Young Musicians’ Orchestra (YMO) (An Orchestra for Intermediate Musicians)

Since it was formed in 1989, under the management of string teacher Barbara Ostroff, the Young Musicians’ Orchestra is part of the Delaware County Youth Orchestra program.  As an intermediate level, full symphony orchestra, the YMO draws students from throughout the tri-county area.  While most of our musicians are in middle school, we welcome students of any age.

Several conductors have led the orchestra since it started as a chamber orchestra under the direction of Brian Cox.  Most notably, A. Scott Kiehner served as conductor and music director for 16 years as the ensemble grew into a full orchestra.  Other conductors have included Caitlin Cavanagh, David Reif and Elizabeth Klinger.  Currently, Miku Shiota-Rosenbaum and Nicholas Pignataro serve in the position of co-conductors and music directors.  They share the responsibility of selecting music for the orchestra, conducting the concerts, auditioning students, seating musicians and rehearsing the full orchestra each week.

The YMO rehearses on Thursdays evenings from 6:45 to 8:15 pm in the band room at Strath Haven Middle School in the Wallingford–Swarthmore School District.  Rehearsals begin in September and continue through the school year, with concerts performed in November and late April or early May.  There are no rehearsals in December.  In the fall and the spring, the YMO dedicate a rehearsal to sectionals where private music teachers work separately with the violins, cellos, violas, winds, brass and percussion. Although most of the music is high school level arrangements of classical works, the YMO has played folk music, pop music, show music and one piece composed specifically for the orchestra.

The YMO comprises students in grades 4 to 12, with the majority of players in 7th, 8th and 9th grades.  These students represent 16 school districts, with the greatest numbers coming from Lower Merion, Wallingford-Swarthmore, and Tredyffrin/Easttown school districts.  Members come from throughout the tri-county area.  Students from all geographic regions are welcome to audition.

Placement in the orchestra is decided each year in June through an audition process. For students interested in performance opportunities of high caliber, we invite you to visit our Auditions page to schedule an audition appointment.

For further information, contact Alison Manaker at