Emory Youth Symphony
As one of the finest pre-college programs in the region, EYSO reinforces the pedagogy of school directors and private teachers, while providing additional performance opportunities and ensemble experience. All students and parents are offered the opportunity for extensive pre-college counseling, assistance with college and scholarship applications and related endeavors. The orchestra is open to string, wind and percussion musicians from 9th-12th grade.
The home of EYSO is the world-class Schwartz Center for Performing Arts on the Emory University campus; members are under the direction of award-winning conductor and composer Richard Prior and receive regular sectional instruction from Emory’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Artist Affiliates and other Atlanta professionals. The orchestra performs three concerts during the school year in the renowned Emerson Concert Hall.
In the 2009-2010 season, the orchestra and its members were featured on the nationally broadcastFrom the Top, National Public Radio’s program dedicated to the most outstanding young musicians in the country. EYSO has also been featured at Spivey Hall, performed with guest soloists from the Atlanta Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras and has appeared in concert with Emory University’s String Quartet in Residence, the Vega String Quartet. In 2014, the orchestra began a regular tour cycle with a performance at New York’s Lincoln Center attended by major donors and supporters of the program, Donna and Marvin Schwartz and Ted Turner.
League of American Orchestras
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners.
The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra
New York Youth Symphony
The New York Youth Symphony is the most awarded youth program of its kind in the nation, recognized for its innovative, tuition-free educational programs for talented young musicians. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians ages 12-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz, with performances at world class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Through its commissioning program, First Music, the NYYS has commissioned over 100 works from young composers since 1984.
The careers of world-renowned conductors, musicians, and composers have been assisted by their early experiences with the New York Youth Symphony. Our former music directors and program alumni include Leonard Slatkin (Detroit Symphony Orchestra), Myung-Whun Chung (Seoul Philharmonic), David Alan Miller (Albany Symphony Orchestra), Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra), Marin Alsop (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Gary Levinson (Dallas Symphony), Michael Tiscione (Atlanta Symphony), Lawrence Dutton (Emerson Quartet), Kenneth Mirkin (New York Philharmonic), Joel Smirnoff (Juilliard String Quartet), and Pedro Diaz (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), among many others.
Berkeley Youth Orchestra
BYO is a full symphonic orchestra whose mission is to foster the musical abilities and personal growth of dedicated young musicians in grades 5-10+ throughout the greater Bay Area by providing a nurturing environment and the highest quality opportunities in both rehearsal and performance in an orchestra setting.
Berkeley Youth Orchestra is proud to offer the skills of our “Artist in Residence” String Quartet. Through instruction and professional “modeling” the BYO String Quartet elevates the support for each member of the orchestra to a very high level.
Our quartet will demonstrate the repertoire for each concert to students and will literally sit in with sections to assist students with the mastery of parts. Members of the string quartet will get to know the members of their section and individualize instruction every week. They will bow the music, perform the music, be positive role models, coach the ensembles, and be available to meet individual student needs.
Every orchestra’s dream is to have a professional quartet at the ready to demonstrate, teach, and encourage its members. Come join us for an exciting journey toward outstanding musicianship and a 40th anniversary celebration that will be unmatched by any other local youth organization.
Symphony Silicon Valley
Founded in 2002, Symphony Silicon Valley has progressed from daring idea to exciting reality, rapidly becoming the greater South Bay's premiere orchestra and a notable community success story.
The Symphony's artists, nationally recruited, locally resident, with an average performance tenure in San Jose of over 20 years, are recognized as among the best in the greater Bay Area. Led by an exciting roster of distinguished guest conductors on the European model, the Symphony is an anchor tenant of San Jose's magnificently restored downtown California Theatre, one of Northern California's most outstanding music halls. There, audiences and critics alike greet its concerts with enthusiasm.
The Symphony subscription season includes seven program sets of two or three concerts each, plus other programs such as December's Carols in the California, and additional concerts by the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale. Subscription concerts are enhanced by 'Music Notes' lectures before each Saturday and Sunday concert and half-hour chamber music programs prior to each Thursday concert.
In addition to its regular subscription concerts, the Symphony produces free outreach programs for thousands of our community's children each season. It accompanies many Ballet San Jose performances, and performs for other community events that range from San Jose State University's recent 150th Anniversary Gala Concert to concerts of music and visuals from popular video games.
Symphony Silicon Valley is setting an example of an innovative business model in the arts -- market driven and financially conservative, with low overhead and the flexibility to match its programming to its support base. It earns 60% of its revenue each year – an extraordinarily high proportion for a symphony of its size.
The Symphony musicians and their musical tradition represent extraordinary achievement. Symphony Silicon Valley's education programs communicate the pleasures of that achievement to our audience, and to audiences of the future. All programs are provided at no charge.
Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon
Founded in 1988, the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon (YSSO) provides training and performance opportunities to accomplished and aspiring young musicians from throughout the region and presents inspiring performances of standard literature, concerti, commissioned works, chamber music, and arrangements for preparatory orchestra and string ensemble.
Concert Series performances presented in the Rogue Valley's professional venues include an dazzling array of works by Beethoven, Copland, Barber, Higdon, Jacobs, Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, Brahms, Mahler, Verdi, Donizetti, Holst, and many others.
Young People’s Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1936 in Berkeley, CA, Young People’s Symphony Orchestra (YPSO) is the oldest independent youth orchestra in California, and the second oldest in the nation. For 75 years - and counting - YPSO has developed the musical talents and skills of students in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, many YPSO alumni are internationally distinguished musicians and prominent community members.
Our mission is to guide young musicians to achieve excellence within an orchestral setting. We provide an educational environment that fosters accomplishment, serves as a cultural resource for the community, and builds future audience by instilling a passion for music. We encourage young people to become exemplary musicians, and young musicians to become exemplary people.
Music Director/Conductor David Ramadanoff, in his 25th season with the orchestra, leads a team of master teachers who provide specialized sectional coaching each week, addressing technical and musical issues unique to their instruments. Student applicants audition for placement into YPSO in May and August for the season, which begins in September. Our 100+ members range in age from 12-22, and represent 28 cities and six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result of YPSO's intensive sectional coaching program and Mr. Ramadanoff's extensive background in orchestra building, the orchestra has grown substantially in quality and size and has gained a reputation throughout and beyond Northern California as an outstanding youth ensemble.
YPSO has performed in prestigious locations including Carnegie Hall, the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, the Calvin Simmons Auditorium, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the International Kiwanis Convention, and has been broadcast live on KGO and KKHI Radio.
California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Byung Woo Kim - Music Director and Conductor
Byung-Woo Kim is founder and Music Director of the CPYO. He is currently a faculty member at West Valley College Music Department. His previous posts include Conductor of the San Jose Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra for the 2004-2007 season, Concertmaster of the San Jose Symphony for eight years and Concertmaster of the Julliard Symphony. Mr. Kim has served on the faculties of the of the San Francisco International Summer Music Festival as Violin Professor and Conductor of the Festival Orchestra, the National Music Camp of Interlocken under the All-State Program and Summer Music Monterey, and Santa Clara University as violin professor. Since 1997 he has participated as a judge for the Irving M. Klein International String Competition.
Mr. Kim holds Masters of Music degrees from both the Julliard School of Music and the University of Michigan. He continued further studies in the Doctor of Musical Arts Program at the University of Southern California. He has participated in the Farberman’s Conductors Institute in New York and the International Academy of Advanced Conducting with Dr. Leonid Korchmar.
California Youth Symphony
Originally established as a single symphony orchestra, the California Youth Symphony has grown dramatically in the past 20 years and now offers nine programs, covering all symphonic instruments, for young musicians ages 8 to 18. Total enrollment is about 500. Ensembles and orchestras rehearse weekly in Los Altos and perform at Flint Center, Spangenberg Theatre, Foothill College and the San Mateo Performing Arts Center throughout the year. The following is a list of CYS programs:
CYS Orchestra (advanced level)- rehearses on Sundays from 2:30 to 5:30pm from September to May at Almond Elementary School, Los Altos. Performs 7 concerts per year. Program also includes 6 summer rehearsals and a week of summer camp in the redwoods. Conductor - Leo Eylar.
CYS Associate Orchestra (advanced/intermediate level)- rehearses on Sundays from 12:00 to 2:00pm from September to May at Almond Elementary School, Los Altos. Performs 3 concerts a year. Program also includes six instrumental coaching / orchestral workshop sessions during the season. Conductor - Leo Eylar.
CYS Intermediate String Ensemble - rehearses on Sundays from 10:15am to 11:45am (Group A), 1:30 to 3:00pm (Group B) from September to May at Santa Rita Elementary School, Los Altos. Performs 2 to 4 concerts per year. Summer day camp in San Jose. Director - Kati Kyme.
CYS Junior String Ensemble - rehearses on Sundays from 12:00 to 1:20pm from September to May at Santa Rita Elementary School, Los Altos. Performs 2 to 4 concerts per year. Summer day camp in San Jose - Director - Kati Kyme.
CYS Introductory Wind Ensemble - rehearses on Sundays from 2:00 to 3:00pm, from September to May at Santa Rita Elementary School, Los Altos. Performs 2 concerts per year. Director - Rosita Amador.
CYS Wind Ensembles - rehearse on Sundays. Two levels -- Wind Ensemble 1 from 3:15 to 4:30pm, Wind Ensemble 2 (advance level) from 4:45 to 6:15pm, from September to May at Santa Rita Elementary School, Los Altos. Perform 2 concerts per year. Director - Rosita Amador.
El Camino Youth Symphony
The El Camino Youth Symphony (ECYS) is from Palo Alto, California, the home of Stanford University, about 35 miles south of San Francisco. Its name comes from the Spanish words El Camino Real, the royal highway created along the Pacific Ocean by the early Spanish explorers and missionaries.
Two core principles underlie the ECYS mission: Music Education, to nurture, train and develop young musicians from culturally diverse backgrounds and encourage a lasting appreciation of music, and Musical Excellence, to provide high-quality performance opportunities for young people and outstanding musical events for the wider community.
Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra
When William Whitson returned to Palo Alto permanently in 1965to make his home, he started a private teaching studio. It was then that he saw the strong need for a chamber music background in the education of students. As concertmaster of the only youth orchestra in California during his high school years he did not feel that this large orchestral experience created a fulfilling and broad musical education.
As a result, he gathered together a group of high-school-aged musicians to form the core of what was initially called the Palo Alto Junior Chamber Orchestra as an offspring of the above-mentioned adult ensemble. In a very short time, this new group of young musicians grew from one chamber orchestra to three; was transformed from periodic rehearsals in the Whitson family living room to those held weekly in a rehearsal hall, and changed from selected performances to a regular series of season concerts. At the end of 1966, the PACO organization was founded with The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Junior Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and the Training Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra making up its three levels.
Originally, the orchestras concentrated on Baroque music. Now, they perform chamber compositions, major concertos and symphonies from all periods. Within the organization’s current five levels, training continues to focus entirely on strings, with each orchestra maintaining a maximum of 28 members. Experienced wind, brass and percussion guest musicians are added when required by the repertoire.
PACO’s Youth for Youth commission program is an exciting project bringing the music of today’s young composers together with our talented young musicians. Each season, PACO commissions a brand new work from a composer under the age of 21, which is then rehearsed intensively and performed on our fourth subscription concert in June. If the composer can attend enough rehearsals, they will be invited to conduct their piece in rehearsal and in concert. In addition, the new composition is taken with PACO on tour – both our annual trip to Dunsmuir and Ashland as well as our international tours.
An orchestra is not a museum, and classical music is a living, vital, ever-changing art. With PACO’s Youth for Youth commissioning program, we provide a wonderful opportunity for a young composer to have a new piece written, rehearsed, and performed at the highest musical and technical level. In addition, we provide for our high-school string players a glimpse into the musical world of the future and a chance to participate in that future.
Peninsula Youth Orchestra
The Peninsula Youth Orchestra is located in San Mateo County, in the mid-peninsula region of the San Francisco Bay area. PYO serves over 450 musicians from the elementary grades through High School with a Senior Orchestra, three Preparatory Orchestras, two Flute Ensembles, and several string and chamber ensembles. The orchestras and ensembles meet weekly, and all musicians study the traditional orchestral repertoire with an emphasis on contemporary literature and works by American composers. Musicians audition to join the organization, and are placed at the appropriate level.
Orchestras: The Peninsula Youth Orchestra is conducted by Mitchell Sardou Klein. PYO section coaches are Randall Weiss, violin; Patricia Whaley, viola; Janet Witharm, 'cello; Chris Crews, bass; Michael Corner, woodwinds; Don Couch, brass; and Matt Germano, percussion. PYO members are eligible to compete in the annual Concerto Competition in which two to four winners perform with the PYO during the course of the season.
The Sinfonia Musica, Orchestra Nova, and Young Artists Preparatory Orchestras are directed by Sara Salsbury with the assistance of Jordan Webster (woodwind specialist), Don Couch (brass specialist), and Matt Germano (percussion ensemble).
The Peninsula Youth Orchestra was awarded the prestigious ASCAP Award for "Adventurous Programming of American Music on Foreign Tours" for their highly successful Japan Tour during June, 1999. The second international tour, to New Zealand and Australia in the summer of 2001, culminated with performances in the world-famous Sydney Opera House as part of the invitational Australian International Music Festival. The PYO was awarded "Showcase Status" by the festival. In the summer of 2003, the PYO participated in the European Youth Orchestra Festival in Northern Italy! In 2005, the PYO performed in Northern Spain and Southern France, and in 2007, the PYO performed in Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. In 2009, the PYO visited Paris, Normandy, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In 2011, the PYO visited Bristol, Bath, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and London, England. In 2013, the PYO visited Prague, Czech Republic, and Leipzig and Berlin, Germany.
The Peninsula Young Artists (PYA) orchestra began touring in 2004, with a performance in Carnegie Hall. In 2006, the PYA played in Salzburg and Vienna, and in 2008, the PYA spent ten days in China. In 2010, PYA performed at Disney Hall in Los Angeles. In 2012, PYA visited Ireland. In 2014, the PYA will visit London and Paris!
Chamber Music: As an outgrowth of its successful summer camp chamber music programs, PYO now offers chamber music during the regular season. Musicians currently enrolled in the PYO orchestras may also enroll in chamber music (reduced fee) and musicians may audition for and join just the chamber music program for an annual fee. Large chamber ensembles now include the Debut Strings and Concordia Strings, conducted by Sara Salsbury, and the Chamber Flutes, led by Sasha Launer.
The Association of California Symphony Orchestras
The Association of California Symphony Orchestras was founded in 1969 at Asilomar by a small group of committed orchestra managers who believed in the power of personal networking. More than 40 years later, ACSO remains the hub of California’s vibrant classical music community by providing a variety of services to its 400+ members including networking, menbership, resource sharing, advocacy, and professional development. The early years.
Membership is open to orchestras, choruses and classical music presenters of all sizes, symphony leagues and guilds, youth orchestras, festivals, artist management firms, businesses, and individuals associated with orchestras or wishing to access our services.
The Association of California Symphony Orchestras provides essential leadership and resources to classical music producers and presenters, encouraging and supporting their artistic, organizational, and fiscal development. As the collective force for orchestras in California and the region, ACSO will be the voice, the forum and the network in service to its members, and the preeminent leader to connect and advocate for its members.
Sacramento Youth Symphony
Founded in 1956 as a 55- member youth orchestra, the Sacramento Youth Symphony (SYS), under the artistic direction of Michael Neumann, now has a membership of more than 400 talented young musicians from all over the Sacramento Valley region. SYS offers beginning through advanced orchestral ensembles and presents more than 20 concerts per year under the baton of some of the best music educators and conductors in the region.
Our mission: Educating and advancing the musical skills of youth within our community in ways that engage, challenge, and inspire. Our programs are designed specifically to bridge music and academic subjects, orchestra ethics, and appropriate social behavior. In doing so, students gain self-esteem, self-expression, discipline, and a sense of teamwork.
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) is recognized internationally as one of the finest youth orchestras in the world. Founded by the San Francisco Symphony in 1981, the SFSYO’s musicians are chosen from more than 300 applicants in annual auditions. The SFSYO’s purpose is to provide an orchestral experience of pre-professional caliber, tuition-free, to talented young musicians from the greater Bay Area. Its more than 100 diverse musicians range in age from 12 to 21, and draw from a broad geographic area. The SFSYO rehearses and performs in Davies Symphony Hall under the direction of Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera, and is mentored in smaller sectionals by members of the San Francisco Symphony.
The SFSYO embarked on its first European tour in 1986, where it was awarded the world’s highest honor for a young musician’s orchestral ensemble, the City of Vienna Prize, at the 15th International Youth and Music Festival. SFSYO won an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of American music on foreign tours in 2011-12. A live recording from its critically acclaimed Berlin Philharmonie performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 is available on SFS Media. The orchestra will perform in some of the most prestigious concert halls of Europe in the summer of 2015.
The SFSYO is a component of the broader education programs at the San Francisco Symphony which serve people of all ages, from pre-kindergarten through adulthood. This includes programs like Adventures in Music (AIM); Concerts for Kids; Music for Families; the SFSkids.org website; Keeping Score; and the adult Community of Music Makers to name a few.
Santa Rosa Symphony's Youth Ensembles
The Santa Rosa Symphony's Youth Ensembles (SRSYE) have been in operation for over 50 years, making it among the oldest orchestra programs for youth in California. Accomplishments of its four orchestras include tours and performances in Germany, New York, the Czech Republic, Carnegie Hall and Davies Symphony Hall, as well as award-winning performances in the Berkeley Junior Bach Festival, international cultural exchanges, and civic citations for excellence in community service. The Youth Orchestra was named 2013 Youth Orchestra of the Year by the Classics Alive Foundation and has performed with distinguished soloists, such as Midori, Lindsay Deutsch and others. The SRSYE are dedicated to providing young musicians with orchestral training and performance opportunities of the highest caliber.
The mission of the SRSYE is to offer young musicians an exceptional educational experience by providing the finest quality orchestral training and performance opportunities in Sonoma County. Its goal is for young musicians to develop an awareness and appreciation of great music in the context of learning responsibility and teamwork, while they participate in our community through public performance. Students can begin instruments as young as five years old at the Summer Music Academy, and remain in the Symphony's training programs as they excel, into their collegiate career.
Youth Orchestra of Southern Alameda County
YOSAC, Youth Orchestra of Southern Alameda County, is a community-based nonprofit organization started by parents, teachers and music professionals to augment school instrumental programs of Southern Alameda County and the surrounding communities. YOSAC provides high quality group instrumental instruction and symphonic orchestral experience. YOSAC is governed by its Board of Directors who are responsible for policy determination and administration of the Orchestra.
All Groups meet once a week from mid-September through May, Strings Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra rehearse at Bret Harte Middle School in Hayward. Rehearsals vary in length from 50 minutes for group instruction to two hours for the most advanced group.
YOSAC holds three public concerts each year, in December, March and May. A highlight of the orchestral season is the Spring Concert, which features concertos performances by members of the Symphony Orchestra who have been selected through audition by their fellow musicians.
San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
Since 1945, San Diego Youth Symphony (SDYS) has given thousands of musicians the opportunity to study and perform classical repertoire at a highly advanced level. It is the sixth oldest continuously operating youth orchestra in the United States and the resident youth orchestra in the City of San Diego's historic Balboa Park. SDYS' programs have grown during the nineteen-year tenure of Music Director JeffEdmons from one advanced orchestra of 60 students to over 600 participating in 11 orchestral and wind ensembles at the advanced, intermediate and introductory levels. SDYS also offers chamber music, soloist competitions, group lessons, and community partnership opportunities to students enrolled in the Balboa Park Programs, including the annual International Youth Symphony.
As the region's leading youth music program, SDYS attracts student musicians of all skill levels from across San Diego County as well as neighboring Imperial and Riverside counties. SDYS' musical excellence has been recognized nationally with a Music Alive/League of American Orchestras "Composer-in-Residence" award. In its 69 years history, the orchestra has performed 13 foreign concert tours in 18 foreign countries. It now hosts the only International Youth Symphony exchange program organized by Rotary International Youth Exchange.
SDYS student musicians routinely participate in national and international music camps, including Tanglewood, Interlochen, Aspen, and the Kennedy Center. In addition to students' musical successes while enrolled with SDYS, many have gone on to leading conservatories and professional careers in performance, composition, and music education.
"In addition to its large ensemble programs, its Community Opus Project provides free after-school music instruction at elementary schools in Chula Vista. Following the success of this program, in partnership with SDYS, Chula Vista Elementary School District has reinstated its music education program with the goal that by 2025, all students district-wide will receive music instruction during the day.
SDYS was the 2012 Grand Prize Winner of the BoardSource/Prudential Leadership Awards for Exceptional Nonprofit Boards. For more information or to make a donation call 619-233-3232 or visit our website at www.sdys.org."
Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony
The Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony first began in 1965 as a summer music program and officially became a youth symphony in 1966. The Youth Symphony serves young musicians of Santa Cruz County and the surrounding communities, providing the area’s only training orchestra of pre-professional caliber. Under the direction of Nathaniel Berman, the symphony performs a variety of music from the classical symphonic repertoire in original scores. The Youth Symphony consistently achieves high standards of musical excellence while providing an educational and entertaining experience for performers and audiences alike.
Our mission at the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony is to develop excellence in young musicians and advocate for music in the Santa Cruz County community. Inspire young musicians through rigorous ensemble training and performance opportunities- Engage and enrich our community through performances and collaborations - Advocate for music education.
Napa Valley Youth Symphony
Napa Valley Youth Symphony is an award winning youth orchestra, providing the highest level of musical training to young musicians and offering them the opportunity to enrich their community by performing seasonal, full-length concerts. In addition to its youth orchestra program, Napa Valley Youth Symphony also trains entry-level student musicians through string and wind ensembles, and provides educational programs to local schools and organizations. It is the only organization of its kind in Napa Valley.
Named a "fantastic cultural treasure" by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Napa Valley Youth Symphony was created in 2002 to provide talented young musicians an opportunity to perform together in a full symphonic orchestra. Coming from over forty schools in and around the Napa Valley, these young musicians perform some of the greatest works in the symphonic literature and are coached each week by professional musicians. In 2008, the Napa Valley Youth Symphony started Sinfonia, a string training ensemble and in 2009 started Wind Sinfonia for wind and brass players. The Napa Valley Youth Symphony has been recognized for excellence and is supported by many foundations, businesses and individuals.
Santa Barbara Youth Symphony
The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony is an orchestra of 65-70 young musicians from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Andy Radford, the ensemble’s conductor, is also principal bassoonist with the Santa Barbara Symphony and has a truly wonderful relationship with the students. These students, ages 12-18 and all from our regional schools, are challenged with serious pieces from the standard orchestral repertoire. Each Youth Symphony member is chosen by audition and no student is refused entry because of finances. Students rehearse weekly on Sunday evenings during the school year.
Daniel Kepl started the original Youth Symphony in 1963 while he was a student in high school. The orchestra was jointly sponsored by the Santa Barbara Recreation Department and the Santa Barbara Youth Theater. Kepl was assisted by Stefan Krayk, concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Symphony, who acted as musical adviser. In 1968, the Youth Symphony was conducted by Terri Boyes and met weekly at Santa Barbara High School. It is unknown how many public performances were given. By 1972, the group met every two weeks to rehearse under the direction of Richard Amshutz of the Santa Barbara Symphony, but stopped giving concerts.
In the spring of 1974, a string orchestra put together by a local teacher, performed at the local Bach Festival. At that time, it was felt that enough interest and talent was available to form a performing group. With the encouragement of then Santa Barbara Symphony Music Director Ronald Ondrejka and General Manager Genevieve Fisher, this was done.
The first public performance of the present Santa Barbara Youth Symphony occurred in January 1975 under the direction of Dr. Jack Ullom of the Santa Barbara Symphony. For the first few years, only two concerts per season were given. A pops concert was added in the early 1980s, which eventually included a performance of “Young Dancers with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony” and gave both sets of performers an opportunity to collaborate with other performing artists. These continued until the early 1990s. At about the same time that the dance concerts ended, the pops concerts took a similar performing format to the Boston Pops, in that the audience sat at tables and ate pastries while the orchestra played. The concerts were then known as “Pops and Pastries.” In 1996, a Saturday evening performance was added to the traditional Sunday afternoon performance. A chamber orchestra was also started in 1996 and continued for three years. One performance was given each season. A free Children’s Concert prior to the pops concerts was added in 2002. Until 2011, the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony was graciously managed by two volunteers: Jan Gilbert and Nancy Renshaw.
The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony now serves the region by providing musical enrichment to young people through the avenues of orchestral performance and instruction in our community’s schools. There are three components to the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Programs: the String Workshop, Junior Strings, and Youth Symphony.
The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony is an orchestra of 65-70 young musicians from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. These students, ages 12-18 from our regional schools, are challenged with serious pieces from the standard orchestral repertoire. Each Youth Symphony member is chosen by audition and no student is refused entry because of finances. Students rehearse weekly on Sunday evenings during the school year.
Three major concerts are given yearly. Each one features an Youth Symphony member, who by audition, performs as a concerto soloist. In addition, the Youth Symphony also gives a free Children’s Concert.
Most importantly, the Youth Symphony, through its performances and rehearsals, gives these young people a sense of accomplishment through steady musical and team effort. They learn that others rely on them to be at rehearsals, know their music, and to support one another. The Youth Symphony orchestra is a microcosm of real life, and as such, it prepares these young people well for their future roles in society.
Corvallis Youth Symphony
Through their ensemble training, young musicians develop bonds and skills that help them cope with, prepare for, and transcend the challenges of life in the 21st century. The Corvallis Youth Symphony Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing young people with opportunities for exceptional musical experiences to enhance their school music programs and to developing an awareness and appreciation of great music in the students and the community. By fostering individual improvement through ensemble playing and coaching, the organization provides the support necessary for each student to experience and master classical orchestral music that is challenging and exciting. For close to three decades, the Corvallis Youth Symphony Association ensembles have been recognized for attracting and developing the most talented young musicians in the mid-Willamette Valley.
Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association
The Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association celebrates its 20th anniversary. Founded in 1994, SFYSA provides music instruction and performance opportunities in orchestra, mariachi, and jazz. Additionally, Elementary Strings, the 2010 recipient of the Piñon Award for Excellence in Education, provides string instruction (violin, viola, and cello) from never-evers to orchestra-ready at public schools in Santa Fe.
In 1994, Pam Parfitt, then-Director of the Santa Fe Suzuki Violin School, observed that essentially no performance ensembles existed in Santa Fe for young string players. To solve this problem, she and a team of dedicated Santa Fe parents and music teachers built the Santa Fe Youth Symphony. The original symphonic orchestra, conducted by Bob Wingert, consisted of 60 students in all orchestral instruments, from ages 9 to 18. The Santa Fe Youth Symphony was later expanded and renamed the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association to accomodate a growing interest and participation in its ensembles. Now in its 20th Season, SFYSA trains young northern New Mexico musicians in ensemble settings that include string and symphony orchestras, and jazz and mariachi ensembles. SFYSA also provides group lessons and instruments to violin, viola and cello students through its Elementary Strings program.
Fidalgo Youth Symphony
Sinfonette is designed for younger musicians, with special provisions for beginners. This program is designed to help introduce young musicians into our larger programs. Informal audition with David Jones, conductor, is required.
Junior Symphony is designed to accommodate musicians up to the age of 21 with a minimum of 2 years private study or permission of the Conductor. They perform intermediate symphonic works and join the Youth Symphony to create the Festival piece featured at each concert.
Youth Symphony musicians are the most experienced musicians in our organization, up to the age of 21. They perform challenging symphonic literature on an advanced level.
Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra
Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) is a nonprofit organization in Bellevue, Washington, established to provide a positive and stimulating musical environment for Eastside youth. Now with six large orchestras and three smaller instrumental ensembles, we have been serving students ages six to 19 since 1964.
Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra provides a wholesome and challenging atmosphere for young musicians who need the extra stimulation of working beyond school programs. BYSO is large enough to provide a full orchestra experience, yet small enough to have time and concern for our musicians’ individual needs, which may transcend the printed page.
North Sound Youth Symphony
North Sound Youth Symphony is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Our board of directors consists entirely of parents of NSYS students. While our rehearsals and concerts take place at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center, we are a wholly independent organization.
- To strive for musical excellence through the performance and in-depth study of repertoire of the highest educational and artistic quality
- To give young musicians the opportunity to reach their maximum potential
- To offer a fun, memorable and inspirational musical experience
- To provide a opportunity for all aspiring young musicians, regardless of gender, race, physical ability or economic status.
- To encourage students to develop self-esteem, leadership, responsibility, commitment, cooperation and discipline
- To support our community through free public concerts presenting the timeless beauty of classical music
Longmont Youth Symphony
The Longmont Youth Symphony is an organization committed to serving the young musicians of the St. Vrain Valley and surrounding areas. The Youth Symphony provides a resource for young musicians to further develop and excel in their musical abilities through the guidance of professional leadership and direction. By doing so, we enable our youth to entertain, educate, and expand appreciation of music within the community. The LYS offers:
- Public Concerts, including ones with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra and the Boulder Symphony Orchestra
- Challenging music, designed to help every student grow
- Exposure to a broad sampling of musical repertoire
- Programs for younger musicians, in the Longmont Youth Strings Ensemble and Longmont Youth Wind Ensemble.
- Retreats, picnics, and fun!
San Jose Youth Symphony
The San Jose Youth Symphony (SJYS) is located in San Jose, California, and is one of the oldest and finest youth orchestras in the West Coast of the United States. Founded six decades ago as part of the former San Jose Symphony, SJYS has a rich tradition of musical performance and education.
The San Jose Youth Symphony gives young people a foundation for life through orchestral music. We create programs that assure young musicians achieve technical proficiency, musical knowledge and an emotional connection to music. We strive to make each performance for the community uplifting, spirited and exciting.
SJYS was founded six decades ago in 1951 as part of the former San Jose Symphony and operated under the San Jose Symphony’s management until 2001, when the San Jose Symphony ceased operation. To preserve and continue the unique ability of SJYS to provide the musical education needs of children in San Jose and neighboring communities, the parents of SJYS member musicians mobilized to form a Board of Directors and incorporate SJYS as an independent, non-profit organization. Not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status was granted in 2002.
Lincoln Youth Symphony
Welcome to the Lincoln Youth Symphony! The Lincoln Youth Symphony is one of the only youth orchestras in the country that is offered free of charge to its members. We owe this wonderful gift to the Lincoln Public Schools who have continuously offered support for over 50 years and to generous donations from the community.
Membership is by open to students in grades 9-12 from Lincoln, Nebraska who audition for acceptance each spring. Many of the members of the Lincoln Youth Symphony started their musical experience in the Junior Youth Orchestra, also supported through the Lincoln Public Schools.
Musicians who participate in the Lincoln Youth Symphony enjoy a wide range of experiences. The orchestra rehearses for two and half hours each week and perform 3 concerts per year. In addition, the students are expected to participate in chamber music groups that perform as fundraisers for student trips. This year the orchestra is planning a trip to Austria and Hungary and fundraising is underway and the excitement is running high.
Dearborn Youth Symphony
The Dearborn Youth Symphony is a thriving instrumental music organization that offer instructional and performance opportunities to youth musicians.
Membership is offered through audition and includes elementary through high school students ages 8-18. There are no school or residency restrictions to participate. Currently, over 200 students represent 27 communities throughout Southeast Michigan.
Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings from September through May. Times vary according to the ensemble. Three concerts featuring all DYS ensembles are performed each season, generally in December, March and May.
DYS is a volunteer organization that succeeds through the generous efforts many involved individuals. The Dearborn Youth Symphony is sponsored by the City of Dearborn Department of Recreation and Parks. The home venue of DYS is the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
Youth Symphony of DuPage
We are the musicians of the Youth Symphony of DuPage Concert and Symphony Orchestras. Youth Symphony of DuPage is dedicated to bringing advanced ensemble training and performance opportunities to 150 talented young musicians from DuPage County and nearby towns.
Our Concert Orchestra members are primarily advanced grade-school and junior-high school age musicians. The Symphony Orchestra members are junior-high and high school instrumentalists. YSDP is a unique opportunity for us to tackle great music and achieve musical excellence.
Music Director and Conductor Meng-Kong Tham and Assististant Conductor Kimberlie Richter work with us to perform as a true orchestral team. The Concert Orchestra repertoire is drawn from the standard classical literature. The Symphony Orchestra tackles more advanced works, from the classics to modern like “Star Wars” and “Carnival of the Animals,” and even new pieces by area composers.
Youth Symphony of DuPage’s Annual Solo Competition gives the members of both orchestras the opportunity to master concertos. The winners perform their concertos at our May concert.
Our concerts bring the drama and pleasure of fine music to people of all ages. And young people in our audience get to experience orchestral music first-hand – performed by their peers. YSDP’s December and May concerts present the Concert and Symphony orchestras. Our March concert is our annual fund-raising event in which the YSDP Symphony Orchestra presents diverse and exciting works with a common theme or subject.
Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra
We are a youth orchestra located in north Dallas that provides children of all nationalities and countries of origin an opportunity to play classical music in an ensemble setting. The music our children play is mostly western classical music, but we also include in our performances a selection of classical music composed by Asian composers from China, Japan, Korea and other east Asian countries.
We have three orchestras and a chamber music program. Our orchestras are:
- YO - Young Musicians Orchestra - a string ensemble for children in the 7th grade or younger.
- PO - Philharmonic Orchestra - a full orchestra with strings, percussion, horns, woodwinds, and brass for children in the 9th grade or younger.
- SO - Symphony Orchestra - a full orchestra for children and young adults from high school through college level.
In addition, we have added a chamber music ensemble program this year and have created the opportunity for groups of children to play in small ensembles such as string quartets, quintets, and potentially including other instruments as well.
Chamber ensembles give our children a chance to have solos and feature their performances while still learning the very difficult tasks of ensemble playing.
Oakland Youth Orchestras
Oakland Youth Orchestras is a four-tiered teaching orchestra program serving students in grades 1 through 12 from numerous communities in southeast Michigan. Each year we attract nearly 350 students who want to be challenged beyond their school music experience. Our conductors are accomplished musicians with extensive backgrounds in performance and music education.
The mission of OYO is to inspire student musicians by providing an exceptional orchestral experience. OYO fosters enrichment through opportunities in music theory, chamber music, community outreach performance and competitions. OYO values its partnership with local school programs and private teachers, who share in the development of our student musicians. We foster the development of individual and group skills in an atmosphere of team building, commitment, and enthusiasm. OYO stresses excellence within a friendly environment.
Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra
TYSO is one of the three longest continuously operating arts organizations in the city. Since 1963, we’ve provided unique training and performance opportunities to talented young musicians across Northeastern Oklahoma.
More than 150 students, ages 10–18, come together from Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Owasso, Tahlequah, and beyond. TYSO opens the door to new musical experiences the students simply can’t get from any other organization or school. They receive advanced orchestral training, have regular contact with professional musicians, and can perform in at least three formal concerts each season.
Our community benefits from TYSO in so many ways. For many young musicians, TYSO ignites the desire to pursue a professional career. Our students have gone on to many prestigious music schools, universities, symphonies and orchestras, strengthening Tulsa’s reputation across the nation. Other TYSO graduates have gone one to serve our community as music teachers and performers and business leaders. Alumni who choose careers other than music often become enthusiastic patrons of the arts.And of course, we all benefit from the opportunity to hear these amazing youth perform in formal and informal venues several times each year.
Arlington Youth Symphony
The AYS Symphony Orchestra is a full orchestra reserved for outstanding string, wind and percussion players whose technical level is highly advanced, who show strong musicality and musicianship, and who are capable of the discipline necessary to perform in a top-level orchestra. The Symphony Orchestra rehearses Sundays from 2:00-4:30 p.m. at the Music Building on The University of Texas at Arlington campus.
The AYS String Orchestra is an intermediate-level string ensemble geared towards students who have substantial experience performing in an ensemble setting and possess an intermediate level of musicianship. The String Orchestra rehearses Sundays from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Music Building on The University of Texas at Arlington campus. At the two rehearsals before each concert, the orchestra will rehearse from 2:00-4:30 p.m.
The AYS Junior String Orchestra is a beginner-level string ensemble geared towards students who have had limited experience performing in an ensemble setting and possess a beginning level of musicianship. The Junior String Orchestra rehearses Sundays from 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Music Building on The University of Texas at Arlington campus.
The mission of the Arlington Youth Symphony is to educate and inspire young musicians through the pursuit of excellence in musical performance.
Fort Wayne Philharmonic
The Fort Wayne Philharmonic can trace its origin to the Verweire Symphony Orchestra, founded in January 1924 by conductor John L. Verweire. Not long after the founding, Verweire asked his orchestra of 63 musicians to change its name to the Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestra. After 4 years, Verweire resigned and the orchestra disbanded due to insufficient financial support. After a short time, the orchestra was reorganized with Emil Bouillet as conductor. Each musician was required to sell tickets for the concerts, and banners were stretched across Calhoun Street to advertise the concerts given at the Majestic Theater, the Emboyd Theater, and the Shrine Auditorium. Financial difficulties again forced the orchestra to disband. After some time, another meeting was called at Central High School to reorganize the orchestra and elect a new conductor, Gaston Bailhe. As the orchestra grew, a new vision developed. A board of directors was formed with Henry Simon as President. The name of the orchestra was changed to the Fort Wayne Civic Symphony Orchestra. This effort is viewed as the first attempt to organize an orchestra of this nature in a city smaller than most cities supporting an orchestra of its size.
Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony
Formed in 1976 and initially known as the Springfield Area Youth Symphony, the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony provides the only opportunity for an orchestral experience at the elementary and secondary school levels in Sangamon County. The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony was created by parents, music teachers and musicians to keep a student orchestra program alive after the Springfield area schools eliminated all orchestra classes in the 1970s. Without intervention, a new generation of youth would have experienced a serious void in the arts.
Whether your child is interested in learning violin, viola, cello or string bass for the first time, or has already been playing a string instrument, we have the right ensemble for you! SVYS is a comprehensive orchestral instrument program that will take them from the very beginning all the way through senior year of high school. All of our ensembles rehearse once a week in the evenings at Hoogland Center for the Arts (HCFTA), 420 S. Sixth St, Springfield, IL.