October 23, 2018
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About Austin Youth Orchestra
About AYO: 
The Austin Youth Orchestra traces its history to the 1973 -74 school year, when John Pearson, Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Austin independent School District, instituted a program of All-City performing groups: an All-City Jazz Band, which he conducted, an All-City Choir conducted by Richard Sutch and an All-City Orchestra for which he hired William Dick as conductor.

A program from the 1978-79 season states the philosophy and goal of the All-City Orchestra:

        “As long as mankind has speculated and written about what should be included in the education of our species, music has always been a continuous ingredient. The ancient Greeks held the various modes of music as crucial elements in the total development of the character and soul; whereas modern society tends to emphasize the benefits of discipline and socialization. Regardless of the philosophical approach to music, the involvement of young people in music has always been an inspirational sight and experience.
        Tonight's concert showcases the gifted and talented curriculum for instrumental students in the Austin Independent School District.  From our Suzuki classes for kindergarten students to the High School All-City Orchestra, our staff is dedicated to the fusion of children and music. The AISD and the Austin Symphony are delighted to present these students to you and to renew our commitment of providing the very best possible musical experiences for those young people living and learning their skills in Austin.”

In the 1993-94 school year, Tom Waggoner and the AISD orchestra staff changed the name of the All-City Orchestra to the Austin Youth Symphony to reflect the growth of the city, and the fact that the orchestra now included students from surrounding school districts and various alternative school settings.

The Austin Youth Orchestra now offers a ten-year program (grades 3 - 12) for the development and enrichment of instrumental music students in the Austin Metropolitan area. The seven separate orchestras provide developmental and accomplishment benchmarks that ensure success as the students move through the different levels of instruction and performances.

The 2018-2019 season marks the forty-fifth year of the Austin All-City/Austin Youth Orchestra experience. We welcome your interest and hope to see you as a supporter of our organization; but better still, as a performing member of one of our orchestras!
   

Who is Eligible for Membership? 

Membership in AYO is open to all interested students in grades 3 through 12 who qualify through the audition process. String students from schools with orchestra programs must be a member in good standing in their school orchestra. Wind and percussion students must be members in good standing in their school band programs. Membership in the AYO program is contingent upon payment of tuition and return of the membership acceptance form with the school orchestra/band director's signature verifying that the student is a member in good standing in the school orchestra/band program. 

Which Youth Orchestra Is Right for Me? 
 

Prelude Orchestra 
The Prelude Orchestra is a string orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass) that is designed for string students who have had ½ to 1 full-year of orchestra experience (Grade 6 & 7).  It is offered in the Spring semesters only.




Concertante Orchestra 
The Concertante Orchestra is a string orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass) that is designed for beginning string students with limited reading experience. Students at the Suzuki Book Level I or a comparable level who have mastered proper position for their instrument are eligible for this orchestra.   It is offered in both Fall and Spring semesters.

More Information... 
 


Intermezzo Orchestra 
The Intermezzo Orchestra is a string orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass) that is designed for students who have had limited orchestral experience and who are working on mastering their reading ability. Students at the Suzuki Book Level 2 or a comparable level who play with proper position for their instrument are eligible for this orchestra.  

More Information... 


Camerata Orchestra 
The Camerata Orchestra is a string orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass) that is designed for intermediate string players who are learning to master bow control, vibrato, and shifting into higher positions. Students at the Suzuki Book Level 3 or a comparable level who have mastered proper position and who play with accurate intonation and resonant tone are eligible for this orchestra.  



Sinfonietta Orchestra 
The Sinfonietta Orchestra is a string orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass) that is designed for intermediate string players who are learning to master bow control, vibrato, and shifting into higher positions. Students at the Suzuki Book Level 4 or a comparable level who have mastered proper position and who play with accurate intonation and resonant tone are eligible for this orchestra.  



Philharmonic Orchestra 
The Philharmonic Orchestra is a string orchestra during the fall semester and a full orchestra (strings, winds, and percussion) during the spring semester. The Philharmonic is designed for advanced string, wind, and percussion players who wish to further their instrumental musical education with challenging orchestral repertoire. String players at the Suzuki Book Level 5 or a comparable level who have mastered proper position, play with accurate intonation and resonant tone, shift accurately into all positions, and play with refined bow control and vibrato are eligible for this orchestra. Wind and percussion players who have qualified for Texas Music Educators Association Region Orchestra are eligible for this orchestra by invitation (if openings in the specific wind/percussion sections exist) – not audition. Students may not be considered for membership in the Philharmonic Orchestra prior to grade 6. 
  
More Information... 

Symphony Orchestra 
The Symphony Orchestra is a string orchestra during the fall semester and a full orchestra (strings, winds, and percussion) during the spring semester. The Symphony is designed for highly advanced string, wind, and percussion players who wish to further their instrumental musical education with high-level orchestral repertoire. String players who have mastered proper position, play with accurate intonation and resonant tone, shift accurately into all positions, and play with refined bow control and vibrato are eligible for this orchestra. Wind and percussion players who have qualified for Texas Music Educators Association Region High School Orchestra are eligible for this orchestra by invitation (if openings in the specific wind/percussion sections exist) – not audition. Students may not be considered for membership in the Symphony Orchestra prior to grade 9. 




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