Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras
Founded in 1993, the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (JSYO) are Northeast Florida’s premier developmental orchestral ensembles serving more than 400 young musicians, ages 7-21, who are admitted through introductory interviews or competitive auditions.
The main site at Florida State College at Jacksonville (South Campus) offers all six levels of ensembles which rehearse and perform under an esteemed team of music educators as well as Jacksonville Symphony musicians. Regional satellite sites now offer beginning to intermediate ensembles for students musicians in the early stages of their musical instruction. Check back to learn more about satellite sites coming to your area.
The six levels of ensembles enable the JSYO to serve the needs of all musicians with individualized, ability-specific instruction. The JSYO has filled the void of enriching orchestral instruction often missing from First Coast schools (private, public, charter, home school) by guiding the young musicians with quality musical instruction, improving skills and maintaining the highest standards.
The JSYO performs several major concert during the September to May season at the prestigious Jacoby Symphony Hall in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts or in regional venues. The annual Festival of Strings Concert combines musicians from all satellite site ensemble and the featured Major Minor Concert includes a joint side-by-side performance with JSYO ensembles and the Jacksonville Symphony. Winners of the JSYO Young Artists Competition have the privilege of soloing at Major Minor in addition to receiving scholarships. JSYO also offers an extensive chamber music program. Participants perform concerts across the region throughout the season.
- Direction by professional conductors
- Exposure to nationally recognized soloists through their affiliation with the Jacksonville Symphony
- Coaching sessions with Jacksonville Symphony musicians
- Outreach performances in the community
- Chamber ensemble training and performances
- Young Artists Competition
- Performances in the internationally renowned Jacoby Symphony Hall
Participating in the JSYO teaches discipline and teamwork. Young musicians also learn the value of hard work and gain self-confidence through the polished performances they give. The JSYO not only enriches the lives of their musicians, but also enriches the cultural life of the First Coast community through their many performances and outreach to children’s hospitals, schools, museums and other community organizations and events.
Philharmonic: $525 (includes fee 3-day retreat; excludes national tour)
Repertory Orchestra: $420 (includes fee for day-long retreat)
Premier Strings: $420 (includes fee for day-long retreat)
Encore Strings: $365
Foundation Strings: $365 (all sites)
Jump Start Strings: $365 (all sites)
Financial Aid & Scholarship Opportunities
Limited financial aid is available to help defray the cost of JSYO tuition courtesy of the Jacksonville Symphony Guild, the Jacksonville Symphony Association and various other benefactors. Admission to JSYO is always based upon merit and never on a student’s ability to pay tuition. Financial assistance and payment plans are available, although tuition deposits are required. Tuition discounts are available for multiple sibling participants and Jacksonville Symphony musician families. Contact Brian Ganan, Education & Community Engagement Manager for more information.
“When I moved to Jacksonville, I was looking for a way not only to continue my involvement with music and the violin, but also to form personal connections with peers who shared my interests. Through the JSYO, I found a community of incredibly talented young people who were all passionate about the study and performance of music. I’ve grown as a player and as a person, and will be forever grateful for my time with the JSYO.”Ava Hampton, Violin, JSYO Philharmonic
“Learning to play the cello has been a great experience. I enjoy rehearsing with my friends and having such a great conductor. The music we play is beautiful and it is such a wonderful feeling to be on stage performing in Jacoby Hall!”Finley Petchauer, Cello, JSYO Encore Strings
“The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras have afforded me the opportunity to expand my musicianship in a community of some of my best friends. Every week, I am given more opportunities to improve my craft, as well as, perform with some of the best musicians in the area. I am proud to have been a part of the JSYO family for almost four years and to have worked with such a talented and dedicated director.”Patrick Clarke, Principal Trumpet, JSYO Philharmonic
“Working with the young musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras is always an inspiring experience. I am a huge advocate of this organization and the positive musical and personal impact it has on its students.”Melissa Barrett, Violin, Jacksonville Symphony