HPYS includes three ensembles to serve a wide variety of student needs. The Youth Symphony is an advanced full orchestra with brass, woodwinds, and percussion in addition to strings, while the String Orchestra and Preparatory Strings are for violin, viola, cello, and bass only.
Conducted by Music Director Matthew Sheppard, the Youth Symphony (YS) is for middle and high school students who demonstrate a high level of music reading ability and technical mastery of their instrument. Students are placed into YS by audition. YS’s repertoire is grounded in a survey of the major periods of classical music, and may also feature works of orchestral jazz, musical theater, and film music.
Led by Director Daryl Silberman, the String Orchestra (SO) is for string players who have sufficient training on their instruments to participate in an orchestral setting. The program focuses on improving students’ music-reading skills, reinforcing technical fundaments, and providing the musical peer motivation that makes such a difference in young players.
With string specialist Daryl Silberman, Preparatory Strings members create a technical foundation on which they can build upon in future years as they experience playing in an ensemble for the first time. Members receive more individual attention and technical instruction as they continue to develop both individual and ensemble skills.