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Youth Orchestra

An update on the 21/22 Youth Orchestra season

The KWS YOP is excited to start preparations for a transitional 2021-22 season.

We expect to resume activities in the fall in a temporarily restructured form, while observing appropriate public health guidelines.   In the fall we plan to offer Youth Strings, Youth Sinfonia and Youth Orchestra String division only. The fall program is envisioned with physical distancing as a requirement. There is a strong possibility that all rehearsal times will be limited to one hour and the number of students in each ensemble will be capped at 20. There might be more than one group available in each level, depending on number of candidates. The rehearsal schedule will be determined in late summer subject to space availability. We hope that our Preludium Strings and YO Wind, Brass and Percussion sections can be offered again in winter 2022, subject to public health guidelines.

Candidates for the three levels will be accepted through a simplified audition in the early fall. The audition application will be available on our website in August. Please check our Audition Information page for more details.

Please keep in mind that all students participating this fall will be required to be able to tune their instruments without any assistance. These plans will be revaluated, subject to public health guidelines, and posted as the situation evolves. Please check back in August and stay safe.


Established in the fall of 1966 as Kitchener-Waterloo Junior Symphony, the KWS Youth Orchestra Program (YOP) has developed into a fine multi-level orchestral training platform with four ensembles: Preludium Strings (entry level string ensemble), Youth Strings (junior level string ensemble), Youth Sinfonia (intermediate level string ensemble) and the Youth Orchestra (advanced level symphony orchestra). The YOP’s mission is to empower student musicians to discover their ensemble performance potential in a fun, challenging and safe environment. Our leading idea of inclusivity and versatility provides paths for nurturing future music enthusiasts, listeners, as well as professional and community musicians alike.

The KWS YOP season consist of weekly rehearsals (mid-September through April), sectionals coached by KWS musicians, specialized sessions with guest coaches and concert performances in Raffi Armenian Theater of the Centre In The Square. In addition, YOP offers community outreach performances, side-by-side (collaborative) performances among YOP ensembles, side-by-side performances of Youth Orchestra (advanced level symphony orchestra) with the KW Symphony, an annual Concerto Competition for YO members, retreats, music-filled trips to hear the KW Symphony, social activities and optional Chamber Music training under the tutelage of KWS musicians.

Barb Kaplanek
Education and Community Programs Manager- Youth Orchestra and Schools
519-745-4711 ext. 390
bkaplanek@kwsymphony.on.ca

Youth Orchestra Program Ensembles

The Youth Strings
Junior Level String Ensemble

Provides orchestral performance instruction for string players with some ensemble experience, reading and playing at or above Grade 3 RCM or Suzuki Book III. The provided RCM / Suzuki playing levels are suggested guidelines only.

Rehearsals: Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7:00 pm. September through April, Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, 36 King St W, Kitchener

Conductor: Matthew Jones

Fee: Fees for the upcoming season are to be determined.

Youth Sinfonia
Intermediate Level String Ensemble

Provides instruction for string players with some ensemble experience playing at or above Grade 6 RCM or Suzuki Book V. The provided RCM / Suzuki playing levels are suggested guidelines only.

Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, September through April, Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, 36 King St W Kitchener

Conductor: Allene Chomyn

Fee: Fees for the upcoming season are to be determined.

Youth Orchestra
Advanced Level Symphony Orchestra

Provides the thrilling experience of advanced orchestral practice and performance of various masterworks in para-professional settings. In addition to the weekly rehearsals, sectionals coached by KWS musicians, retreats, specialized sessions with guest coaches, community outreach performances, side-by-side performances with other YOP ensembles and with the KW Symphony, chamber music concerts and full orchestral performances, Youth Orchestra members will have an opportunity to compete in the annual Concerto Competition. Applicants should play at or above Grade 8 RCM or Suzuki Book VII (Strings). The provided RCM / Suzuki playing levels are suggested guidelines only.

Rehearsals: Sundays, 1:00 to 3:30 pm, September through April, Wilfrid Laurier University, Faculty of Music.

Conductor: Matthew Jones

Fee: Fees for the upcoming season are to be determined.

Chamber Music Program
Available for all levels

The YOP Chamber Music Program (CMP) provides chamber music instruction for all instrumentalists. Existing and new groups are welcome, as well as individual candidates who based on availability will be organized in ensembles (trios, quartets, etc.).

Training is provided by members of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. The instruction focuses on leadership and abilities to follow, teamwork and active listening. The exploration of a wide range of chamber music repertoire is encouraged. This program provides a fun and challenging way to create music, hone skills and expand performance opportunities.

The CMP concert will be scheduled towards the end of the season; other opportunities may include outreach events and Centre In The Square lobby performances.

Fee: TBD based on number of participants and sessions.