For Orchestra Members


Summer Break!

Starting back up in the Fall:
Saturday/Sunday, September 16-17 – Seating auditions (strings/winds/brass)
Sunday, September 24 – first full orchestra rehearsal

String Rotation FAQ's

by PYSO Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong

As part of giving you a taste of the professional world, the first big change you will notice this season is rotation within the string sections. Many world-class orchestras, including the PSO, are beginning to rotate string players so they have an opportunity to play in every part of the section. There are no assigned seats except for principals. Too often, young players are worried about how “high” or “low” they are sitting in a section. That may be a way to keep a high school orchestra motivated, but by being accepted into PYSO, you have shown the qualities needed to be a strong player no matter where you sit in the orchestra. Throughout the season, you will have an opportunity to contribute from every part of the section. I realize this will come as a big change to many of you and so I have prepared a short FAQ document that should answer many of the your questions and concerns. The bottom line is that you are a team, and a team is only as good as the sum of all its players. Just look at the great season the Pirates are having!

Why are we using rotation?
Many major US orchestras (New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Milwaukee, etc.) have begun rotating players in their string sections to create a more balanced sound throughout the section and keep players active and interested during the year. From a pedagogical perspective, it is even more important for a youth orchestra to use rotation so that every player has an opportunity to play in every part of their section. Playing in an orchestra is a team effort and every orchestra is only as strong as the sum of all its players. Placing the strongest players only in the front of a section does not encourage the style of teamwork I will be expecting.

How will rotation work?
Depending on the size of the section, players behind the co-principals (who will stay at the first stand), will rotate 3 or 5 seats forward at intermission. Because our current auditions were held for the fall and winter concerts, every player will be playing in four different positions (Fall 1st half, Fall 2nd half, Winter 1st half, Winter 2nd half).

How was the initial seating decided?
With the goal being a balanced string section from front to back, the coaches and myself kept notes on each player’s strengths and weaknesses. Some players have extraordinarily big sounds, or clear articulation, or very strong rhythm. Our goal was to spread similar players around the section so that the same balance would be kept even when the players rotate.

Is there an order for seating or ranking within a section?
No string rotation order is more important than any other. The order for the first half of the first concert (or any other) does not imply a ranking of players within a section.

When will the results of the string seating auditions be posted?
The results will be posted on the “Members Only” page of the PYSO website after 6:00 PM on Friday, September 11.

Why do seating auditions matter if everyone is rotating?
Seating auditions are still important for two reasons. Firstly, they determine concertmasters/principals. Secondly, they ensure the standard of playing in the orchestra. Each player is responsible to the rest of the orchestra and owes it to their colleagues to be prepared. In the future, I will require a second seating audition for any players not adequately prepared for their initial seating audition. That was not necessary for anyone who auditioned this fall and I hope that will continue to be the case.

How will I know how good my seating audition was?
Talk to me. I am happy to provide feedback on your audition. My hope is that you will hold yourself to your own high standard rather than whether you are better and worse than another player.

PYSO Roster 2016-17



  • Swata Alagar
  • Kerry Broker
  • Margaret Caballero
  • Emily Chen
  • Rebecca Chen
  • William Hasley
  • Minori Hayakawa
  • Enoch Hsiao
  • Lillian Hsiao
  • Hannah Ishizaki
  • Anne Jin
  • Devin Lai
  • Joanna Li
  • Richard Palermo
  • Tony Qin
  • William Wang


  • Aaron Berger
  • Rachel Chang
  • J. Oliver Choo
  • Evan Deddo
  • Leila Fanien
  • Anna Gorske
  • Maine Hoppo
  • Lena Ison
  • Cuna Kim
  • Sein Lee
  • Sophia Lee
  • Ella Li
  • William Lu
  • Daphne Nie
  • Nicholas Raczkiewicz
  • Chloe Yofan


  • Jim Cunningham IV
  • Brandon Falcona
  • Devin Moore
  • Nathanael Roberts
  • Roy Sun
  • Felix Veser

VIOLAS (cont’d)

  • Futen Wang
  • Janet Wang
  • Yosen Wang
  • Bohan Yao


  • Christopher Fedor
  • Michael Frontz
  • William Han
  • Young Kim
  • Jaemin Lee
  • Bo Yu Liang
  • Rufeng Ming
  • Ji-Yool Moon
  • Andrew Park
  • William Ren
  • Julia Solomon
  • Timothy Sutton


  • Rachel Martin
  • Alexis Schulte-Albert
  • Andreas Paljug


  • Kelsey Bares
  • Hannah Kim
  • Rebecca Scimio
  • Runa Shuda


  • Alexa Kroll
  • Stacy Mylin
  • Charles Sherk
  • Jack Whalen


  • Christopher Corbett
  • Alicia Gutierrez
  • Nathan Magley
  • Marie Vater


  • Ben Franks-Meinert
  • Philip Swigon
  • Ellie Urich


  • Jessica Greb
  • Alexander Kampas
  • William Sands
  • Reed Ulery


  • Michael Barkett
  • Courtney Labritz
  • Joel Montgomery
  • Mason Shay


  • Olivia Ames
  • Kevin Hannequin
  • Jonathan Perez


  • Mike Fleming


  • Liam Flaherty
  • Steven Kozlowski
  • Thomas Obusek
  • Ajay Wadhwani


  • Hannah Piston


  • Ariana Chiu

New Members for 2017-18

Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra


Amanda Zeng
Ashley Chung
Carolyn Carr
Caya Greenspan-Layman
Charlie Burton
Jean Kim
Josef D. Mueller
Jefferson Mei
Katie Liu
Matthew Alford
Nicole Jani
Zachary Lakkis

Seowon Chang
Hannah Litz
Lincoln Alkind
Elinor Caballero

Christopher Lee
Yunshu (Tina) Li

Edgar O’Connell
James Boston

Alexa Drecnik
Madison Ross
Ami Shaw

Elizabeth Mountz
Geoffrey Madge

Mitchell Dubin

Maya Waller

Ryan Fulton

Colton Dietz
Lukas Helsel

Amanda Kengor
Isabel Cardenes

(to be announced)






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