Originally established as a single symphony orchestra, the California Youth Symphony has grown dramatically in the past 20 years and now offers eight programs, covering all symphonic instruments, for students ages 8 to 18. Our total enrollment exceeds 500 young musicians, representing over 100 Bay Area schools from Marin County to Gilroy. Our performance venues have expanded from the Peninsula and South Bay to include the East Bay, as well as run-out concerts in both Davis and Sacramento. The following is a list of CYS programs:
The Senior Orchestra is our premiere symphonic ensemble, comprising approximately 110 outstanding instrumentalists. The extremely high level of technical and musical excellence allows the orchestra to perform a wide range of demanding orchestral repertoire, from Classical and Romantic period masterpieces to world premieres.
The CYS Associate Orchestra came into existence in 1995, and has grown in the past 20 years from a chamber-sized ensemble to a 100-piece full symphony orchestra which performs symphonic music of the highest caliber. The CYS Associate Orchestra provides advanced orchestral training to predominantly high school aged student musicians.
Led by UC Davis Concert Band Director, Pete Nowlen, the CYS Wind Symphony performs a mix of wind classics, orchestral transcriptions and exciting new repertoire for advanced wind ensemble. Recent performances have included works of Bernstein, Maslanka, Hisaishi, Marquez and Chen Yi, and new works of Shuying Li, Asha Srinivasan, Yan Pang and Soo-Hyun Park.
The CYS String Ensemble program has grown steadily from one small string ensemble to two full string ensembles: the Intermezzi Strings and the Virtuosi Strings, totaling 130 students. The Intermezzi and Virtuosi Ensembles perform major works from the standard string orchestral and chamber music literature...
The CYS Wind Ensemble program contains two groups: the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds. Symphonic bands feature woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and play a wide variety of music that is similar to symphony orchestras but without strings.