Young Musicians’ Orchestra (YMO) (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.
The orchestra has had several conductors since it started as a chamber orchestra under the direction of Brian Cox. In the fall of 1994, A. Scott Kiehner began as conductor and continued in this position for the next 16 years as the ensemble grew into a full orchestra. Caitlin Cavanagh served as an assistant student director from 1997 to 1999, and David Reif co-directed with Mr. Kiehner from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 through 2015, Elizabeth Klinger was co-director of the YMO. In the fall of 2012, she was joined by Miku Shiota who replaced the retiring Mr. Kiehner. Upon the retirement of Mrs. Klinger, Nicholas Pignataro assumed the position of co-director, and in 2020, he became the sole music director.
Thursday evening rehearsals are held in Strath Haven Middle School’s Band Room in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. Rehearsals begin in September and continue through the school year, with concerts performed in November and April. There are no rehearsals in December or May. YMO performs high school level arrangements of classical works, along with non-arranged works as originally penned by the composer.
YMO comprises students in grades 4 to 12. The majority of players are in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. They 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. For students interested in performance opportunities of high caliber, we invite you to visit our Auditions page to schedule an audition appointment.
Rehearsals are on Thursdays from 6:45 to 8:15 pm in the Band Room of Strath Haven Middle School (Copples Lane entrance). Each season, one rehearsal is reserved for sectionals where private teachers work with violins, cellos, violas, winds, and brass. Concerts are held in various locations, with the spring concert traditionally at Neumann University’s Meagher Theatre. Placement in the orchestra is decided each year in June through an audition process. Past and present parents volunteer to help with auditions, receptions, and financial matters. For further information, contact Alison Manaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.