The YYSO creates a unique opportunity for elite youth musicians to learn a challenging repertoire with peers, perform in a variety of venues and expand their perspectives of what it means to be a musician.
Since 1957, the York Youth Symphony Orchestra (YYSO) has added a sparkling dimension to York’s cultural scene. By 1967, there were so many young musicians seeking a place in the YYSO, that a second orchestra—the York Junior Symphony Orchestra—was formed.
The conductors of the YYSO—A. Reginald Fink, Holman James, George Waldman, James Christian Pfohl, Madilyn Klepper, Catherine Overhauser, Dr. Robert Hart Baker, Wayne Allen Romer, Gregory Woodbridge, and Brian Buterbaugh—have all had a special talent for eliciting the best performances from young musicians.
Special performances and achievements have included: Dr. Baker and the Heinz Hall concert with the Harlem Boy’s Choir, a performance at Carnegie Hall in 1994 that culminated in a standing ovation, and Wayne Romer with his visionary and highly successful collaborative concerts.
In 2018, the YYSO celebrated it's 60th anniversaries alongside the York Junior Symphony Orchestra.
The 2018-2019 YYSO is comprised of 105 musicians from grades 9-12, representing 14 different schools and home-schooled students from York and Adams Counties.
In 2018, the YYSO established its first chamber music program. The program connected YYSO students with York Symphony Orchestra members. The students underneath the YSO coaches prepared the first YYSO Chamber Recital.
Annually, the YYSO provides its members with educational scholarships for music summer camps and colleges.
The orchestra—a charter member of the Cultural Alliance of York—is governed by a Board of Directors composed of music educators, parents of orchestra members, and interested members of the community.
As the YYSO looks to the future, the goal remains the same—to provide an opportunity for young, talented musicians to develop their skills and participate in an exceptional musical experience.