Frequently Asked Questions


Why is there an audition fee?

The $65 audition fee goes towards covering the running cost of auditions.

Do I have to be an Australian citizen to apply?

AYO programs are open to Australian citizens and permanent residents, and students enrolled in full-time study in Australia during the year of the program.



How does AYO ensure that all auditions are treated fairly?

To ensure that all applicants are assessed in a fair and equitable manner, all auditions of the same instrument will be assessed by the same panel. Any panellist who is also the teacher of an applicant will not assess their audition. The panel’s assessments are also reviewed by AYO’s artistic team.

AYO understands that participants may have access to a range of recording equipment. Differences in recording quality will not be considered when determining the outcome of auditions.

Where can I get my audition excerpts?

After you have completed your application you will have instant access to the 2023 excerpts. You’ll find them in the portal under ‘My Auditions’.

Can I submit a video that I’ve already recorded for a different purpose?

No, applicants should prepare a new video to submit as their AYO 2023 audition.

I submitted my application a week before the audition deadline, can I have extra time?

Unfortunately we are unable to accept auditions that are submitted late, as the audition panel will begin assessing auditions immediately after the deadline.

Can I have feedback on my audition?

Due to the high volume of applicants for AYO programs we are unable to provide individual feedback on auditions.


Interviews and portfolios

Can I have feedback on my portfolio?

Due to the high volume of applicants for AYO programs we are unable to provide individual feedback on portfolios.



I have a reserve spot for an AYO program. What happens now?

Receiving a reserve offer is a great achievement. Applicants who receive a reserve offer for a program may be offered a position at a later date, should a participant need to withdraw. Withdrawals are unpredictable, and reserve musicians could receive an offer to participate up until the start of a program. Unfortunately, we are not able to disclose information about the reserve lists.


Money matters

Will I be able to get a refund if a program is cancelled?

Yes, if AYO cancels a program before the start date any paid program fees will be refunded to you in full.

Will I be able to get a refund if I withdraw from a program?

Yes, applicants are able to receive a refund if they withdraw from a program at least six weeks prior to the start of the program. However, if costs have been incurred by AYO (such as flights being booked on behalf of the applicant), this will be deducted from your refund amount. AYO reserves the right to retain program fees in the event a participant withdraws within six weeks prior to the start of a program.

When do I have to pay my fees?

Fees are due to be paid six weeks prior to the start of each program. If you are unable to make full payment, we ask that you put in place a payment plan or apply for financial assistance.

How does a payment plan work?

A payment plan allows you to pay off your fees in smaller monthly instalments.

Can I wait until I receive notification of my financial assistance application to pay my fees?

Yes. If we receive an application for financial assistance, we will wait for the outcome before asking you for payment.



When will I receive my music?

You will receive your music at least one month before the start of your AYO program.

What do you mean by ‘shared accommodation’?

Accommodation varies a little from program to program, but we usually stay in university accommodation or similar. Sometimes you’ll share a room with other musicians, and sometimes you’ll have a room to yourself.

I live in the town or city where my program is held. Can I stay at home?

Embarking on an adventure away from home is one of the most enjoyable parts of the AYO experience. Activities often take place in the evenings, and for this reason we encourage you to stay on site with the rest of your colleagues.

I can only attend one of the two AYO seasons, can I still participate?

To be a part of the Australian Youth Orchestra you must be available to participate in both seasons.

Can I miss the first day because of another commitment?

No. Participants must arrive and depart on the days outlined in the program details.

How do I withdraw from an AYO program?

If you can no longer attend an AYO program, please contact us at the AYO office to arrange your withdrawal. AYO reserves the right to retain program fees in the event a participant withdraws within four weeks prior to the start of a program.

Do you have a conducting program?

Unfortunately we do not offer a conducting program.

I am a parent and/or alumni. Can I volunteer to help out on a program?

Absolutely! If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch with the AYO office.

Will there be somebody to meet my child at the airport?

Yes. One of our staff members waits at the airport to oversee transfers for all AYO musicians.

Can I accompany my child on the program?

AYO programs provide a unique opportunity for young musicians to rehearse, perform and socialise with like-minded peers from around the country. Allowing participants space helps them learn and connect with others during the program.

If your child has a particular need for support, please be in touch with AYO to discuss further.

Is there a curfew at night time?

Yes. All musicians under 18 are required to sign in at their accommodation every evening. The curfew time varies a little from program to program, depending on evening rehearsals and activities.



Further Questions

Got a question to ask AYO that has not been answered above?

Please get in touch with us by email at or call 1300 668 500 and we will be happy to assist further.