Conducted by Donna Jelen, CIM's Preparatory Orchestra offers ensemble training for intermediate string players ages 8-18. The repertoire of Preparatory Orchestra presents exciting technical and musical challenges for the advancing string player. Students should be comfortable sight reading and performing music in major and minor keys up to four sharps or flats and should be adept with beat subdivisions and combinations. At the end of each semester, the orchestra performs with other Preparatory division orchestras. 

Students will learn to:

  • Further develop essential orchestral skills
  • Incorporate a wide variety of bowing and rhythmic patterns
  • Explore a full palette of musical expression


Our 2020 applications are now closed. Please check back for information about auditions for the 2021-22 academic year!

If you'd like to learn more about the audition process, please contact the Preparatory team at

Audition Requirements (for 2020)

Sight Reading:

Due to the non-interactive nature of video auditions, sight reading for 2020 applicants will not be required.


Applicants will submit one video featuring their performance of:

  • FOUR 2-octave Major scales
  • FOUR 2-octave minor scales (these may be performed separately or intermixed with the Major scales)
  • ONE 3-octave scale (Major or minor)

Applicants may perform the scales in any standard bowing pattern, including, but not limited to: Separate bows, 2 notes slurred, 3 notes slurred, or 4 notes slurred.

Accommodations for 2 and 3 octave scales are allowed for bass applicants at the conductor's discretion.

Scales may be performed in any order. Please announce the name of each scale before you begin to play it.

Solo Piece:

  • Applicants will submit one video featuring their performance of a solo piece of their choosing, without piano accompaniment.
  • The solo should show evidence of ease with shifting, vibrato and a variety of bowing styles.

Information for Members

Seating Auditions for Current Members

Dates for the next seating audition will be posted here. Please check back at a later time for more information.

Music for the seating audition is emailed to families in advance. You may contact the Preparatory office for additional copies. Full schedules for the year will be available at the seating audition and the first rehearsal.

Tardiness Policy

Tardiness Policy

Please understand that latecomers are a disruption to the rehearsal. If a student arrives after a rehearsal has begun, he or she will be tuned outside of the rehearsal area and seated in the back of the section for the duration of the rehearsal. Excessive tardiness and/or absences may result in a permanent change of seating.