History and Founder


1963: Plans solidify for a new orchestra for young musicians in Morro Bay.

1964-1965: Rehearsals begin with 10 students at the Morro Bay home of Wachtang “Botso” Korisheli.

1967-1968: The 45-member Youth Symphony presents its first stand-alone concert on November 19, l967.

1977-1978: Youth Symphony tours Guatemala.

1980-1981: Loal Davis becomes Youth Symphony conductor; Junior Strings Ensemble founded by Carol Kersten.

1988-1989: Ginette Reitz becomes Music Director for Youth Symphony.

1993-1994: Preparatory Strings Ensemble founded by Carol Kersten; 34 musicians attend Camp Ocean Pines Music Camp in Cambria.

1994-1995: Korisheli Scholarship Fund established by Botso.

1996-1997: Kent Nagano and Botso guest conduct December concert at the PAC.

2000-2001: Nancy Nagano becomes conductor for Youth Symphony.

2001-2002: Junior Strings, Junior Winds, and Youth Symphony participate in “Disney Magic Music Day” at Disneyland.

2002-2003: Youth Symphony members go on tour of Germany and Switzerland.

2004-2005: Youth Symphony participates in the National Orchestra Festival competition in Nevada and premiers Garry Eister’s “Executive Order 9066.”

2005-2006: Debut season for Academy Orchestra; SLO Youth Symphony merger with SLO Symphony on September 11, 2006.

2006-2007: In June 2007, Concert Orchestra toured Vancouver, British Columbia.

2013: "Botso" documentary is released to film festivals and wins Audience Choice awards. Youth Symphony goes on tour to Chicago and performs at Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

2015-2016: Youth Symphony toured in Alaska.