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Youth Orchestras

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The Rivers Youth Symphony, Christopher Memoli conductor, at NEC's Jordan Hall
The Rivers Youth Orchestra program boasts five orchestras for students ages 7-18.  The orchestras meet Friday afternoons from 4:00-5:30 p.m. and perform several concerts throughout the year.  Placement is by audition each spring.  For tuition rates please click here.

Rehearsal & Concert Schedule

Click here for the latest rehearsal and concert schedule for all youth orchestras (updated on March 3, 2014).

Auditions for 2014-2015

Auditions for 2014-2015 will take place:

  • Friday, May 9, 2014, 3:30-6:30 p.m. – Move up auditions (for current RYO students)
  • Friday, May 16, 2014, 3:30-6:30 p.m. – New student auditions
  • Friday, May 23, 2014, 3:30-6:30 p.m. – New student auditions
Sign up for an audition

About Each Orchestra

The Rivers Youth Symphony | Christopher Memoli, conductor
This is the only full orchestra for both string and wind players conducted by Christopher Memoli.  RYS provides orchestral training for advanced students. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to rehearse and perform advanced orchestral repertoire and excellent sight-reading skills. Past Repertoire includes: Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 Berlioz – Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9 Shostakovich – Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 57, Mvt. IV Glinka – Overture from Russlan and Ludmilla Hanson – Symphony No.2, Op.30, “Romantic” Williams – The Olympic Spirit Respighi – Pines of Rome Strings audition requirements:

  • 2 contrasting selections
  • 3 octave major scales through 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • Sight-reading

Winds audition requirements:

  • 2 contrasting selections
  • Full range chromatic scale and 2 octave scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • Sight-reading
Philharmonia | Colleen MacDonald, conductor
This ensemble, conducted by Colleen MacDonald, is for advanced string players that will perform advanced string-orchestra repertoire.  Candidates should possess highly developed technique, familiarity with the first five positions, mature sound, and proficient sight reading abilities. Audition requirements:

  • 2 contrasting selections
  • 3 octave major scales through 3 sharps and 3 flats
  • Sight-reading
Youth Sinfonia | Susan Memoli, conductor
This string orchestra, conducted by Susan Memoli, is for musicians who have acquired the skills necessary to rehearse and perform intermediate through medium-advanced string orchestra repertoire. Musicians should demonstrate familiarity with the first three positions, use of vibrato, and moderate sight-reading skills. Candidates should be able to use a variety of bow strokes, including detache, staccato, spiccato, and legato.

Audition requirements:
  • 2 contrasting selections
  • Violin/viola: 3 octave Major scales through 3 sharps and 3 flats
  • Cello: 3 octave C, D and Eb Major scales
  • Double bass: 2 octave Major scales through 3 sharps and 3 flats
  • Sight-reading
Preparatory Orchestra | Margot Reavey, condcutor
This orchestra, conducted by Margot Reavey, is designed for talented young string players. Rehearsals focus on sight-reading technique, rhythm, intonation, listening skills, poise in performance, extended concentration, expression, ensemble, and tone quality. Candidates can read music proficiently, have moderate sight-reading abilities and demonstrate ease of playing in the first position, and are working on beginning shifting. Audition requirements:
  • 2 contrasting selections
  • 1 or 2 octave scales of the musician’s choice
  • Sight-reading
Primo Orchestra | Kirsi Perttuli, conductor
This orchestra, conducted by Kirsi Perttuli, is designed for beginning string players, typically students who are studying or finishing Suzuki Book 1, working in Suzuki Book 2,  or are early Suzuki Book 3 level. Rehearsals focus on sight-reading technique, rhythm, intonation, listening skills, poise in performance, extended concentration, expression, ensemble, and tone quality. Candidates can read music proficiently, have modest sight-reading abilities, and demonstrate ease of playing in the first position and are working on beginning shifting. This orchestra rehearses from 4:00-5:15 p.m. on Friday evenings.
Audition requirements:
  • 2 contrasting selections
  • 1 or 2 octave scales of the musician’s choice
  • Sight-reading

Listen to the Orchestras