The Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO) has been training tomorrow’s leaders since 1972.  Now in its 50th year, PYSO is considered among the finest youth orchestras in the country and is the centerpiece of the Pasadena Symphony Association’s education program.

The PYSO serves students from 29 cities throughout Los Angeles County and the San Gabriel Valley, 17 school districts and 84 schools in both weekly afterschool ensemble rehearsals and supplemental in-class instruction within the Pasadena Unified School District.

Since its inception, the PYSO has toured internationally on many occasions to perform in some of the world’s greatest concert halls.

PYSO fosters dedication, excellence, fellowship, and passion in the development of those who are not only outstanding young musicians, but also outstanding young individuals. Our ensembles include All City Orchestra, Prelude Strings, Prelude Winds, Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, Symphony, Sinfonia, and Philharmonic. For more information on these ensembles, including rehearsal times, please visit our Ensembles page.

For more detailed information about ensembles click here.

For information regarding PYSO, please contact our Education and Community Engagement Manager, Alex Chu, at [email protected].

The PYSO has a rich history of touring locally, nationally, and internationally. Tours give students unparalleled opportunities to experience other cultures around the globe, perform in world-class venues, and make lifelong memories in the process! Students are strongly encouraged to participate in tours as they are offered, however tour participation is not mandatory for membership in the ensemble.


PYSO musicians are very busy with academics and social activities. However, an orchestra is much like any other team and cannot play its best without all of its teammates. All ensemble members (you!) are expected to attend every rehearsal and concert performance. It is important that each musician of PYSO realizes and fulfills their obligation to the conductor, sectional coaches, themselves and fellow musicians of the orchestra. Students need to arrive 15 minutes early in order to be tuned and ready to rehearse on time. Please take traffic issues into consideration as late arrivals are disruptive to a rehearsal. Parents who do not stay for rehearsal need to return on time. Students will not be left alone to wait for a ride. Parents and guests are welcome to stay and listen to all rehearsals except the rehearsal on the concert day. 

 The PYSO attendance policy is set forth as follows:
·         A musician may only miss a maximum of four (4) rehearsals during the course of the entire season. There are no excused absences allowed outside of these four. Additional absences (five or more) are grounds for a musician to be dismissed from their respective ensemble, at the discretion of the conductor and/or the Youth Orchestra Manager.
·         Musicians are expected to be in their seat, warmed up and prepared to begin rehearsal (e.g. tuning) at the rehearsal start time or designated call time.
·         A musician’s late arrival (tardiness) to rehearsal can be more disruptive than an absence. Three (3) late arrivals will be considered equal to one absence.

(3x Tardy = 1x Absence)
·         Musicians are asked to give at least 24 hours’ notice to the Youth Orchestra Manager if a rehearsal is going to be missed or if a musician will be arriving late.
·         Every musician is required to attend the final rehearsal prior to a concert, or they will not be allowed to participate in the concert performance.
·         Attendance at all concert performances is mandatory.


Orchestra members are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Courteous attention, punctuality, and good manners will lead to a productive rehearsal for all involved. It is expected that these courtesies will be extended to fellow musicians, staff, and volunteers. Inappropriate behavior may result in loss of membership. No cell phone use during rehearsal.

School Music Programs:

Orchestra members are expected to participate in their school music program to the satisfaction of their school music teacher, if there is a program for them. Participation in PYSO contributes to a well-rounded music education, and provides students with additional opportunities to develop musicianship, leadership, and ensemble playing skills that they can then bring back into their school programs. We encourage you to take a leadership role in your school program and set an example for your classmates who will often be inspired to reach the level of musicianship you have achieved.

Please inquire for 21-22 tuition: [email protected] 


California Arts Commission
Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts
Youssef & Kamel Mawardi Fund
Rose Hills Foundation

Special Individual Underwriting
support provided by:
Jack & Barbara Dawson
Janice Lee-McMahon & Brian McMahon