The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (JSYO) serves more than 230 young 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. Each spring, students either interview (Jump Start Strings) or participate in competitive auditions (all other ensembles) to join the JSYO for the following school year.
JUMP START STRINGS
Comparable Levels: ASTA Grade 1, FOA Grade E, Suzuki Method Early Bk 1, Essential Elements Bk 1
Jump Start Strings is a high-energy beginning-level string methods class for musicians with one year of instrumental instruction or less, including students seeking to pick up their first string instrument. Students participate in fun activities during rehearsal each Sunday to jump start their musical skills and instrument technique, helping them to establish proper practice and rehearsal methods. The warm and inclusive atmosphere of Jump Start Strings helps students develop their interest in playing a string instrument.
Comparable Levels: ASTA Grade 1-1.5, Grade E, Suzuki Method Bks 1-2, Essential Elements Bks 1-2
Foundation Strings is a string orchestra for advancing beginner musicians who are new to orchestral playing.
Comparable Levels: ASTA Grade 2, FOA Grade D, Suzuki Method Books 2-4
Encore Strings is a string orchestra for intermediate-level musicians. Musicians in this ensemble are a few years into study on a string instrument and are familiar with ensemble playing.
Comparable levels – ASTA Grade 2- 3.5, FOA Grade C & B, Suzuki Method Books 3-5
Premier Strings is comprised of string players at an intermediate and advancing level. This ensemble performs a combination of original music and arrangements of standard orchestral repertoire. Members are typically several years into study on a string instrument, are experienced with ensemble playing, and are generally in middle school or early high school. Students also participate in a day-long retreat to focus on team building and ensemble playing.
Comparable Levels: ASTA Grade 4, FOA Grade B, Suzuki Method Books 6-8; FBA Grade 4
Repertory Orchestra consists of intermediate and advanced musicians, typically in middle and high school. This full orchestra performs arrangements of standard works from the orchestral literature. Repertory Orchestra students also have the opportunity to perform side-by-side with the Jacksonville Symphony. Students also participate in a day-long retreat to focus on team building and ensemble playing.
Comparable Levels: ASTA Grades 5-6, FOA Grade A; FBA Grade 5 and up
Philharmonic consists of some of the most advanced and pre-professional young musicians in Northeast Florida. Members range from high school through college, performing challenging works in the standard orchestral literature. Philharmonic students also have the opportunity to participate in the Young Artists Concerto Competition and to perform side-by-side with the Jacksonville Symphony. Students also participate in a 2-day retreat to focus on team building and ensemble playing.