Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras

The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (JSYO) serves more than 350 talented musicians from all over Northeast Florida through six levels of ensembles – two full orchestras and four levels of string ensembles – that vary by repertoire and technical advancement. The JSYO season begins in September and ends in mid-May but includes holiday breaks.
View Upcoming JSYO Performances

About the JSYO

Founded in 1993, the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (JSYO) are Northeast Florida’s premier developmental orchestral ensembles serving more than 350 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.

The six levels of ensembles enable the JSYO to serve the needs of all musicians with individualized, ability-specific instruction. JSYO enriches orchestral instruction by guiding 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 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.


The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras hold competitive auditions each spring to form its membership for the following school year. Auditions for the JSYO 2022/23 season were held online between April 15th and June 1st, 2022. Although the deadline to submit JSYO auditions for priority consideration has passed, the JSYO will continue to accept auditions beyond this deadline to fill positions as needed. Interested in auditioning? Learn more below!
Questions? Contact Kurtis Henderson, Manager of Music Education (JSYO) or email [email protected].


Get to know the exceptional conductors of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras!


Explore the many ensembles of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras - there's something for every level of musician!

Tuition Assistance & Scholarships

Limited need-based tuition assistance is available to help defray the cost of participating in the JSYO, although equitable tuition deposits are required. Payment plans are also available. Tuition discounts are available for multiple sibling participants and Jacksonville Symphony musician families. Admission to JSYO is always based upon merit and never on a student’s ability to pay tuition.

Please contact Kurtis Henderson, Manager of Music Education (JSYO) with any questions.
Download the Application


“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
“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
“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