Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
James Feddeck, Music Director
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, one of northern Ohio's premier musical destinations for aspiring student musicians, celebrated its 25th year with the 2010-11 season. The Youth Orchestra has performed more than 130 concerts over the years and provided a musical home to over 1,200 talented young instrumentalists.
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) provides serious young music students of middle- and high-school age with pre-professional orchestral training experience in a full symphony orchestra. Cleveland Orchestra musicians coach the approximately 100 members of the group, and a member of the Orchestra’s conducting staff serves as music director. Youth Orchestra members also have opportunities to work with selected guest artists and conductors appearing with The Cleveland Orchestra.
Members of the Youth Orchestra range in age from 12 to 18 and are chosen through competitive auditions held each spring. They come from more than 40 communities in more than a dozen counties throughout Northern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania to rehearse together each week in Severance Hall. The Youth Orchestra season runs from September through May and includes a three-concert subscription series in Severance Hall, radio broadcasts of Youth Orchestra concerts on Cleveland’s classical music station WCLV (104.9 FM), and a variety of community concerts by both the full orchestra and chamber groups of Youth Orchestra members.
As one of the best youth orchestras in the country, and one of the only ones affiliated with a top-tier orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra has garnered a number of prestigious accolades. In 1998, the Youth Orchestra was selected to participate in the second National Youth Orchestra Festival sponsored by the League of American Orchestras. In March 2001, the Youth Orchestra appeared on the Family Concert Series at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and, in June 2009, traveled to Boston for a series of four performances. In June 2012, the Youth Orchestra makes its first international tour, with concerts in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg.
In recent years, several Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra students have been featured on the nationally syndicated radio series From the Top, and several others have won full-time positions in major orchestras, including four in The Cleveland Orchestra.
The Youth Orchestra is supported by generous grants from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and Surdna Foundation, and by gifts from many other generous donors. Endowment support is provided by The George Gund Foundation, Christine Gitlin Miles, and the estate of Jules and Ruth Vinney.
Membership & Audition Information
Membership is by audition only. Auditions are open to all middle- and high school students who study privately and are prepared to make a commitment to an ambitious schedule of rehearsals and performances. Auditions take place at Severance Hall in May. Auditions are about 10 minutes in length and are heard by the youth orchestra music director and members of The Cleveland Orchestra.
Audition materials can be found on the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s website. For more information or to receive audition materials by mail (brochure, application and orchestral excerpts), please contact the Education Department at 216-231-7355, the Youth Orchestra manager at 216-231-7352, or email email@example.com.
When requesting an audition packet, please provide the following:
- Student’s full name & current grade
- Student’s home address & telephone number
- Student’s instrument
Youth Orchestra Website
Additional information about the youth orchestra, including audition information, history, and artistic staff, can be found at the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra website.