Young Musicians in Training

Founded in 1964, the SC Philharmonic Youth Orchestras offer exceptional orchestral playing experience for young people throughout the Midlands. 

Join us for a concert this season

Adults $15 and students for $5. 

Concert 2 - 2/2/2020 4:00 PM (Lexington High School Performing Arts Center)

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Concert 3 - 4/26/2020 4:00 PM (Koger Center for the Arts)

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Four Ensembles

The Youth Orchestra is comprised of four competitive ensembles. Membership in the Youth Orchestras program is open to students throughout the state ages eight through high school, on an auditioned basis. 

Youth Orchestra Concert Tickets

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For the first time this season, we are offering season tickets for our Youth Orchestras concerts. If you purchase a season ticket you get one concert free. Adults $30 and students for $15. 

Buy A SEASON TICKET

Concert 1 - 11/17/2019 4:00 PM (Koger Center for the Arts)

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Concert 2 - 2/2/2020 4:00 PM (Lexington High School Performing Arts Center)

Buy A TICKET

Concert 3 - 4/26/2020 4:00 PM (Koger Center for the Arts)

Buy A TICKET

 

 

 

Youth Philharmonic

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The Youth Orchestra’s most advanced full orchestra, the Youth Philharmonic is conducted by Neil Casey. It performs professional-level repertoire and occasionally side-by-side the professional South Carolina Philharmonic.

Auditions

Music excerpts to prepare for your audition
Prepare all excerpts for your instrument (not all excerpts may be requested during the audition) + solo piece of your choice.

Symphonic Orchestra

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Under the direction of Nathan Tucker, the Symphonic Orchestra is the Youth Orchestra’s intermediate full orchestra. It performs unabridged pieces of standard orchestral repertoire, as well as some advanced level arrangements.

Auditions

Music excerpts to prepare for your audition
Prepare all excerpts for your instrument (not all excerpts may be requested during the audition) + solo piece of your choice.

Concert Orchestra

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Concert Orchestra is an advanced string ensemble comprised of intermediate level string players and conducted by Meredith Tashkandi. Students perform string orchestra literature in addition to intermediate-level arrangements.

Auditions

Music excerpts to prepare for your audition
Prepare all excerpts for your instrument (not all excerpts may be requested during the audition) + solo piece of your choice.

Prelude Orchestra

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Conducted by Carson Coomes, the Prelude Orchestra is an advanced beginner string ensemble comprised of string players with at least one year of playing experience. This group is ideal for beginner students wanting an additional challenge, or for Suzuki/private lesson students looking for a first-time orchestra experience.

Auditions

Music excerpts to prepare for your audition
Students auditioning for the Prelude Orchestra are to prepare a solo piece of choice that will showcase your technique, musicality, and overall playing ability.  Please bring an extra copy to the audition for the judges. Additional requirements are listed on the Audition Information above.

Membership Requirements

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Membership in the Youth Orchestras program is open to students throughout the state ages eight through high school, on an auditioned basis. Membership requirements include:

  • Have at least some playing experience
  • Participate in your school music program (if one is available)
  • One-time payment of membership dues

Membership dues

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$220 for the first participating member of each family. Additional participants from the same family will each pay a fee of $170.

If you are joining in after our first concert, the pricing is listed below:
2/3 Season for $147
2/3 Season for 2 family members ($147 + $115) for $262 each
1/3 Season for $75 (each child)

Click here to make a payment for the 2019/2020 season.

Any questions? Call the S.C. Philharmonic office at 803.771.7937 and speak to Education Director, Karly Shorter.

Conductor Bio: Neil Casey

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Neil Casey is the assistant director of orchestras at the University of South Carolina, as well as the Music Director of the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestras.  At USC, he teaches conducting, violin, chamber music, conducts Opera at USC and the USC Campus Orchestra, an ensemble that he created. Previously, Mr. Casey was the assistant conductor of the Augusta (Ga.) Symphony, Conductor of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra (Savannah, Ga.), and a faculty member at the Conductors Institute in Columbia and the Opera Master Classes in Charleston, South Carolina as part of Piccolo Spoleto.

An active guest conductor, Maestro Casey has appeared with the former Savannah Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Savannah Sinfonietta, South Carolina Philharmonic, Greater Anderson Music and Arts Consortium Chamber Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Newberry Festival Orchestra, Karelian Philharmonic Orchestra (Petrazovodsk, Russia), Greater Spartanburg Philharmonic, Aiken Symphony, Charleston Symphony, and several national and international tours with the Hollywood Concert Orchestra. For the past few years, Neil has been the conductor for the Columbia Festival Orchestra’s Nutcracker Ballets as well.
 
Passionate for opera, Neil has appeared with the Augusta Opera and conducted Claflin University’s Celebration of Black Pioneers in the field of opera featuring renowned soprano, Leona Mitchell.  In his post as conductor of Opera at USC, Maestro Casey has led performances of over 20 different productions. In January of 2002, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor of the American Music Theatre for a television production of Robert Ward’s Roman Fever. Mr. Casey is also the conductor on several cd’s featuring operas by Robert Bradshaw with the Palmetto Camerata on the Beauport Press Label.  During the 2011-2012 season, Maestro Casey made his debut with the Western Plain’s Opera for productions of Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.

Committed to education, this year marks Neil’s fifth season as Music Director/Conductor of the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestras, where a fourth orchestra has just been created. Neil earned both his B.M. in music education and violin performance, and his M.M. in orchestral conducting from the University of South Carolina, where he was the recipient of the 1997 Van Doren Award (awarded to the Most Outstanding Graduating Senior/Music Ed Track).

Did You Know?

Discounts for Kids

Children 17 and under receive half-price concert tickets to all Masterworks Series concerts.

Adopt-a-Musician

Our Adopt-a-Musician program brings South Carolina’s finest musicians into schools in order to talk about their musical lives, engage in musical discussions, share a live performance, and collaborate with teachers and students.

Healing Harmonies

This long-running program brings South Carolina Philharmonic musicians to area healthcare facilities to aid in healing the heart, mind, and body.