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.

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.

2016-2017 Season in Full Swing

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Recent blog posts

Rachmaninoff’s 3rd

Daniel Meyer conducts a program of Russian masterpieces featuring piano virtuoso Orion Weiss performing Rachmaninoff’s monumental Piano Concerto No. 3. Glinka’s heroic Russlan and Ludmilla Overture is an exuberant introduction to the concert alongside our talented young WYSO musicians. The concert concludes with Tchaikovsky’s folk song-inspired Symphony No. 2 “Little Russian.” “When you’re named after one of the biggest constellations… Read More

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[Video] 1976 Pops Concert | Dance of the Comedians by Smetana

  This performance of Smetana’s Dance of the Comedians is from a live recording of a Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert, circa 1976. The conductor was Thomas Michalak. David Singer was privileged to be the Principal Clarinetist of the orchestra for 4 years. The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s first conductor was Dr. Richard Karp, who was also General and Music Director… Read More

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[Infographic] Why Music? The Many Benefits of a Musical Education

Why Music? This infographic from the University of Florida explains it to us. Source: Infographic, University of Florida

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