At San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS), we offer every student musician at any level the opportunity to participate in one of our 13+ orchestras and wind ensembles.

PRELUDE LEVEL – Beginning level ensembles

Our Prelude level offers quality introductory classes that provide an important musical and social experience for young students. In these ensembles and classes, students are introduced to technical and musical skills as they start on their instruments.

PRELUDE String Ensembles

BEGINNING STRINGS: For students with little to no string instrument experience

Beginning Strings is a class for violin, viola, cello, and bass students with little or no experience on a string instrument. In this class students will learn the fundamental skills of instrument techniques.

Conductor: Lowri Casimiro
Rehearsals: Sundays 3:15 – 4:45pm in Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $650
Age Requirement: Ages 7 – 12
Grade Requirement: 2nd – 7th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

DEBUT STRINGS: For students with 1-2 years of string instrument experience

Debut Strings is an ensemble with group instruction for students playing violin, viola, cello or bass. Students will focus on instrument techniques, developing sight-reading skills, and improve beginning ensemble techniques, such as following a conductor and fellow musicians. Students are expected to have at least 1-2 years of experience on their instrument.

Conductor: Lowri Casimiro
Rehearsals: Sundays, 1:15 – 3:00 in Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $650
Age Requirement: Ages 8 – 15
Grade Requirement: 3rd grade – 10th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

PRELUDE Wind Ensemble

DEBUT WINDS: A first group experience; little or no instrument experience required

Debut Winds is designed as a first group experience for wind students in the SDYS program. Woodwind (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone), brass (trumpet, French horn, trombone, and euphonium), and percussion students may apply. Students will focus on instrument techniques, develop sight-reading skills, and improve beginning ensemble techniques, such as following a conductor and fellow musicians. Students with little or no experience on their instrument are encouraged to apply.

 

Conductor: Chris Lea
Rehearsals: Sundays 1:15 – 3:00pm in Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $650
Age Requirement: Ages 8 – 15
Grade Requirement: 3rd – 10th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

INSPIRATION LEVEL – Foundational ensembles

Our Inspiration level offers quality foundational ensembles that provide an important musical and social experience for young students. In these ensembles and classes, students develop technical and musical skills as they progress on their instruments.

INSPIRATION String Ensembles

OVERTURE STRINGS ENSEMBLE : An entry-level string orchestra

Overture Strings is an entry-level string orchestra providing a first ensemble opportunity for musicians in their second year of playing and above. The orchestra focuses on enhancing beginning level skills such as fingering, tone quality, intonation, and sight-reading as part of an ensemble. Musicians will enhance their ability to follow the conductor, to play together, group intonation and section cohesion by integrating technique into ensemble playing.

Conductor: Anthony Kim
Rehearsals: Sundays, 3:15 – 5:00pm in Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $800
Age Requirement: Ages 8 – 17
Grade Requirement: 3rd grade – 12th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

SYMPHONIC STRINGS : For musicians in their second year of playing or more

Symphonic Strings is a string orchestra providing performance experience for intermediate string players. Musicians will learn important concepts of left and right-hand technique, vibrato, shifting and bowing, articulation, tone production, intonation, balance and blend. Repertoire will include arrangements of music for string orchestra representing various periods and styles.

Conductor: Ulli Reiner
Rehearsals: Sundays, 1:15 – 3:00pm in Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $800
Age Requirement: Ages 8 – 17
Grade Requirement: 3rd grade – 12th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

INSPIRATION Wind Ensemble

OVERTURE WINDS ENSEMBLE : For musicians in their second year of playing or more

Overture Winds is a wind ensemble that provides a progressive and accelerated opportunity for woodwind, brass and percussion musicians in their second year of playing and above. Instruction focuses on teaching ensemble skills such as tone production and quality, musicianship, blend, balance, rhythm and sightreading as part of an ensemble. Musicians will enhance their ability to follow the conductor, play together, and achieve group intonation as well as section cohesion.

Conductor: Chris Lea
Rehearsals: Sundays, 3:15 – 5:00pm in Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $800
Age Requirement: Ages 8 – 17
Grade Requirement: 3rd grade – 12th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

SHOWCASE LEVEL – Intermediate level bands & orchestras

Our Showcase level ensembles feature our intermediate-level students while they continue to develop ensemble skills and instrument technique. Orchestra ensemble literature includes works by important 18th, 19th, and 20th-century composers. Wind ensemble literature focuses on traditional band and modern contemporary works. The Showcase level ensembles all encourage our woodwinds (except saxophone players, where limitations exist in orchestral literature), percussion, and brass students to participate in both an orchestra and a wind ensemble. This maximizes their musical training and allows the students to experience a complete range of band and orchestra literature.

SHOWCASE Orchestras

CONCERT ORCHESTRA - An advanced string orchestra & foundational full orchestra

Concert Orchestra is designed to provide both an advanced string orchestra and foundational full orchestra experience for developing string, woodwind, brass, and percussion players. Half of this ensemble’s rehearsal time will be spent on advanced string literature and half on full orchestra repertoire. This ensemble performs a wide range of full strings and full orchestral works, symphonic movements, and arrangements that introduce the necessary skills and techniques to play in a full orchestra.

Conductor: TBD
Rehearsals: Saturdays 1:15-3:15pm at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $850
Age Requirement: Ages 10 – 19
Grade Requirement: Minimum 5th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

 

PHILHARMONIA - (pending enrollment) - An intermediate full orchestra

Philharmonia is designed to provide a high-quality, foundational full orchestra experience for developing string, woodwind, brass, and percussion players. This orchestra performs a range of orchestral works and symphonic movements that introduce the necessary skills and techniques to play in a full orchestra. Arrangements may be used to exemplify different techniques. In addition to developing skills in blend and balance, musicians focus on fundamental right and left-hand skill development, vibrato, articulation, intonation, rhythm, tone production, range, and dynamics as appropriate to their individual instrument within the group context.

Conductor: TBD
Rehearsals: Saturdays TBD at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $850
Age Requirement: Ages 10 – 19
Grade Requirement: Minimum 5th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

SINFONIA - An upper-intermediate - advanced full orchestra

Sinfonia is an orchestra designed to provide training for upper-intermediate and advanced string, woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians. This orchestra performs a range of moderate length orchestral works, symphonic movements, and concert periods. All woodwind and some brass parts are doubled and tripled. Solo parts are assigned according to seating and repertoire needs of the ensembles.

Conductor: Juan Palacios
Rehearsals: Saturdays TBD at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $850
Age Requirement: Ages 12 – 19
Grade Requirement: Minimum 7th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

SHOWCASE Wind Ensembles

CONCERT WINDS - An intermediate symphonic band

Concert Winds is an intermediate level symphonic band for woodwind, brass and percussion musicians. Repertoire includes arrangements of music representing various periods and styles. Musicians will gain experience in concepts of technique, articulation, intonation, rhythm, tone production, dynamics, balance, and blend in an ensemble setting. Musicians should have at least two years of school band experience and/or private instruction.

Conductor: Jessica Swift
Rehearsals: Saturdays TBD at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $850
Age Requirement: Ages 10 – 19
Grade Requirement: Minimum 5th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

WIND SYMPHONY - An intermediate-advanced symphonic band

Wind Symphony is a symphonic band for intermediate and advanced woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians. This ensemble will study traditional and contemporary advanced wind symphony repertoire and focus on technique, musicality, balance, and blend.

Conductor: Juan Palacios
Rehearsals: Saturdays TBD at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $850
Age Requirement: Ages 12 – 19
Grade Requirement: Minimum 7th grade

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

OVATION LEVEL – Pre-Professional level orchestras

Led by Music Director, Jeff Edmons, Ovation level ensembles provide the most advanced string, woodwind, brass and percussion musicians with comprehensive, intensive, pre-professional musical training. Participation in the Ovation level includes the study and performance of classical music spanning the eighteenth century through the twenty-first century in multiple wind and orchestral ensemble settings. The flagship program provides the finest training at the highest levels attainable in a youth orchestra program.

OVATION Orchestras

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - SDYS' most advanced full orchestra

Symphony Orchestra is comprised of the most advanced musicians in SDYS. All musicians who are accepted to the Ovation level are in Symphony Orchestra. The flagship SDYS orchestra rehearses and performs full-length, multi-movement symphonies and advanced professional orchestra literature from a wide range of periods and styles. Solo and section parts are assigned within each section according to seating and repertoire needs.

Conductor: Jeff Edmons
Rehearsals: Saturdays 5:30 – 7:30pm at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $1,000 (inclusive of all Ovation ensembles, if eligible)
Grade Requirement: Minimum 9th grade
Maximum Age: 22 years

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

CHAMBER ORCHESTRA - Comprised of Ovation principal and assistant principal musicians

Chamber Orchestra is an artist-level ensemble comprising principal and assistant principal musicians from the Ovation level ensembles. The chamber orchestra is the resident orchestra of La Jolla Music Society. The orchestra rehearses and performs a variety of professional-level repertoire from multiple historic periods for both string orchestra and full chamber orchestra.

Conductor: Jeff Edmons
Rehearsals: Saturdays 3:15 – 5:15pm at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $1,000 (inclusive of all Ovation ensembles, if eligible)
Grade Requirement: Minimum 9th grade
Maximum Age: 22 years

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

OVATION Wind Orchestra

WIND ORCHESTRA - SDYS' most advanced wind ensemble

Wind Orchestra is a wind ensemble comprising the woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians in Symphony Orchestra. Wind Orchestra studies and performs the most advanced repertoire of multiple styles and genres, including traditional full-length concert pieces for wind orchestra as well as multiple-movement works and traditional concert pieces.

Conductor: Jeff Edmons
Rehearsals: Saturdays 3:15 – 5:15pm at Balboa Park
Tuition Cost: $1,000 (inclusive of all Ovation ensembles, if eligible)
Grade Requirement: Minimum 9th grade
Maximum Age: 22 years

How to Audition | Musicians’ Handbook | Información en español

San Diego Youth Symphony