Youth Symphony is part of the music education programs for the San Luis Obispo Symphony. In other words, the San Luis Obispo Symphony Youth Symphony! In this program, students learn the skills and art of performing in an ensemble. With five ensembles to choose from (Concert Orchestra, Academy String Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, Preparatory Strings, and Super Bows!) there is a place for every student of any skill level (minimum requirement of one year in Strings in the schools, school music program, and/or private instruction). In our efforts to train students to become musicians, auditions take place every year and are a requirement to participate in the program (except Super Bows!).

Concert Orchestra

The Concert Orchestra has been training tomorrow’s classical musicians since 1965. Now in its 54th year, the Concert Orchestra consists of musicians from 7th - 12th grade. These committed young people comprise the organization’s most advanced string, woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians; and perform the most difficult repertoire of the five ensembles. In 2003, Concert Orchestra toured Europe and toured British Columbia in 2007. In June 2010, the ensemble toured to San Diego and Santa Barbara with a tour to Chicago, Illinois in 2013. Most recently in June of 2016, they toured to Alaska.  


The Symphonic Winds ensemble consists of intermediate and advanced woodwind, brass and percussion musicians who have two or more years experience on their instrument.  This ensemble performs challenging works for wind orchestra.  In addition to the regular rehearsal schedule, students are REQUIRED to participate in a Symphonic Winds Clinic each spring. Additional fee for clinic.


Academy String Orchestra

This intermediate string orchestra consists of students with four or more years playing experience. The Academy String Orchestra performs standard music literature from Baroque through modern composers with an appreciation of musical styles for each period through sectional and full ensemble rehearsals.  Solo opportunities exist for outstanding members.


Preparatory Strings 

Preparatory Strings is a string orchestra for musicians who have played their instruments two years or more.  It requires reading and counting simple rhythms.  Listening and ensemble skills are stressed, providing a sound foundation for future orchestra participation.  The music literature performed includes classical, popular and folk.  This is a dynamic and challenging group that has developed significantly in the last few years.


Super Bows!

Super Bows! is a first ensemble experience for string students who have played their instruments for one year or more.  Students should be able to read notes on the A and D string and should also be familiar with quarter notes, eighth notes and whole notes. There is no audition necessary.  For more information and to regitster for Super Bows!, click here.