News + Events

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra's 2018/19 Season

View the entire season schedule on our Events page.

One of the oldest and most highly regarded youth orchestra organizations in America, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), is entering its 79th Season. There is a full schedule of performances throughout the 2018-2019 season for each of the PYO six program divisions. From November until June, audiences will enjoy outstanding classical music concerts that provide the talented young musicians invaluable opportunities to perform in professional venues. 

PYO is dedicated to excellence, transformative education, and access for student instrumentalists Training tomorrow’s leaders, the student population of PYO spans across the tri-state area and over 20 counties. Students go on to excel in many diverse fields, as well as develop performance careers in professional symphony orchestras, with many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra being PYO alumni.

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the organization’s flagship ensemble, will present three performances in Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center featuring classical repertoire hallmarks; such as, Shostakovich’s First Symphony, Hindemith’s Symphonic Metomorphosis, Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. Guest artists of national and international acclaim include Debra Lew Harder (Piano), host of WRTI’s Saturday Classical Coffeehouse; David Kim (concertmaster) of The Philadelphia Orchestra; and Peter Richard Conte (organ), Wanamaker Grand Court Organist.  Additional highlights include a world premiere by the winner of the Third Annual PYO Composers Competition, as well as a Showcase Concert in Verizon Hall of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts which features individual performances of all six program divisions of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. 

Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director, is very pleased with the dedication and motivation of the students who are members of PYO this year. He said, “The talent of each student continues to impress me, and I am very aware of their motivation to excel at every level. There are life skills we all gain as musicians and these will become trademarks of our students, no matter what life direction they choose. From their ability to work well with peers and to take direction, their passion for music and their desire to learn and grow  into becoming good citizens as a member of a community are lessons that will take them far in life..”

PYO is comprised of six independent program ensembles designed to meet specific needs and experience levels of students selected through a competitive audition process. The anchor group is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 120 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 14-21. Young musicians 12-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who is Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. Philadelphia Young Musicians Orchestra (PYMO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra that provides most students with their first introduction to large orchestral playing featuring students age 10-17 years old. Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute Dean of Faculty and Students, Paul Bryan, is an all brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. PRYSM (Philadelphia Region Youth String Music) and PRYSM Young Artists ensembles provide string large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of PRYSM is Gloria DePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of PRYSM Young Artists is Andrea Weber. Tune Up Philly (TUP) is PYO’s engagement program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum. For more information, please visit www.pyos.org.