Youth Programs

GYSO Ensembles

Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra is the most advanced orchestral ensemble in the GYSO program. Directed by Christopher Thibdeau, Symphony performs professional-level works from a variety of classical eras. Recent performances have included works of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Haydn, Beethoven, and Mahler, as well as newly commissioned works. Symphony also performs with professional soloists from the Atlanta area, recently including Kenn Wagner (violin), Helen Kim (violin), Tom Hooten (trumpet), and Charae Kruger (cello). Symphony members are eligible for the GYSO&C Concerto Competition.

Symphony strings are generally playing 3 octave scales in all major and minor keys and solos from the standard concerto and sonata repertoire.  They possess a controlled and varied vibrato and can produce a wide variety of bow strokes both on and off the string.  Winds are comfortable in all major and minor keys and can play a full-register chromatic scale.  Horns and trumpets are able to play (though perhaps not sight-read) all transpositions.  Violas, cellos, bassoons, and trombones are familiar with alternate clefs.  Most woodwinds are comfortable with at least one auxiliary instrument.

Philharmonia

Directed by Christopher Thibdeau, Philharmonia performs professional-level and advanced educational works for full orchestra. Recent performances have included works of Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Bizet, Telemann, and Bernstein. Philharmonia students are eligible for the GYSO Concerto Competition.

Philharmonia strings are generally playing 2 or 3 octave scales (up to 7th position) and solos from Suzuki book 5 and up.  They use vibrato consistently and have facility with some off-the-string bow techniques.  Winds are comfortable in all major keys and can play a full-register chromatic scale.  Trumpets and horns are comfortable in some of the most common transpositions.  Violas, cellos, bassoons, and trombones are developing familiarity in alternate clefs.  Some woodwinds can play auxiliary instruments.

Camerata

Directed by Charles Laux, Camerata is the youngest full orchestra in the GYSO program. Camerata repertoire consists of educational works, including original compositions for student orchestra and transcriptions of pieces from the classical canon.

Camerata strings are generally playing 2 or 3 octave scales (up to 5th position) and solos from Suzuki books 3 and 4.  They are starting to establish vibrato.  Camerata winds are generally comfortable in keys from 4 flats to 2 sharps, know the difference between concert and written pitch, and can play a two-octave chromatic scale.

Sinfonia

Directed by Whitney Tinley, Sinfonia is the youngest orchestra in the GYSO program. Sinfonia performs educational works, both original compositions and transcriptions, for string orchestra.

Sinfonia students are generally playing 1 or 2 octave scales and solos from Suzuki books 1 and 2.  First violins may play in 1st and 3rd positions.  Players tend to have some familiarity with multiple hand positions.

Percussion Ensemble

The Percussion Ensemble provides advanced high school and middle school percussionists with the opportunity to develop and improve ensemble skills on a wide variety of instruments under the guidance of John Lawless. In addition to performing works from the published percussion ensemble repertoire, students also have the opportunity to write works for the ensemble.

Jazz Ensemble

Directed by Sam Skelton, the GYSO Jazz Ensemble performs a wide variety of jazz styles with a standard big band instrumentation. Members also have opportunities to perform in a combo setting.