South Carolina Philharmonic

Youth Orchestras

Founded in 1964, the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestras (SCPYO) offer exceptional orchestral playing experience for young people throughout the Midlands. Each year more than 200 students participate in three orchestras, comprised of the very best student musicians. Membership in the S.C. Phil Youth Orchestras program is open to students throughout the state, ages 8 through high school, on an auditioned basis.

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2014/2015 Concerts

All concerts are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
  • Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014
  • Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015
  • Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tickets may only be purchased at the ticket kiosk in the Koger Center lobby one hour before start time.

Three Ensembles.

The SCPYO offers three competitive ensembles for players of different abilities:

The String Orchestra, conducted by Genny Nelson, is designed for students with limited orchestral experience who want to improve their skills. This is a strings-only group, currently accepting students in every area.

The Repertory Orchestra, conducted by Andrew C. Preston, Jr., is the SCPYO’s intermediate orchestra. This full orchestra performs unabridged pieces from the standard orchestral repertoire, as well as some advanced level arrangements. The Repertory Orchestra is currently in need of French horns.

The Youth Orchestra is the SCPYO’s most advanced full-orchestra, The Youth Orchestra performs professional-level repertoire and frequently presents side-by-side concerts with the SCP. The Youth Orchestra is currently full; however, exceptional students who play either viola or bass will be considered. The 2014/2015 season will be an audition season for three exceptional candidates vying to be the new Youth Orchestra conductor and head of the SCPYO program.


Why join?

  • All SCPYO ensembles are conducted by leading music educators.
  • Concerts are presented three times a year at the Koger Center for the Arts.
  • Serious music students are given the opportunity to play in an orchestra with the finest young players in South Carolina.

Membership requirements:

  • Have at least some playing experience
  • Participation in your school music program if one is available
  • On-time payment of membership dues (TBA for 2014/2015 season)

2014/2015 Wind, Brass, and Percussion Auditions

Auditions for these instrument families will be held Sunday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. at the USC School of Music, room 040. Please click here for music excerpts! Students up to and including 10th graders should prepare clinic etudes. Grade 11 should prepare for senior etudes.

2014/2015 Strings Auditions

Strings auditions for the 2014/2015 season will be held Sunday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. at the USC School of Music beginning at 1 p.m.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please contact Youth Orchestras Manager Judy Lawrence at 803.788.8442 or If you call, please leave a message on the answering machine that includes student's name and contact information.