Garden State Philharmonic
Youth Orchestras Program

As part of its commitment to education, the Garden State Philharmonic actively sponsors three youth orchestras to provide young musicians the opportunity to play in an orchestra and receive training to develop and enhance individual musicianship. The three ensembles work together as feeder programs allowing students to build on their knowledge and advance up the musical ladder. The members come from various schools throughout the Jersey Shore.

Open auditions are scheduled at the beginning of each October. For students who wish to enter the program after the open audition, an appointment must be scheduled by e-mailing the program coordinator at gspyouth@gardenstatephilharmonic.org.

The Symphonic Youth Orchestra (SYO) was the first part of the program formed in 1970. This ensemble operates in a full orchestra format, complete with wind, brass and percussion instruments. The SYO has performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Many SYO graduates have continued their musical studies and have become accomplished professional musicians.

In 1990, two more youth orchestras were founded to encourage elementary and middle school musicians. The String Ensemble (SE) encourages elementary school students to seriously study string instruments and offers training and advancement into the Concert Youth Orchestra (CYO). The CYO for middle school students offers training and advancement into the Symphonic Youth Orchestra.

The three youth orchestras typically perform two large concerts, one in late winter and one in June, as well as performing throughout the year at a variety of venues in the area. Scholarships are awarded each year to students who are pursuing a degree in music. Those accepted to the GSPYO must pay annual member dues and support capacity-building activities. A limited number of dues scholarships are granted.

YOU CAN BE A PART OF THE MUSIC

Click on any of the following links to get started.

Download GSPYO Welcome Letter and Checklist Download Membership Application Form Download SYO Audition Guidelines Download SYO Audition Excerpts Download SE Audition Guidelines Download CYO Audition Guidelines Download SE and CYO Audition Excerpts

Tips for participating members:

Rehearsals

All GSPYO ensembles rehearse at the following times on Tuesday evenings:

  • String Ensemble (SE): 6:30-8 pm at Toms River Intermediate North
  • Concert Orchestra (CYO): 7-8:30 pm at Toms River Intermediate East
  • Symphonic Orchestra (SYO): 7-9 pm at Toms River Intermediate East

Email gspyouth@gardenstatephilharmonic.org prior to 2:30 p.m. the day of a rehearsal to report an absence from rehearsal.

Concert Attire

Men should wear a black suit, tie, socks and shoes with a white shirt.
Women should wear all black dresses (past knee length) or
pants and black shoes.

Annual Open Auditions

Please email info@gardenstatephilharmonic.org to schedule
an audition between August 1st and September 28th.