Move over, vegetable orchestra, YouTube is holding auditions for the world’s first collaborative online orchestra. Announced yesterday, The YouTube Symphony Orchestra is a worldwide project in partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) to bring together international musicians of all ages, instruments and internet connections.

Anyone can download sheet music, rehearse and upload a video of themselves performing “The Internet Symphony,” a piece written especially for the occasion by Tan Dun, composer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. All the submissions will be considered for a massive global video performance of the piece, which will be compiled from the individual videos and of course posted to YouTube. Get the video rundown of how it all works here.

The event culminates in a live performance of the piece at Carnegie Hall in April 2009 with the YouTube Symphony, which musicians can audition for with a second video (more details here) of a piece that best showcases their talent. Sadly, none of the pre-selected Symphony audition songs include “Carry On Wayward Son.”

There are parts available for nearly every instrument, from piccolo to timpani. Online support and pro tips are available in master class videos posted by members of the LSO, as well as a video to rehearse along with the conductor. A judging panel from the London Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic and other orchestras will choose semi-finalists from the videos, and YouTube user votes determine who gets to attend a three-day classical music camp in New York (insanely talented pianist Lang Lang will be there!) and rock Carnegie Hall.

Now I kind of wish I’d kept up with my marimba skills. Fortunately, there’s a loophole for those who aren’t violin prodigies — you can sing a instrumental part (if you can imitate the sound of a French horn) or beatbox the percussion part. Get inspired by Tan Dun’s interview on the project below and upload your videos by January 28.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8ZnfRtV04M&hl=en&fs=1&w=425&h=344]

[photo via: inmagine]