PS Youth Orchestra
About Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra
Founded in 1993, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO) has emerged as the premier training orchestra of Orange County. Under the artistic direction and guidance of Pacific Symphony’s renowned Music Director, Carl St.Clair, PSYO is quickly being recognized as one of the most outstanding youth orchestras in our country.
Representing 31 schools in and beyond Orange County this season, PYSO offers performance opportunities to instrumentalists in grades 9-12 and is one of three Youth Ensembles programs offered by Pacific Symphony. PSYO provides members with a high quality and innovative artistic experience and strives to encourage musical and personal growth through the art of performance. Each season students enjoy an interaction with Maestro Carl St.Clair, as well as regular interactions with guest artists and professional musicians of Pacific Symphony. Students also engage in an annual weekend retreat and are offered free and discounted tickets to Pacific Symphony performances throughout the season.
Each season PSYO presents a three-concert series, generously sponsored by the Cheng Family Foundation. Members also participate in a Side-by-Side performance with Pacific Symphony, where students perform in concert with their professional counterparts as part of Pacific Symphony’s Family Musical Mornings. Performances commence at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts as well as other high-quality community venues in Orange County. The final performance of each season features the winner(s) of the annual concerto competition, for which auditions are exclusive to current members of the Youth Orchestra.
2011 marked the Youth Orchestra’s inaugural tour to Sofia, Bulgaria—Maestro Maxim Eshkenazy’s hometown. This ten-day three-concert tour took the orchestra to the cities of Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv as they enjoyed the sights, sounds and culture of this Eastern European country and played three standing-room-only performances.
Beginning Sept. 2013 rehearsals will take place every Sunday afternoon from 1:30pm-4:30pm in the music department at the University of California, Irvine, starting in September and ending in May each season. Members are selected through annual auditions which take place in June every year. (For information about auditions, please click on “auditions” to the left on this page).
Alejandro Gutierrez, assistant conductor, Pacific Symphony
music director, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra
Carl St.Clair, artistic adviser
Melissa Craig, director of Youth Ensembles
Gabriel Stevens, Youth Orchestra manager