York Youth Symphony Orchestra
About the York Youth Symphony Orchestra
The YYSO creates a unique opportunity for elite youth musicians to learn a challenging repertoire with peers, perform in a variety of venues and expand their perspectives of what it means to be a musician.
Since 1957, the York Youth Symphony has added a sparkling dimension to York’s cultural scene. By 1967, there were so many young musicians seeking a place in the YYSO, that a second orchestra—the York Junior Symphony Orchestra—was formed.
The conductors of the YYSO—A. Reginald Fink, Holman James, George Waldman, James Christian Pfohl, Madilyn Klepper, Catherine Overhauser, Dr. Robert Hart Baker and Wayne Allen Romer—have all had a special talent for eliciting the best performances from young musicians.
Since 2007, that tradition has continued with Maestro Gregory Woodbridge bringing his superb Penn State training and expertise in violin, piano, and conducting to the YYSO, elevating the excellence that has always been associated with this outstanding organization. In 2015, the Board of Directors was pleased to appoint Mr. Brian Buterbaugh as Assistant Conductor.
Special performances and achievements have included: Dr. Baker and the Heinz Hall concert with the Harlem Boy’s Choir, a performance at Carnegie Hall in 1994 that culminated in a standing ovation, and Wayne Romer with his visionary and highly successful collaborative concerts. Most recently, the YYSO and York County Senior Honors Choir presented “Inspire—A Concert of Grace, Hope, and Gratitude.”
Many YYSO alumni pursue a variety of musical careers in conducting, composing, performing on all levels, and especially, educating the next generations of musicians and aficionados.
The 2018-2019 YYSO is comprised of 100 musicians from grades 9-12, representing 14 different schools and home-schooled students from York and Adams Counties.
Annual auditions are held in late August or early September for anyone desiring to become a member of the orchestra, including all current members. Rehearsals are held Saturday mornings from September through early May. Three public concerts are presented each season. In addition, a concerto competition is held each January with the winner performing their selection with the orchestra in the spring concert.
The orchestra—a charter member of the Cultural Alliance of York—is governed by a Board of Directors composed of music educators, parents of orchestra members, and interested members of the community.
As the YYSO looks to the future, the goal remains the same—to provide an opportunity for young, talented musicians to develop their skills and participate in an exceptional musical experience.