Pacific Symphony logo

Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles (PSYE)

"Overall, as a parent, I can't say enough about what Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles have meant to Matthew. The commitment by the staff and the board are amazing and the benefit to students is priceless." Patsy Jaimes, parent


PSYO string player

Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles (PSYE) is a premier performance program, nurturing and inspiring young artists in grades 6 through 12. PSYE provides members with a high quality and innovative artistic experience and strives to encourage musical and personal growth through the art of performance. 

The Youth Ensembles include three performing ensembles: Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble and Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings. All three benefit from the artistic vision of Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair, who acts as the artistic advisor for all activities. PSYE performs in the world-class Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, as well as at other venues in Orange County. Students enjoy a variety of interactions with Pacific Symphony musicians including sectional coaching, master classes and side-by-side performances. Each ensemble enjoys an annual weekend retreat, where members engage in intensive three-day rehearsals and bonding activities. Members also receive free and/or discounted tickets to Pacific Symphony performances throughout the season.

Members are selected through annual auditions, held in June of each year. The 2015-16 season saw approximately 500 musicians audition for the ensembles, of which 250 were accepted and represent 72 schools program wide.

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings is led by music educator Irene Kroesen and provides string musicians in grades 6 through 9 with quality string and performance instruction.
Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra is led by Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia and provides 100+ string, wind and percussion musicians in grades 9 through 12 with intense orchestral training.
Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble is led by Music Director Gregory X. Whitmore and provides wind and percussion musicians in grades 8 through 12 the opportunity to refine their skills in a high quality and innovative wind symphony environment.

Artistic Staff

Roger KaliaMusic Director, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra and Assistant Conductor, Pacific Symphony
Gregory X. WhitmoreMusic Director, Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble
Irene KroesenMusic Director, Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings
Carl St.ClairArtistic Advisor

Administrative Staff

Shawne ZarubicaDirector of Youth Ensembles
Oscar Esteves, Youth Orchestra manager
Nicole Kroesen, Youth Wind Ensemble manager
N.N., Santiago Strings manager