Pasadena, CA – The Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) invites all young musicians aged from 11-18 to audition for the PYSO’s upcoming 2016-2017 season. As a centerpiece of the Pasadena Symphony Association’s education initiatives, the PYSO program has continually offered robust musical training and personal development for young musicians throughout the San Gabriel Valley for more than 40 years. PYSO fosters dedication, excellence, fellowship, and passion in the development of outstanding young musicians and leaders of the future.

Auditions will be held at May 21 & 22 at Oak Ave. Intermediate School, 6623 Oak Ave, Temple City, CA from 8:30am to 5:00pm. All public, parochial, private and home school students are eligible to participate in the program. Applications can be found online here:

2016-17 PYSO Audition Application

“Our commitment to music education reaches far beyond the weekly instruction we offer to students; the PYSO serves as a resource to families to help boost each student’s overall learning curriculum from grades 4 through 12.  We’re shaping today’s youth to become community leaders of tomorrow,” stated Chief Executive Officer Lora Unger of the Pasadena Symphony Association.

PYSO is comprised of four challenging and rigorous ensembles: PYSO Philharmonic, PYSO Symphony, PYSO String Orchestra, PYSO Wind Ensemble. Placement in each ensemble is contingent upon space availability, instrumentation needs, and audition quality. Weekly rehearsals follow the academic school year beginning in September and ending in May.

The Pasadena Symphony Association partners with many venerable institutions throughout Pasadena to provide a quality educational experience for participants of the PYSO program. Thanks to the generosity of Pasadena City College, the Pasadena Unified School District, the Huntington Library, among other community partners, PYSO students rehearse and perform in venues that allow for collaborative learning and enrichment.

All four groups perform multiple times each season at a variety of venues throughout Southern California, including Big Bear, Disneyland and at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. PYSO ensembles travel each year to perform, with recent performances including Carnegie Hall as part of the New York “Sounds of Summer” International Music Festival.


  • What: Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras Auditions
  • When: May 21 & 22
  • Where: Oak Ave Intermediate School | 6623 Oak Ave, Temple City
  • Cost: $30 due at time of audition
  • Deadline: Application must be completed in advance by May 20th. Applications available online here: 2016-17 PYSO Audition Application



Bruce Kiesling – PYSO Philharmonic Conductor

Schizo-musical, Bruce is often confused about what kind of music he loves the most. All of his time on the podium suggests he’s a “classical” guy, but he’s also been seen on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl conducting with Stevie Wonder and Latin superstars Juanes and Gloria Estefan.

His current conducting positions include staff positions with the Pasadena Symphony and the Tulare County Symphony. As music director of the latter, ticket sales and sponsorships have increased to record levels and his concert comments and insider stories have become popular additions to programs. The orchestra’s artistic profile has grown as well, including this season’s performance of “The Rite of Spring,” a cycle of all of the symphonies of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, and the continuation of a Mahler cycle. Bruce’s other passion is music education, where regularly works with outstanding youth orchestra programs. For five years, Bruce was the YOLA conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic where he lead multiple orchestras of different levels including most of the 700 students at YOLA’s three sites.  YOLA is Gustavo Dudamel’s signature music education program, which brings free-of-charge musical opportunities to underserved youth in Los Angeles. In addition, he has been the music director of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Philharmonic for the past two years.

Bruce holds graduate degrees from the University of Michigan, The University of Miami, and The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. More recently, 2013 saw a guest appearance with the Pacific Symphony and also Bruce’s appointments with the Pasadena Symphony (as assistant conductor) and the Pasadena Youth Symphony Philharmonic (as Music Director). 2015 opens with a performance with the Long Beach Symphony in January.

 Jack Taylor – PYSO Symphony Conductor

Mr. Taylor, a former member of PYSO, is now recognized as one of the top music educators in Southern California. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in Music Education from Southern Oregon University. His background of excellence in music training and his passion for teaching students provides a well-balanced approach for music education. Mr. Taylor has taught music in Temple City for nine years at the elementary and intermediate school levels. His groups consistently receive superior ratings at area music festivals. In addition to his groups at Temple City, Mr. Taylor serves as the conductor of the Pasadena City College Community Concert Band and the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra.

Pin Chen – String Orchestra Conductor

Pin Chen began studying the violin with her father at the age of six and has been teaching private violin and viola lessons since she was 14 years old. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental and general music education with Department Honors from Northwestern University. Ms. Chen is currently Orchestra Director at Arcadia High School, which boasts one of the largest school orchestra programs in the country. She is the President and Founder of Crescendo Young Musicians Guild, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for music education, performance, and community service for youth of all socio-economic backgrounds in the LA area. Ms. Chen is listed in the Cambridge Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals and is an active member of the MTAC, SCSBOA, CMEA, and MENC.

Gary Yearick – Wind Ensemble Conductor

Gary received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Long Beach State University in 1979. He has a Single Subject Credential in Music, and a Junior College Life Credential. Gary has taught instrumental music at Temple City High School, Oak Ave. Intermediate School in Temple City, and currently teaches at Oaks Middle School in Ontario. Gary has been a member of the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association since 1980. He has been a PAC Judge since 1987, a Head Judge since 1991, and currently is VP, Parade Adjudication. He has been member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association since 1987. Gary enjoys sporting events, live concerts and spending time with his family. Gary has 3 grown children and resides in Alta Loma, with his wife Pamela.


Recent Acclaim for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS

“The Pasadena Symphony signals a new direction…teeming with vitality…dripping with opulent, sexy emotion.” Los Angeles Times.

“…full of pulsating energy from first note to last… the strings were lushly resonant, the wind principals were at the top of their games, and the brass rang out with gleaming vigor.” –Pasadena Star News.

Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians.  With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor.  The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, is the  Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded  Marvin Hamlisch in the newly created Marvin Hamlisch Chair.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) comprised of five performing ensembles, with over 250 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region.  The PYSO Symphony often performs on the popular television show GLEE.

The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.