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Orchestra Guidelines


The New York Youth Symphony is unique among youth orchestras. With its sophisticated programming, performances in one of the world’s greatest concert halls, superb musical leadership from Music Director Michael Repper, new works commissioned from the nation’s brightest young composers, and professional-level attitude, it is indeed something special.

In order to maintain the high level of quality for which the orchestra is known, we are sharing our expectations for members of the orchestra for the season. Please contact the Orchestra Manager ( or the administrative staff at the NYYS office ( with any questions you may have about the guidelines or requirements of the program.

2019/20 Concerts

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2 PM
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage:

Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15, featuring Harmony Zhu, piano
Marco-Adrián Ramos: First Music commission and world premiere – title forthcoming
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op. 35

Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2 PM
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage:

Dvořák: Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 104, featuring Sterling Elliott, cello
Tanner Porter:  The Sycamore and the Oak (First Music commission and world premiere)
Respighi: Pines of Rome

Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 2 PM
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage:

Patrick O’Malley: Here, We Are Somewhere Else (First Music commission and world premiere)
Florence Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement, featuring Michelle Cann, piano
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major, “The Titan”

Concert Attire

Performance dress is formal black attire. 

Kickoff Weekend

Each fall the NYYS Orchestra goes on a Kickoff Weekend retreat. The 2019/20 retreat will take place from September 13-15, 2019 at Camp DeWolfe in Wading River, NY. Musicians will participate in intensive rehearsals and sectionals. Social activities will be held throughout the weekend and are a great way to meet members of the orchestra. Attendance is mandatory.


Fellowships are awarded to select principal players in the string, wind, brass, and percussion sections at the discretion of the Music Director. Fellows serve in special leadership roles in the orchestra and have additional requirements during the season, including performing on the Composition Program’s Orchestra Reading in March, 2020 and Composition Date in May, 2020.


The majority of rehearsals and sectionals will be held Sundays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, located at 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY. 

Attendance Guidelines

Students are allowed a maximum of two excused absences during each concert cycle, up to a total of five absences for the season. Please note that there are mandatory rehearsals and performances for each concert cycle. Mandatory dates are noted in the program calendar which is distributed upon acceptance to the program. Absences from mandatory events will result in dismissal from the concert and/or program, with the possible exception of a death in the family or a serious medical emergency.