Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra

(ages 13-18)

Advanced Musicianship

Interim Conductor, Jim Stopher
Director of Education & Community Engagement, Andrei Gorchov

photo of youth orchestra

Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra
Since 1954, the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra, currently under the direction of interim conductor, Jim Stopher, has provided musicians ages 13-18 with the opportunity to participate in a rich and rewarding orchestral community. The September-to-May orchestral season offers a range of performances and experiences. The orchestra is composed of approximately 80 auditioned high school and middle school musicians from Marin, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Recent performances of standard orchestral repertoire include: Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Smetana’s The Moldau, Brahms’ Hungarian Dances No.’s 1, 5, & 6, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture in a special side-by-side performance with the Marin Symphony Orchestra. See MSYO YouTube Playlist.

Other opportunities inlcude:

  • An exclusive recording project at Skywalker Sound in Nicasio
  • On-stage sit-ins with orchestral sections during Marin Symphony rehearsals
  • Coaching sessions from Marin Symphony players
  • Rehearsals conducted by the Marin Symphony Maestro

Click Here for Examples of Past MSYO Repertoire

Are you interested in becoming a member of one of our youth orchestras?
Youth ensemble annual auditions occur each September, with an option to audition mid-year in January.
See our Audition Requirements.

Sundays, 3:00 – 6:00pm, College of Marin Performing Arts Building, Kentfield

Requirements: Participant age ranges from 12-18. Students must study privately with a teacher on their orchestral instrument and we encourage all of our students to participate in their school music programs. Most members in the orchestra have been playing their instrument for four years or longer.  Students are required to set aside time outside of rehearsals to learn their music and are strongly urged to work on their parts with private teachers at their teachers’ convenience.

Players should demonstrate full, clear tone production with vibrato if applicable. Players should have complete control over entire instrument range and demonstrate command in tone, intonation, and articulation. Players should be able to demonstrate scales up to four sharps and four flats in as many octaves as possible (3 octaves where possible, 2 octaves otherwise), followed by the arpeggios.

Side-by-Side Concert with Marin Symphony Orchestra:
For the Family Concert each spring, the Youth Orchestra performs onstage alongside their professional counterparts. This is a great chance to learn from the professionals and to prepare for a performance for a symphony audience. Past Side-by-Sides have included Brahms’Academic Festival Overture, and Von Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture.

Small Group Appearances:
Members of the Youth Orchestra have the opportunity to participate in small group or individual performances through “busking” before Masterworks concerts, and at special holiday venues. Other outreach community opportunities may include retirement homes and elementary schools. Part of the funds raised may help to finance tours or other current projects.

Additional benefits: Members of the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra are granted free admission to all Marin Symphony concerts in Marin Center (Marin Symphony Holiday Concerts and Home Concerts excluded). They also receive family member discounts entitling the purchase of two Marin Symphony concert tickets for the price of one. When possible, the Marin Symphony seeks to provide opportunities during the orchestral season where MSYO members receive mentoring and coaching from members of the Marin Symphony orchestra.

Tuition for both semesters is $900 per student, payable in full by the first rehearsal. Note that payment by credit card will incur additional processing fees.

Membership in the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra is by audition only.

Click here to meet Marin Symphony Youth Programs Staff

Questions? Need more information? Contact Andrei Gorchov, Education Director, at 415.479.8105 or

Marin Symphony Youth Programs

c/o The Marin Symphony
4340 Redwood Highway, Suite 409C
San Rafael, CA  94903
Phone: 415.479.8105