By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma Youth Orchestras (OYO) has announced that auditions for the 2016-2017 season have begun, as well as enrollment for the 2016 Summer Symphony Strings Camp.
Public, private and home school students, grades 6 thru 12 throughout central and western Oklahoma, are invited to audition Saturday, May 21 through Monday, May 23.
“We strive to serve students from developing string players to the most advanced high school seniors,” said Executive Director Jason Edward Grife. “Our goal is to provide a fun yet challenging music environment that focuses on the development of each student to help them achieve excellence through performance.”
Five auditioned ensembles are supported by the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras. Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings throughout the school year at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music
Both the organization’s flagship ensemble the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra and Oklahoma Youth Philharmonic offer high school age students a full-orchestra experience performing repertoire by both classical and modern composers.
Students interested in a band experience can join the Oklahoma Youth Winds conducted by Oklahoma City University Conducting Professor Dr. Matthew Mailman. The Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia are string orchestras developed for younger musicians that focus on instrumental technique and musicianship.
“Our staff work to develop unique and creative experiences for our students each season,” said Grife.
Each ensemble performs four concerts during the course of a season including special performance opportunities such as the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras Side By Side concert with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Sinfonia and Chamber Orchestra National Guest Conductor Workshop.
Auditions consist of both a scale and solo piece of the student’s choosing. More information on audition requirements and registration can be found online at www.oyomusic.org/join.
Audition spaces are limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligibility requirements include participation in the student’s school instrumental music program where available.
In addition, the Summer Symphony Strings Camp returns for its second season June 20 through June 24, downtown at John Rex Elementary.
The camp focuses on a fun and challenging ensemble opportunity in conjunction with unique arts experiences. The week-long day camp is open to both current and new students throughout the state and ends with a free concert for the community.
Students who play violin, viola, cello and double bass, who are currently in grades 5 through 8, with at least one-year experience are welcome to register.
Students will not need to audition, but will have a short hearing at the beginning of camp for orchestra placement. Tuition for the camp is $245.
Enrollment for the Strings Camp will take place at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University for the regular season.
The Bass School of Music is located on the north side of NW 23rd Street between Blackwelder and Pennsylvania Avenues. The deadline for camp registration for elementary and middle school string players is June 1.
More information is available online at www.oyomusic.org/summer or by calling 405-232-1199.
Since 1977, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras has provided advanced orchestra education and performance opportunities for talented elementary, middle and high school musicians from across the state.
More than 325 young musicians come together each year as part of the twelve programs supported by the organization.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Member Agency of Allied Arts, OYO is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kirkpatrick Foundation and the League of American Orchestras