Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra

Questions about the Youth Orchestra? Contact the Youth Orchestra Manager (see Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Staff)

The mission of the Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra is to enrich the lives of Cape Fear area youth by providing talented young musicians with unique orchestral training and performing opportunities.
Background:Founded in 2002 and conducted by WSO Music Director Steven Errante, the orchestra draws its members from throughout the Lower Cape Fear area. The WSYO is intended as a complement to school music programs and we strongly encourage our members to participate in their school ensembles.
Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra
  • open to 9th – 12th grade youth (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion)
  • rehearsals are 7:30 – 9 p.m. Thursday evenings during school year at UNCW’s Cultural Arts Building
  • tuition is $125 per semester
  • the orchestra performs two or more times each semester.

    The Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra is an educational program of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.
    Membership: The WSYO is intended to compliment the important educational experience of the individual’s school music programs. Participation in both the WSYO and school ensemble is this program’s cornerstone, and helps ensures maximum music ensemble benefit and practical performance experience for students.
    Membership is open to all Cape Fear area youth in grades 9-12 who:
    1. submit an application
    2. participate in and are selected by the WSYO audition process
    3. pay tuition
    Auditions and Application: Audition times, music, and online application are here. Membership is for a year for those accepted in fall auditions and for a semester for those accepted at January auditions.
    Tuition: Tuition is $110.00 per member per semester, and is payable at the start of each semester upon notification of acceptance in the WSYO, following a successful audition.
    Scholarships: Scholarships may be granted to qualifying students, and are awarded on the basis of need. No full scholarships are given. Working scholarships, in exchange for partial deferred tuition amounts, may be arranged by the Youth Orchestra manager. Scholarships must be applied for in writing immediately following notification of acceptance and prior to the first rehearsal.
    Seating: Seating will be assigned at the time of audition. There will be seating challenges for the Spring semester.
    Music Deposit: No music deposit is required for each student before receiving a music folder. However, WSYO members are financially responsible for the music issued to them that is lost or defaced. Any marking in the music must be made lightly in soft pencil only. Music must be turned in: a)when requested by the conductor or youth orchestra manager; b)if you leave the orchestra, or c)at the end of the concert season.
    Rehearsals: Musicians are expected to prepare rehearsal material at home. Rehearsals begin promptly at the announced time. Musicians need to be there at least 15 minutes before the rehearsal begins so they can warm up and tune.
    During rehearsals, you are expected to follow the directions of the music director, conducting staff, general manager and other volunteer coordinators. Musicians are also expected to help maintain a wholesome atmosphere while focusing on the orchestral training.
    Rehearsal Schedule: Youth Orchestra: Thursdays 7:30-9:00 p.m.
    Attendance: 100 percent attendance is important to make a rehearsal worthwhile for the orchestra as a whole. Attendance is taken. Excused absence is permitted in cases of illness, emergency, or special circumstances pre-arranged with the general manager. Three (3) tardies are considered equal to one absence. To be considered on time, musicians need to be in their seats with instruments ready when the concertmaster begins the tuning process. Musicians with more than two absences before a concert may be asked not to perform in that concert.
    Concert Dress:
    Ladies: Floor length black dress; or black dress pants or floor length black skirt (no slits) with black dress shirt with sleeves (and no open midriff); black shoes - no sandals.
    Gentlemen: Black suit; white shirt; black bow tie; black shoes and black socks.