Youth Orchestra Ensembles

The Sarasota Orchestra Youth Program consists of seven orchestras, affording students the opportunity to participate in an ensemble comparable to their skill level.

Students audition each year for a position in one of these orchestras. Each ensemble rehearses weekly, from September to April in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center at 709 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

Youth Philharmonic

Conducted by Robert Lambert

Ages 13-19
Comprised of outstanding players whose technical level is highly advanced, who show strong musicality and musicianship and who are capable of the discipline necessary to perform at the highest level. This ensemble is dedicated to performing the finest works in the full symphonic repertoire. In addition to the full orchestra rehearsals the students will work in sectionals with professional coaches who are among the finest performers and teachers in the area. Weekly rehearsals during the school year are carried out under professional standards. Members are expected to take private lessons and maintain leadership responsibilities in their school ensembles.

Rehearses Mondays 5:15-7:45 pm

Youth Symphony

Conducted by Christopher Allen

Ages 11-18
A full orchestra ensemble consisting of middle and high school students with more than 3 years of experience and the maturity to participate in a full orchestra. All students demonstrate solid technique. String students are developing extended positions. Repertoire includes many standard masterworks expertly arranged for educational ensembles, as well as many original compositions and popular music straight from the movies. Basic technique and artistic vocabulary is reinforced during sectional rehearsals with professional coaches who are among the finest performers and teachers in the area. Youth Symphony provides an opportunity to continue developing the ensemble skills needed to advance to standard symphonic literature.

Rehearses Mondays 5:15-7:45 pm

Symphonic Winds

Conducted by Daniel Boyd

Ages 11-15
Made up of talented wind and percussion students with 1 to 3 years of experience. Rehearsals concentrate on performance standards, tone production, precision, musicality, individual and group style, and practice habits. Similar to a weekly honor band, this ensemble provides experience with literature, preparation, and performance that the students can take to their own band programs and exposes students to literature that they may not play in their school programs.

Rehearses Mondays 5:15-7:45 pm

Symphonic Strings

Conducted by Susan Heinz

Ages 10-17
Designed for intermediate to advanced string students with 3 or more years of experience. This ensemble focuses on cross-listening between sections, blend and balance, expressing various styles of music, and pursuing detailed, mature music making. Members demonstrate advanced shifting and bowing technique and are introduced to challenging string literature.

Rehearses Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm

Intermezzo Strings

Conducted by David Pope

Ages 10-17
Composed of students who have progressed to the intermediate level of performance on their instrument. Students will solidify and further develop the first and third positions through performance of repertoire. Having mastered the basic skills level (generally after three years of instruction), the focus is on developing proper tone quality, mastering bow techniques, refining ensemble skills, and the exploration of different musical style periods.

Rehearses Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm

Divertimento Strings

Conducted by Valerie Terry

Ages 10-17
Designed for students who have had some orchestral experience (2 to 3 years) and who are confident in their bow and left hand technique. Students should be comfortable playing in first position and will have already started exploring third position. This ensemble builds solid orchestral skills including ear training and continued sight-reading abilities. The ensemble continues to develop rhythmic confidence.

Rehearses Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm

Chamber Strings

Conducted by Celia Sperotto

Ages 8-14
Designed for students who have had limited orchestral experience (2 to 3 years) and who are working on mastering their reading ability. All students should have basic note-reading skills, including the ability to identify pitch names and play various rhythms using whole, half, quarter and eighth notes. Students should be comfortable playing in first position the keys of G and D. This ensemble builds solid, fundamental rhythmic and orchestral skills including improved sight-reading abilities, expanding first position and starting third position.

Rehearses Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm

Prelude Strings

Conducted by Emily Eskildsen

Ages 8-14
Designed to introduce string students to the fundamentals of ensemble playing. Students must have 1 year of experience or completed our Summer Music Camp. All students are beginning note readers and can demonstrate a good foundation in playing technique. The emphasis in rehearsal will be establishing good posture, technique, sound production, rehearsal discipline, rhythmic and note reading skills as well as understanding harmony in ensemble music.

Rehearses Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm

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709 N Tamiami Tr, Sarasota, FL 34236


Box Office: 941.953.3434
Administration: 941.953.4252

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Our mission is to engage, educate, and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.

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