The Cannon Valley Youth Orchestra has served young string musicians from Northfield MN and surrounding communities for more than twenty years.  CVYO has three orchestras who  rehearse for 10 weeks at Emmaus Baptist Church, culminating in a final concert.  We will meet IN PERSON this fall for our regularly scheduled programming.

Our first session of the 2022-23 Season will begin Tuesday, September 13, 2022 for ten weeks of rehearsals.  If students would like to be a part of our orchestras, we ask that they play for our music director on one of our Audition Days for proper orchestra placement.  (A video audition can be sent if necessary.)  See below for dates/times.  Expect to play great music and advance your student’s string playing skills.  Also, plan for some social time to get to know each other better.  Our final fall concert will be Saturday, November 19, 2022 at Emmaus Baptist Church.  We would love for your student to join us!

For more information about joining, please email us at:    info@cvyomn.org



Our Music Director

Max Vitullo,
CVYO Music Director

Max Vitullo is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota where he earned degrees in Violin Performance and Music Education. He is proud to be the first member of his family to earn an advanced degree as a first-generation college student and is now teaching music classes and orchestra at St. Peter Catholic School in St. Paul. He has performed in a wide variety of settings and venues, regularly found as a featured performer and soloist with the St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra in River Falls, WI. He has collaborated with Layton “Skip” James, former harpsichordist for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, in many performances and has performed in musicals at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company in Minneapolis, and other venues in the greater Twin-Cities. His private violin instructors include well-known pedagogue Young-Nam Kim, Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, and Peter McGuire, Principal Second Violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra. Max has a deep passion for music and believes it provides a special opportunity for anyone to hear the world in new and imaginative ways, connect with deep feelings and emotions, learn and experience a unique form of communication and community, and participate in a valuable human experience that brings joy, belonging, and wonder to our lives.


January CVYO Virtual Orchestra performance of Brian Balmages’ FOREVER JOYFUL!


CVYO’s first Virtual Orchestra June 2020!


CVYO has three string orchestras:

  • Haydn (average 1+ years of playing experience)
  • Mozart (average 3+ years of playing experience)
  • Bach (average 5+ years of playing experience)

Students must audition annually and are placed by ability.

Typically, we have two 10 week sessions each year, starting in early September and late January. Rehearsals and concerts are held at Emmaus Baptist Church in Northfield, MN.

All three orchestras rehearse on Tuesdays. 

Haydn meets from 5:15-6:00pm.

Mozart meets from 6:15-7:15pm.

Bach meets from 7:30-8:45pm.

Each session wraps up in a final concert.

Auditions are free. Tuition for each 10 week session is $120 for Haydn, $130 for Mozart, and $140 for Bach. Financial scholarships are available.  If interested, simply fill out the Google Form sent by email.

To sign up for an audition and/or get more information, please email us at info@cvyomn.org



Auditions for 2022 -23 Season

All students must audition once a year for placement in the orchestra most appropriate for their playing level.  The 2022-23 Season starts in the fall, so all students need to audition in August/Sept 2022 or January 2023.  

IN PERSON auditions will be held on Sunday, August 21 and Tuesday, Sept. 6 (note first day of school)  2022  in the afternoon at Emmaus Baptist Church in Northfield.  It is free and each audition will last about 10 minutes.   We encourage new students and those auditioning for a higher level orchestra to audition in person.  Alternatively, we will also allow students to send in a video recording.  Video recordings are due by Sept.6.  We prefer that you record or upload your video through Flipgrid.com with our special code if you are able.  We will email you the code.   Otherwise videos can be sent directly through email.  

Financial scholarships are available. Please ask if you haven’t yet received a Financial Scholarship Google Form.

To sign up for an audition and/or get more information, please email us at info@cvyomn.org

General Playing Level Expectations

Haydn Orchestra (average 1+ years of playing experience)

  • Understand the concept of sharp and natural
  • Play with low second fingers as well as low first on the E string
  • Cellos shift into IV position
  • Basses shift into III position
  • Playing Essential Elements 1, end of Suzuki book 1, or above

Mozart Orchestra: (average 3+ years of playing experience)

  • Previous ensemble or orchestra experience
  • Understand the concept of the sharp, natural and flat
  • Violins beginning or proficient in 3rd position
  • Cellos shift into II, III and IV positions
  • Basses play in 1st through 5th positions
  • Violins playing Suzuki book 3, Essential Elements book 3, or above
  • Starting or proficient in vibrato

Bach Orchestra: (average 5+ years of playing experience)

  • Previous orchestra experience
  • Shift into any position on instrument (violins and violas need to be comfortable in 5th position)
  • Violins playing end of Suzuki book V and beyond, or comparable literature
  • Proficient in vibrato

2022-23 Season Audition Performance Requirements

Students will play:

  1. a prepared short solo of your choosing
  2. 1-2 scales:
      Haydn Mozart Bach
    Violin scales:
    2 octave G major (required),
    1 octave F major (optional, for 1st vln placement)
    2 octave D major,
    1 octave E melodic minor
    3 octave G major,
    2 octave E melodic minor
    Viola scales:
    2 octave C major,
    1 octave B flat major
    2 octave G major,
    1 octave A melodic minor
    3 octave C major,
    2 octave A melodic minor
    Cello scales:
    2 octave C major,
    1 octave B flat major
    2 octave G major,
    1 octave A melodic minor
    3 octave C major,
    2 octave A melodic minor
    Bass scales:
    1 octave D major
    2 octave G major
    2 octave G major,
    2 octave A melodic minor
  3. a prepared excerpt (Click the link for your instrument to view and print the excerpt.) 
    VIOLIN – Haydn and Mozart Orchestras
    VIOLIN – Bach Orchestra
    VIOLA – Haydn and Mozart Orchestras
    VIOLA – Bach Orchestra
    CELLO – Haydn and Mozart Orchestras
    CELLO – Bach Orchestra
    STRING BASS – Haydn and Mozart Orchestras
    STRING BASS – Bach Orchestra
  4. sight-reading