Powers Youth Orchestra

Powers Youth Orchestra

Age: Suggested ages 7-18

Cost: Full-year tuition (PYO String: $600, PYO Advanced String: $700, PYO Chamber: $850) + $20 registration fee; 10% discount for Powers private lesson students

Audition Required

The Powers Youth Orchestra (formerly the Massachusetts Youth Symphony Project) was founded in 2013 to help students build skills in both musicianship and leadership – to be their very best selves onstage and offstage.

Different from more competitive local orchestras, the PYO string, advanced string, and chamber ensembles are kept small so each student shines. We ask our orchestra students to aim for a higher level of growth and mastery and to really “own” their parts. No one gets lost in the shuffle!

Our conductors focus on building character, leadership, and teamwork in addition to the musical skills necessary for performing standard orchestral works at the highest caliber. Each season, we explore a wide array of music from Baroque, Classical, and Romantic to Contemporary and Popular styles. Students will also learn good rehearsal etiquette and the communicative and interpersonal skills vital to becoming leaders in the classroom, the rehearsal room, and beyond.

Individual attention from conductors and a challenging yet nurturing environment make the Powers Youth Orchestra a unique and unforgettable experience for young musicians.

Rehearsals and Performances

Weekly Saturday rehearsals begin in September and continue until the final concert in May.

The Powers Youth Orchestra performs twice each year – a mid-year concert in late January and a final spring concert in May. The spring concert features the 1st-place winner of the annual Martha B. Sosman Concerto Competition and Powers’ advanced chamber ensembles.

In past years the orchestras have appeared in concert venues at Cary Hall in Lexington, Arlington Town Hall, the Fenn School, Regis College Fine Arts Center, The Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College, and The 51 Walden Performing Arts Center in Concord.

PYO Chamber

Conductor: Steven Lipsitt

Suggested ages 12-18

A 25-30 member ensemble of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion

Explore chamber orchestra masterworks of the late 18th century through more recent works written by contemporary composers.

Past repertoire examples include:

  • Overture to Le Nozze di Figaro by W.A. Mozart
  • Symphony No 94 “The Surprise” by F.J. Haydn
  • Libertango by Astor Piazzolla
  • Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” by L.v Beethoven

PYO Advanced String

Conductor: Noah Dresser

Suggested ages 9-13

Improve basic fundamental skills of string playing and acquire new skills such as 3rd position, martele, spiccato, and sight-reading in a creative and participatory environment. Advanced string members act as mentors for the String Orchestra, practicing both with the PYO String ensemble and as their own ensemble for an additional 30 minutes each week.

Recent repertoire includes:

  • Appalachian Suite by Douglas Wagner
  • Musette and Minuet by J.S. Bach
  • “Nimrod” from Variations on an Original Theme by Edward Elgar
  • “Main Title” from Star Wars by John Williams

PYO String

Conductor: Noah Dresser

Suggested ages 7-11

A beginner string ensemble open to those with limited or no orchestra experience.

Improve essential large ensemble skills like following a conductor, music reading, rhythm development, and musical interpretation. The skills learned in this class will prepare students for entrance into the next level of the Powers Youth Orchestra.

Placement Auditions for the 2019-2020 Season!

We’re holding auditions for the Powers Youth Orchestra on an ongoing basis. Scroll down to read the audition requirements. Current orchestra students planning to continue in the same level need not audition again.

Audition process for new orchestra students:

Submit an online audition form to schedule an individual placement audition:

Schedule your audition

Pay your audition fee of $30 per student. Click here to access ASAP, our online registration site:

Pay audition fee

Once we have received your audition webform and audition fee, a staff member will contact you to schedule and confirm your audition time. Please read our audition requirements below to prepare for your audition.

You will be notified of acceptance shortly after your audition.

Audition Requirements:

PYO String / PYO Advanced String:

  • Must be able to read music and have been playing for at least one year (typically studying at a level equivalent to Suzuki Book 3 or higher)
  • One 2-octave scale of your choice
  • Two contrasting pieces of your choice
  • Sight-reading

PYO Chamber:

Strings

  • All 3-octave major scales through 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • One 3-octave minor scale of your choice
  • Two contrasting solo pieces of your choice: One should be fast and technical. The other should be slow and lyrical. The pieces can be two movements from the same concerto or sonata, or they can be two entirely different pieces. Your solo selections should demonstrate your highest technical skills and knowledge of style, including shifting, articulation, and expression.
  • Sight-reading

Woodwinds / Brass

  • All major scales through 4 sharps and 4 flats (1 or 2 octaves, depending on applicant’s range)
  • One minor scale of your choice (1 or 2 octaves, depending on applicant’s range)
  • Two contrasting solo pieces of your choice: One should be fast and technical. The other should be slow and lyrical. The pieces can be two movements from the same concerto or sonata, or they can be two entirely different pieces. Your solo selections should demonstrate your highest technical skills and knowledge of style, including shifting, articulation, and expression.
  • Sight-reading

Percussion

  • One solo piece on mallets
  • One solo piece on timpani (drums are provided for audition)

Registration for accepted & continuing orchestra students

Use the class registration buttons below to access ASAP, our online registration site (you will be asked to create an account) and register for the appropriate orchestra group. Your payment will include the $20 fall registration fee and full tuition for the Powers Youth Orchestra program, unless a payment plan has been arranged.

Have you received financial aid, a payment plan, or a merit scholarship? Please call the Registrar to make sure we have correctly processed your registration and any applicable changes in tuition.

Still have questions?

PYO String

Schedule: Saturdays 12:30-1:30 PM

Location: 17 Clark Street (All Saints' Church)

Instructors:

Dates: Sep 14 - May 30

PYO Advanced String

Schedule: Saturdays 12:30-2:00 PM

Location: 17 Clark Street (All Saints' Church)

Instructors:

Dates: Sep 14 - May 30

PYO Chamber

Schedule: Saturdays 3:00-5:00 PM

Location: 17 Clark Street (All Saints' Church)

Instructors:

Dates: Sep 14 - May 30

Program Sponsors

Thank you to Johnson String Instrument, our recommended source for many string instruments, for their support of our orchestra program.

Johnson String Instrument