Youth Symphonies

Chattanooga Youth Symphony

The Chattanooga Youth Symphony was founded in 1949 to give area students the opportunity to perform in a full orchestra. The CSO Youth Orchestras now consist of four performing groups including a Symphony Orchestra, a Philharmonic Orchestra, an Etude String Orchestra and a Prelude String Orchestra. ASTA members Gary Wilkes and Sandy Morris direct the Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras respectively.

Ethos Youth Ensembles

Ethos Youth Ensembles service students in Middle Tennessee, Northern Alabama, and Southern Kentucky from grades 2 through 12. Comprised of five instrumental ensembles and a graded children’s choir program, the Ethos Ensembles put on four concerts each year as a part of the Ethos Concert Series in addition to invited performances at venues across Tennessee. Dr. Brian T. Russell is the Executive Director.

Grace Notes Orchestra with the Community School of the Arts, Clarksville

The Grace Notes Orchestra is conducted by APSU alumna Simone Parker and was created in 2010 to enhance the musical opportunities for string students in the Community School of the Arts (housed at Austin Peay State University) and the Clarksville area.

Prelude and Crescendo Division:

Open to all students of all ages, comfortable with Suzuki Book 1 Minuet No. 3 or equivalent level of difficulty. Weekly attendance in group lessons and individual instruction is preferred. Repertoire will be chosen from grade levels 1 or 2 and is selected to develop basic skills, such as cohesive sound production and ensemble playing. Audition materials include C, D, G scales, a prepared piece and sight-reading.

Finale Division:

Open to all students of all ages, comfortable with note reading and late Suzuki Book 3/beginning Book 4 or equivalent level of difficulty. Teacher recommendation is preferred. Repertoire will be chosen from grade levels 3 or 4 and is selected to build fluency in shifting and playing in the first three positions with use of vibrato. Audition materials include scales with no more than 3 sharps/flats (2-3 octaves), a prepared piece, sight-reading, and note reading.

The Jackson Symphony Youth Orchestra

The Jackson Symphony Youth Orchestra was founded in 1998 in order to help provide quality educational opportunities for young musicians in West Tennessee. The Jackson Symphony Youth Orchestras include the Sinfonia Strings and the Jackson Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Knoxville Youth Symphony

The Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association, currently in its 36th season, is an auditioned full symphonic orchestra comprised of some of the area's most talented young musicians. Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras comprise five ensembles: the Youth Symphony, the Youth Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonia, the Philharmonia and the Junior Philharmonia. ASTA member Kathy Hart-Reilly is the association manager and the Sinfonia conductor. ASTA members Wesley Baldwin and Katie Hutchinson conduct the Youth Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia respectively.

Memphis Youth Symphony Program

The mission of the Memphis Youth Symphony program is to provide and augment a quality education in classical music to as many talented young musicians of the Mid-South as possible through the performance of symphonic and chamber music. Its four orchestras include the Youth Symphony, the String Orchestra, the String Sinfonia and the String Ensemble. ASTA member Karla Philipp conducts the String Ensemble and the String Sinfonia.


The Nashville Youth Orchestra Program includes the Curb Youth Symphony, the Youth Repertory Orchestra, the Youth Strings, the Suzuki Reading Orchestra and the Beginning Reading Orchestra. Designed to reward and enhance the efforts of music students, the program provides unique opportunities for contact with orchestral literature and for performance with professional coaches and conductors. ASTA member Carol Nies directs the program and conducts the Curb Youth Symphony. ASTA member Sally McFadden conducts the Youth Repertory Orchestra. ASTA member Celeste Tuten conducts the Youth Strings, the Suzuki Reading Orchestra and the Beginning Reading Orchestra.

Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra

Entering its 49th season, the Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra (SMYO) recruits, trains and rehearses youth from northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Based in Kingsport, Tennessee, this regional symphonic youth orchestra is an educational project directed and underwritten by the Symphony of the Mountains. The SMYO is made up of two ensembles. The Youth Orchestra, conducted by ASTA member Mr. Ross Bader, is a full symphonic orchestra which performs orchestral repertoire ranging from standard classics to more contemporary selections. The Youth String Ensemble, conducted by Mrs. Kaitlyn Ferry, is now in its third year and is a group exclusively for string players. The String Ensemble prepares concert repertoire independently and serves as a preparatory setting for students who want to become members of the Youth Orchestra. Mrs. Joyce M. Brown is Manager of the Youth Orchestra and the Youth String Ensemble.

Tennessee Tech String Project





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