South Carolina Philharmonic

Youth Orchestras

Founded in 1964, the S.C. 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 SCPYO program is open to students throughout the state, ages 8 through high school, on an auditioned basis.

Alumni in the S.C. Philharmonic

The S.C. Phil is especially proud of the following professional players who are alumni of the Youth Orchestras:

  • Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian, Concertmaster
  • Ashley Horvat, Associate Concertmaster
  • Amy Herin, Assistant Concertmaster
  • Susan Cramer, violin
  • Audrey Wade Harris, viola
  • Ryan Knott, violin
  • Sarah Land, violin
  • Mary Lou Schweickert, trombone
  • Cyndi Williams, horn

See more images in our photo gallery!

2018/2019 Concerts

All concerts are held at the Koger Center for the Arts.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
  • Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 28, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets:

  • Tickets can be purchased online here. All tickets purchased online will be held at the ticket kiosk under the name of purchaser; please bring proof of ID.
  • Tickets may 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:

String Orchestra

Players in the String Orchestra polish their skills under the tutelage of Meredith Tashkandi. These musicians gain valuable orchestra experience in a chamber-sized ensemble comprised of each string instrument.

Repertory Orchestra

Conducted by Faith Foster, this is the SCPYO’s intermediate full orchestra. It performs unabridged pieces from the standard orchestral repertoire, as well as some advanced level arrangements.

Youth Orchestra

The SCPYO’s most advanced full orchestra, the Youth Orchestra is conducted by Neil Casey. It performs professional-level repertoire and frequently performs side-by-side with the S.C. Phil. 

Joining the Youth Orchestras

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
  • One-time payment of membership dues

Membership dues:

  • Membership dues for the 2018/2019 season is $220 first participating member of each family
  • Additional participants from the same family will each pay a fee of $170
  • To make a payment for the 2018/2019 season, click here.
Please call 803.771.7937 or email for more information.

2018/2019 Auditions

Below, please find and read the audition information sheet, a student information sheet that needs to be filled out completely and turned in at your audition, and music excerpts for you to prepare for your audition. Then, click the link at the bottom to schedule your audition time.




Prepare all excerpts for your instrument (due to timing, not all excerpts may be requested during the audition) + solo piece of your choice. Scale requirements on "Audition Information" sheet above.
In addition to a solo piece of your choice. Scale requirements on "Audition Information" sheet above.
Students auditioning for the String Orchestra are to prepare a solo piece of their choosing. Scale requirements on "Audition Information" sheet above.


Auditions for the 2018/2019 season will be held on the dates below at the USC School of Music:

Sunday, September 9, 2018 8:30 AM - 8:30 PM