About Orchestra Membership
Overview of the Orchestra Progam
- Regular rehearsals take place on weekends, September through May, primarily at Heinz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh. The usual time is Sunday evening but rehearsals can also be scheduled on other days from time to time.
- Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conduct coaching sessions (sectionals) at various times throughout the season.
- PYSO is comprised of approximately 90 to 100 musicians, whose ages are usually 14-20
- PYSO accepts members through highly competitive annual auditions.
- The orchestra utilizes conductors and coaches from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, although they are independently engaged by PYSO.
- PYSO is broadcast regularly on WQED-FM.
- PYSO presents concerts at Heinz Hall, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, Carnegie Music Hall and various outreach locations.
- PSYO has won awards in national and international competition and was selected as one of the top six youth orchestras in the United States to participate in the 2002 National Youth Orchestra Festival.
As of 2019 the annual membership dues are $550 per student. Scholarship assistance is available.
Financial assistance (scholarships) are available, primarily based on need. No student is ever turned away because he/she cannot afford to pay the membership dues.
Some scholarship assistance based on financial need and merit may be available for membership dues and tour support. Funds are limited and scholarship awards may not meet the full amount of your request.
A link to the online application will be posted in June.
Instruments for student use
Instruments that are available to current PYSO members for rehearsals and concerts include violin, bassoon, contrabassoon, flute, E-flat clarinet, A clarinet, bass clarinet, English horn, timpani, various percussion instruments, harp, and piano.
Attendance and Absences
PYSO members must abide by the established Attendance Policy.
- For the 2019-2020 Season, the orchestra will be touring the Baltics and Scandinavia in June 2020.
- During tour years, all current members are expected to participate in the tour.
- Students are assessed fees for tours; these fees are in addition to the annual membership dues. Financial assistance (scholarships) will be available, based on need or merit.
- PYSO has undertaken an overseas concert tour recently in:
- Central Europe (2005)
- China (2008)
- Italy (2011)
- Central Europe (2014)
- Spain (2017)
Competitions for Members
The PYSO Concerto Competition takes place once each year, usually in the winter. It is open only to members of the orchestra. The winner may then perform as a soloist with the Orchestra.
The Student Conducting Competition takes place most years, preceded by conducting workshops. The winner may conduct a short piece on one of PYSO’s concerts.