Our Programs The Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras' (BYSO) mission is to encourage artistic excellence in a nurturing environment by providing the highest quality orchestral training and performance opportunities to qualified musicians, grades K-12, while making its programs accessible to underrepresented youth through financial aid and outreach. To achieve these goals, BYSO offers a continuum of orchestral and ensemble training to hundreds of students, ages 6 to 18, with three full orchestras, two young string training orchestras, six chamber orchestras, a preparatory winds ensemble, a chamber music program and the Intensive Community Program, a rigorous string training program for underrepresented youth. Each year, BYSO auditions approximately 850 elementary and secondary students and accepts nearly 500 musicians. BYSO prides itself on creating a community for young musicians, their families and the people that support their passion for music.
BYSO offers over 15 performances in some of Boston's finest venues including Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory, Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, Kresge Auditorium at MIT, and the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University. The orchestras and chamber ensembles rehearse every Sunday from September through June at Boston University's College of Fine Arts, where BYSO has been in residence since it was established in 1958. The College of Fine Arts is a major sponsor of BYSO.
Click on the links below to learn more about the BYSO's various ensembles and programs.
Boston Youth Symphony
(BYSO's most advanced orchestra)
(second-level, full symphonic orchestra)
Junior Repertory Orchestra
(intermediate-level, full symphonic orchestra)
Young People's String Orchestra
(intermediate-level string orchestra)
(BYSo's newest ensemble with the youngest string players)
(training ensemble for young wind players)
Intensive Community Program
(BYSO's rigorous string instrument training program for underrepresented youth)
(pre-season summer camp for BYS, Repertory and Junior Repertory Orchestras in Sidney, Maine)
(BYSO members may opt to participate in chamber ensembles, at designated times at the start of the season)
(BYSO members may opt to participate in composition classes)
(rehearsal times, fees, directions and more)
Federico Cortese conducting Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras in October 2012 at Symphony Hall. Photo by Michael J. Lutch.