There is no required grade to join. The average standard of members is around Grade 8 and amongst us are several ex-members of the National Youth Orchestra, as well as graduates of the junior conservatoires. But don't be put off if you don't fall into those categories - anyone is welcome to audition!
Note: Due to COVID-19 our plans for auditions remain uncertain.Auditions this year will hopefully take place on the 13th and 14th October, subject to guidelines at the time. Those unable to audition in person will be able to submit a video of themselves playing. All auditions will be unaccompanied.
Please message us during Welcome Week and sign up for a slot if you're interested! You can access the sign-up form here.
There will be a few people, amongst them Oliver Gooch - ICSO Conductor, the ICSO Chair, and the Chair of IC Sinfonietta will also be present in case you are interested in being considered for both orchestras.
Audition slots are 10 minutes. You will be asked to play a piece unaccompanied which should be 5 minutes or less, and you'll also do some sight-reading.
They are held in the Blyth Centre, which is on Level 5 of the Sherfield Building. Once you arrive, you will be shown where to go by our stewards.
Auditionees should arrive 10-15 minutes before their audition, and can warm up from 10 minutes before in one of the rooms provided. If you wish to book a practice room before your audition, you will need to contact Naomi here.
An accompanist will not be provided and thus we ask that you prepare a piece without accompaniment. This enables us to keep auditions fair considering auditionees who cannot provide their own accompanist. Your piece does not have to originally be unaccompanied - just pick something that shows off what you can do!
You will find out the results of your audition later that day. Don't worry if you don't get in this time - you can try again later in the year if a vacancy becomes available, or you can always audition next year.
There are many other brilliant ensembles at Imperial, not all of which require you to audition to become a member. For other opportunities to play in a full orchestra, be sure to check out IC Sinfonietta. A full list of music societies at Imperial is available here.
Auditions are held once a year (at either the end of the Spring term or during the Summer term) for those who would like to be considered for a concerto performance with ICSO in the following academic year. You will be asked to play 10/15 minutes from all movements of the concerto and an accompanist will be provided, although you may bring your own if you wish to. Please get in touch if you'd like to know more!
Note: Due to COVID-19 we cannot currently confirm when and how rehearsals will take place. Check back here later for more information!
ICSO rehearsals take place in the Great Hall, Level 2 of the Sherfield Building every Wednesday during term time from 6.30pm until
9.30pm. We have a short coffee break half way through and after the rehearsal we go to the postgraduate bar for a pint or two!
On end of term concert days we rehearse from 5pm until around 6:30pm (before the concert at 7.30pm), and there are occasionally some weekend rehearsals. There is also a weekend away in Dorchester at the end of October and there may also be an additional rehearsal schedule before our Summer Tour.