“Arts education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate, the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence.”
– Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Cooperate Communications, Xerox Corporation
who we are
Welcome to Greenville County Youth Orchestras
Greenville County Youth Orchestras has been educating young musicians for over 40 years. Our mission is to impact the lives of young people through music by providing a quality orchestral program that develops and educates young musicians in the art of performance and enhances their personal musicianship. We strive to make our programs available to any and all qualifying students by offering a robust scholarship program to assist families in need with orchestra fees, summer studies, and private lessons.
GCYO’s focus is education. Our conducting staff are gifted educators as well as performing musicians. Sectional rehearsals, led by area strings and wind educators, are an important part of the rehearsal process for all of our ensembles. Sectionals give our students instrument specific work on their orchestra’s repertoire and the skills needed to be successful in the performance.
In addition to sectional rehearsals, small group lessons are offered for musicians in our lower level orchestras. These lessons focus on skill development and offer an affordable lesson option for our families.
The Young Artist Orchestra, our most advanced ensemble, is comprised of the most skilled, talented, and experienced student musicians in the Upstate. It is also the Orchestra-In-Residence at Greenville’s Fine Arts Center. YAO enrolls public, private, and home-schooled students from Greenville and beyond. Though most members are high school-aged, the YAO will also admit exceptional middle school musicians.
Members of YAO receive a near-professional orchestra experience. Repertoire includes standard orchestral masterworks as well as contemporary compositions. Most performances take place at the Peace Center for Performing Arts where students experience performing in a professional venue.
YAO rehearsals will be held on Mondays from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm at the Fine Arts Center. Members of the Young Artist Orchestra are expected to pay a $200.00 participation fee at the beginning of the year.
- High School Students
- Orchestral Repertoire Grade V-VI
- Skilled String Players
- Skilled Winds & Brass Players
- Attend Private Lessons
The Philharmonic is an advanced symphony orchestra comprised of middle and high school-aged musicians who display considerable talent, training and ability. “The Phil” performs in at least four concerts each year: three joint concerts with the YAO at Dorothy Gunter Theater, the January “Winter Orchestras Concert” at an area high school, and the April “Spring Orchestras Concert” which is held at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. The repertoire consists of orchestral masterworks, transcriptions, and original works composed for student orchestra.
“The Phil” enrolls public, private, and home-schooled students from Greenville and beyond. They rehearse each Monday at the Fine Arts Center from 4:45 pm until 6:15 pm. Philharmonic members are expected to pay a one-time participation fee of $200.00.
- Middle through High School Students
- Orchestral Repertoire Grade IV-V
- Skilled String Players
- Skilled Winds & Brass Players
- Have Attended Private Lessons
The GCYO Wind Ensemble is an exciting, honors performance group featuring wind instrument players and percussionists with 1-3 years of playing experience. GCYOWE performs exciting literature geared towards the developing wind band. Additionally, members of the Wind Ensemble will have the opportunity to combine with the GCYO Sinfonia strings group in the Spring to perform full orchestra literature for the Finale Concert at the Peace Center. Participating in this ensemble is a fantastic opportunity to perform with other talented musicians outside of school, make new friends, and improve on your instrument!
Sinfonia, is an intermediate-level honors ensemble which rehearses and performs as a strings only ensemble during the first half of the school year. Woodwind, brass, and percussion students will begin rehearsing in November in preparation for joining the string players in January to form a full symphony orchestra. These students typically perform in 3 concerts a year including the Spring Orchestras concert held at the Peace Center Concert hall in April. Rehearsals will be held on Mondays from 4:45 pm – 6:30 pm at Wade Hampton High School beginning the Monday following Labor Day. Sinfonia members are expected to pay a one time $100.00 participation fee at the beginning of the school year.
Intermezzo focuses on string technique, developing independent rhythmic skills, and building maturity of sound. This ensemble will perform in the Winter Orchestras concert held in January and the Spring Orchestras concert held at the Peace Center Concert Hall. Intermezzo members are expected to pay a one time $100.00 participation fee at the beginning of the school year.
Prelude is an advanced-beginner honors ensemble which begins rehearsals in the second semester of the school year. They will meet on Monday afternoons. Prelude members are expected to pay a one time $75.00 participation fee at their first rehearsal.
meet the gcyo
Meet the incredible people who organize and inspire our amazing artists.
Our Board of Directors
Making the Dreams of Young Artists a Reality