About the Orchestra (PYSO)


Orchestra Details
  • 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.
Membership Dues

As of 2017 the annual membership dues are $550 per student.


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. String players who are applying for orchestra dues assistance must
also apply for the Paul J. and Charlotta Ross Young Musicians Fund at The Pittsburgh
Foundation (information for the Ross Scholarship emailed by the second week of July).

Application Due: before August 25, 2017
Notification: September 30

Application Information

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.

Instruments for student use

Instruments that are available to current PYSO members for rehearsals and concerts include violin, bassoon, contrabassoon, E-flat clarinet, A clarinet, bass clarinet, English horn, timpani, various percussion instruments, harp, and piano.

Absence Policy


PYSO members must abide by the established Attendance Policy.

  • 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 Undertakes an overseas concert tour every three years, most recently in:
    • Central Europe (2005)
    • China (2008)
    • Italy (2011)
    • Central Europe (2014)
    • Spain (2017)


 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 perform as a soloist with the Orchestra.

For more opportunities, see this extensive list of area competitions and scholarship opportunities 


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