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The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Orchestra program provides student musicians with an authentic, professional orchestra experience.  A core focus of the program is to not only provide exceptional artistic training, but also to offer transformative experiences that leave students with a strong sense of discipline, accomplishment, confidence, self-esteem, network of camaraderie and a deep appreciation for music and the arts.

The program is an enrichment to, not a substitute for, existing school music programs.  We encourage students to enroll as a member of their school orchestra and/or band program, if one exists and it fits within the student's academic plan.

With a four-concert season, youth orchestra students play a wide range of orchestral repertoire, from classics and pops to chamber music.  Student musicians receive unique, professional opportunities such as:
  • Coaching with Philharmonic musicians
  • Side-by-side performances with the Philharmonic
  • Participation in and performances with small chamber ensembles
  • Access to special events, including master classes and guest artist visits
  • Complimentary tickets to select Philharmonic concerts
  • Scholarship opportunities for private lessons and summer music camps, among others

Open to all student musicians in the greater Fort Wayne area that have not yet graduated high school, the youth orchestra program features two ensembles. 

Youth Concert Orchestra
Conducted by Marcella Trentacosti, first violinist with the Philharmonic, the Youth Concert Orchestra (YCO) is comprised mostly of middle- and high-school, intermediate-level students looking to gain large-ensemble experience.  Additional opportunities may include:
  • Half-day retreat at the beginning of the season
  • Opportunities to perform during the pre-concert activities of Philharmonic Family concerts
  • Appearances on Meet the Music on WBOI

The YCO rehearses on Sundays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Rhinehart Music Center on the IPFW campus.

Youth Symphony
Conducted by David Cooke, principal trombonist of the Philharmonic, the Youth Symphony (YS) is an advanced ensemble that provides an in-depth study of orchestral repertoire.  This performance ensemble is geared toward high school students and/or advanced middle school students.  Additional opportunities may include:
  • Annual concerto competition with winners to perform with the Youth Symphony

The YS rehearses on Sundays from 2-4 p.m. in the Rhinehart Music Center on the IPFW campus.

2014-2015 Auditions
One audition date remains on Sunday, August 17, 2014. Please contact Diane Dickson, Youth Orchestra Manager, at (260) 481-0757 or to schedule an audition time. Please note that some sections may be full, but we are always glad to hear students and put them on a waiting list, if the section is full.

Audition Location
The Philharmonic Center
4901 Fuller Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

Please click here for a map of our location.

To Schedule an Audition
Please contact Diane Dickson, Youth Orchestra Manager, at or (260) 481-0757.

Click here for a list of audition requirements and required documents. 

Please carefully read the audition requirements to the orchestra you wish to audition for, as scale and excerpt requirements differ.  Please bring completed audition applications and teacher recommendations to your audition.

Acceptance letters for those students who auditioned in May and June 2014 were mailed via US Postal Mail on Thursday, June 19. All students will receive a letter regardless of outcome.