodward Ave. The Stage Door is accessible via an alleyway that connects Parsons and Selden Street. Once you arrive at the stage door, please check in at the audition registration table located immediately inside the entrance. If the check-in desk is vacant, please wait at the desk and someone will be with you shortly!
d) How much time will I have to warm-up?
You will generally have 50-60 minutes in an individual warm-up room to prepare for your audition. Playing is not allowed in the hallways or the Musicians’ Lounge.
e) Will a private warm-up space be available?
Yes! Upon your arrival/check-in, we will provide you with an individual warm-up space. If one is not immediately available, you can wait in the Musicians’ Lounge or Instrument Storage Room until a space is available. As soon a room is available, you will be taken to an individual warm-up space, where you will have approximately 60 minutes to warm-up before you go onstage for your audition. A few minutes before it is your turn, someone will come to get you and usher you to the on-deck room. Here you can tune, play a few notes, and collect your thoughts before being ushered on stage by the audition proctor. To maximize each candidate’s time in the individual warm-up space, we rotate these rooms for other candidates. Someone will most likely be in your room when you return from the stage. Please gather your things discreetly as a courtesy to your fellow candidates.
f) When can I find out what will be on the preliminary repertoire list?
When you check in for your audition, you will be given the repertoire list for the preliminary round and copies of the required excerpts.
g) Can I use my own music?
Absolutely! If you wish to use your own music, please check the excerpts carefully and make sure your music is clearly marked and in the same order as the list provided. We discourage the use of iPads on stage, but exceptions may be allowed given the following criteria is met:
- There is to be no recording
- Airplane Mode must be turned on
- Do Not Disturb must be turned on
- All background apps must be closed
The DSO reserves the right to dismiss anyone from the audition who does not meet these criteria.
a) What is the standard pitch for the DSO?
The DSO tunes to A=441
b) Will my audition be accompanied?
No, it will not. All rounds of the audition will be performed unaccompanied.
c) Who is this person onstage with me?
The proctor will be onstage with you during your audition. Most often, the proctor is the Director of Orchestra Personnel. This person is there in case you have any questions during your audition and to facilitate communication between you and the audition committee, if necessary. If you need to ask a question, please do so to the proctor quietly. It is very important that you remain anonymous throughout the audition process. You may not directly address the committee under any circumstances.
d) Is the audition held behind a screen? Is this a blind audition?
Yes, all rounds of the audition will be played behind a screen. It is very important that you remain anonymous throughout the audition process. Before you begin to play, you will be introduced by the proctor by your candidate number. There will be a lightweight cloth screen between you and the committee. Please wear soft-soled shoes if at all possible. If you have a question or need something, quietly address the proctor who will be on stage with you.
a) I’ve finished playing, now what?
After you’ve finished playing your audition, you may return to your warm-up room, gather your things, and go to the Musicians’ Lounge on the first floor to wait for the results from your hour block. It is important that you stay and wait for the results regardless of how you might feel about your playing.
b) When will I find out if I advanced?
After everyone in your hour block has played, the committee will vote, and you will be informed of their decision by the audition proctor.
c) Can I find out who was on the committee?
The committee is comprised of DSO musicians, their names will not be specified for anonymity purposes.
d) What happens if I advance to the next round of the audition?
First, congratulations! Following your successful audition, you will need to speak with the Orchestra Personnel Managers to receive details for the next round of the audition. Happy practicing and best of luck!
“ I like the community we’re in. I find our colleagues are our friends, and they're the most friendly and supportive group. ”— Heidi Han, Violin