Founded in 1988, the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon (YSSO) organization includes two full orchestras, multiple chamber music ensembles and accomplished soloists. The concert season includes fourteen performances. Concerts feature standard literature, masterworks, orchestral favorites, commissioned music, film and musical theater scores, opera literature, concerti, arrangements for preparatory ensemble and chamber music. Repertoire include works by Mahler, Brahms, Beethoven, Higdon, Moncayo, Adams, Verdi, Holst, Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Hovhaness, Mendelssohn, Barber, Dvorák, Mozart, Haydn, Vaughan Williams, Rodgers, Bernstein and many others. To date, the YSSO has presented works by more than 125 composers. The YSSO has commissioned new music as well. Crater Lake Fantasy: Another Sky at Our Feet, by Mark Eliot Jacobs, premiered in May 2015. The Orchard City: Medford, Oregon 1913, also by Dr. Jacobs, premiered in 2013. The suites were commissioned by the YSSO organization to highlight the history, heritage and geography of southern Oregon. Concert Series performances are presented in professional venues in Grants Pass (Performing Arts Center), Medford (Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts) and Ashland (Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU Music Recital Hall). Chamber music concerts are presented in Jacksonville and Ashland. Outreach concerts are presented for the residents and staff of the Rogue Valley Manor. Cynthia Hutton is Music Director & Conductor and Sharon Wilson is Executive Director.
YSSO Education & Outreach Initiatives include sectional rehearsals, a Chamber Music Series, complimentary student tickets, Concerto Competition (for eligible advanced-level Youth Symphony musicians), Community Outreach Concerts and Scholarship Assistance (tuition or lesson assistance for current YSSO musicians). The initiatives offer additional performance opportunities and mentoring by professional musicians, encourage concert attendance, and help ensure access.
Musicians audition each year. Public and private school, home school and college musicians (ages 6-23) from throughout the region may audition for the Youth Orchestra (intermediate level) or Youth Symphony (advanced level). Rehearsals typically begin in late September/early October and continue through May.
The Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization guided by a volunteer governing board. Operations, programs and concerts are underwritten by annual gifts and contributions, foundation and agency grants, concert series partner (sponsor) support, concert series program advertising, ticket sales, special events and tuition.
For audition requirements and the audition schedule, or for information about concerts, tickets and special events, please contact the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon.