The Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) have continually offered robust musical training and personal development for young musicians throughout the San Gabriel Valley for more than 40 years. PYSO currently serves over 250 students in grades 6-12 and fosters dedication, excellence, fellowship, and passion in those who are not only outstanding young musicians, but outstanding young individuals.
PYSO is comprised of four challenging and rigorous ensembles that students must audition into: Philharmonic, Symphony, String Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble.
David Cubek, Conductor
Previously known as the Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra (PYMO) the PYSO Philharmonic began operating under the auspices of the Pasadena Symphony Association in May of 2013. This 75 piece ensemble consists of advanced wind, percussion, and string players and performs major symphonic works multiple times throughout the year
Jack Taylor, Conductor
The PYSO Symphony is a full symphony orchestra which works to expand student’s technical and rehearsal skills through repertoire which includes classical works as well as arrangements.
PYSO String Orchestra
Pin Chen, Conductor
This honors all-string ensemble has steadily developed into a prestigious aspect of PYSO. The String Orchestra provides intermediate to advanced violin, viola, cello, and string bass students a unique musical opportunity to experience vital musical growth, perform orchestral arrangements, and develop ensemble playing and technical skills, such as vibrato and shifting.
The String Orchestra provides a strong foundation for future orchestral playing experiences. For specific pieces, the PYSO Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra will combine for rehearsal and performances, giving musicians the opportunity to perform within a full symphony setting. The String Orchestra performs level 2.5 to 3.5 music.
PYSO Wind Ensemble
Gary Yearick, Conductor
The PYSO Wind Ensemble made its debut in 2007 as an outlet for wind, brass, and percussion musicians to learn and explore traditional band repertoire. Private lessons are encouraged but not required. This ensemble serves musicians with at least 2 years of playing experience by further developing their individual technical and ensemble skills. Technical skills include scales, dynamics and articulation studies. Ensemble skills include matching intonation between sections and ensemble, blend and balance as it relates to wind ensemble repertoire. This is a great foundation for those looking to excel in the PYSO Symphony. The PYSO Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra combine for rehearsals and performances, giving young musicians the opportunity to perform in a full symphony setting.
PYSO All City Orchestra
Kyle Smith and Melinda Rice, Conductors
The All City Orchestra is an education initiative launched by the Pasadena Symphony Association in 2012 for students of the Pasadena Unified School District. The program provides small group and full ensemble instruction for students in partnership with school district faculty. This tuition-free ensemble is only eligible for PUSD students in the 3rd to 6th grades enrolled in their school music programs.
Currently, the ACO rehearses at two schools in the PUSD – Field Elementary (on Tuesdays) and Jackson Elementary (on Mondays). If your child is eligible, please contact Alex Chu for more information or to sign up!