Youth Orchestra Program

The Westmoreland Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) was founded in 1981 to provide area music students with a high quality experience in playing and appreciating orchestral music. Since that time, the program has expanded to include the Philharmonic for high school students, the Philharmonia for middle school students and the String Ensemble for elementary students.

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WYSO Philharmonic consists of auditioned high school and advanced middle school musicians, who rehearse on Wednesday evenings and perform concerts each fall and spring. The Philharmonic also provides a Concerto Competition for members to compete to perform a concerto with the orchestra. The competition is held every January, with a spring semester performance. A WYSO Solo and Ensemble Night is offered each May, featuring individuals and small ensembles from the Philharmonic.

WYSO Philharmonia is for string students who are comfortable in first and third positions, have a solid knowledge of note values, dynamics, key signatures, and be able to play major scales up to 3 sharps and flats. Members should be taking privates lessons. Winds and brass are encouraged audition. For strings, an audition is optional, but doing so allows for better chair placement. At a minimum, we need recommendation from private teacher or band director. Equivalent of Suzuki books III-IV.

WYSO String Ensemble is a training group for elementary school string players, including violins, violas and cellos. While no audition is necessary for participation, most members are taking private lessons. String Ensemble meets each fall and spring, with a public performance at the end of each semester. A shorter summer session is offered every June-July.

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