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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.

Current Youth Concert Orchestra members, please click here for updated season and rehearsal information.

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.

Current Youth Symphony members, please click here for updated season and rehearsal information.

2013-2014 Concert Dates

Youth Orchestra Spring Concert
Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
Auer Performance Hall, IPFW

Tickets are $5 per person, with children 10 and under receiving free admission.

Youth Orchestra Summer Pops Concert
Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 4 p.m.
Foellinger Theatre

This concert is free and open to the public.

2014-2015 Auditions
Auditions for the 2014-2015 season will take place from 4-8 p.m. on the following dates:
  • May 13, 2014
  • May 14, 2014
  • May 15, 2014
  • June 3, 2014
  • June 4, 2014
  • June 5, 2014

All interested students, including current youth orchestra members, must audition.

These are the main audition dates for the program.  We strongly encourage all students to audition at this time, as only vacant positions will be auditioned and subsequently filled in the fall and through rolling auditions throughout the season.

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.

The 2014-2015 Youth Orchestra season will begin in August 2014 and go through May 2015.  A complete schedule will be sent to students upon acceptance into the program.  All students will be notified of audition results via US Postal Mail regardless of outcome after June 5, 2014.