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 ensembles are designed to offer high-quality instruction in the safest way possible, including virtually and using a hybrid format, as the situation requires. We are currently planning for in-person instruction, rehearsals and performances starting in Fall 2021.


Now accepting applications for Fall 2021!

To ensure the health and safety of our community, Preparatory Orchestra applicants must submit a recorded audition through CIM's online application, due May 15. Applications received after this date will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Questions about the application? Please contact the Preparatory team at!

Audition Requirements


  • Submit a single video of the following:
    • 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)
  • You 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

  • Submit a single video featuring a solo piece of your 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

After the student has been admitted to Preparatory Orchestra, seating placements will be determined by auditions. 

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.