May 11, 2023

Pasadena, CA – The Pasadena Symphony Association is pleased to announce the expansion of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO). The PYSO will expand its programming threefold –  the organization will launch a summer intensive program for students in grades 5-8, the All City Orchestra (ACO) will add one new site at McKinley School for 3rd-4th grade students, and PYSO will provide musical instruments on loan to Pasadena Unified (PUSD) students. This expansion is made possible by generous support from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation.

The PYSO expansion will kick-off with the 2023/24 school year by adding McKinley School as the third site for the All City Orchestra (ACO), a no-cost ensemble for underserved PUSD students in grades 3-5, currently housed at Jackson Elementary and Field Elementary Schools. ACO will also increase staffing for weekly rehearsals, adding one conductor and four coaches per instrument.

Also beginning in the Fall 2023 semester, PYSO will provide instruments on loan to PUSD students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. The organization will invest more than $30,000 into PUSD to build a music instrument library, so that kids can have their own instrument while on their musical learning journey. This money will also facilitate the purchase of a stage timpani for Pasadena High School for rehearsals and performances.

In summer 2024, PYSO will launch its new summer intensive – a two-week, daily program providing instruction for beginner/intermediate students in grades 5-8, so that students can have year-round access to music education. This expanded programming will allow the PYSO to continue their commitment to providing music education far beyond the weekly instruction they offer students, in shaping today’s youth to become community leaders of tomorrow.


The Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) has been training tomorrow’s leaders since 1972.  As a centerpiece of the Pasadena Symphony Association’s education initiatives, PYSO has continually offered robust musical training and personal development for young musicians throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Now in its 52nd season, 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.

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 industries, 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. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, leads the POPS as Principal Pops Conductor, having succeeded Marvin Hamlisch.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for more than five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO), comprised of seven performing ensembles, with over 400 gifted 4th-12th grade students from all over Southern California. The PYSO Symphony has performed at venues across the globe as well as on the television show GLEE.

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