Education & Engagement

RSO Youth Orchestra Program (YOP)


The Richmond Symphony’s flagship educational program, founded in 1962, consists of four youth orchestras providing beginning to advanced musical training. As the premier orchestral training program of central Virginia, students participate in weekly rehearsals, coaching and masterclasses by Richmond Symphony musicians, chamber music performances, mentoring and other musical and social activities. The Youth Orchestra Program is open to elementary through high school students. Rehearsals are held every Tuesday afternoon September through May. Other classes offered through the Youth Orchestra Program include chamber music, introductory classes for students interested in the viola, and music composition.

CURRENT MEMBERS: Visit the members-only site for weekly notes and announcements

Current members wishing to apply for financial assistance may download application here


Christie-Jo Adams, Conductor (Instructional Specialist for the Fine Arts, Richmond Public Schools)

String Sinfonietta is the entry-level string ensemble of the youth orchestra program. Unlike the other ensembles in the YOP, there is no audition requirement for Sinfonietta. In this ensemble, students learn the basics of playing in an orchestra. They learn about their section within the orchestra, and their role within the section. Students learn to watch and follow a conductor, and how to listen to other sections in the orchestra. Above all, the young musicians in String Sinfonietta learn the joy of making music with others.  Interested in joining String Sinfonietta?  Complete the inquiry form.


Rebecca Jilcott, Conductor (Orchestra Director, Matoaca Middle School, Chesterfield County)

Camerata Strings is the intermediate-level string ensemble of the youth orchestra program. To gain entrance into Camerata, students must pass an audition, the first such experience for many students. In this ensemble, students learn how to make music as an ensemble, and take seating auditions regularly. Students’ skills are challenged with increasingly difficult repertoire and attention to phrasing, bowings, dynamics and articulations.


Christopher Moseley, Conductor (Director of Bands/Orchestra, Varina High School, Henrico County)

Youth Concert Orchestra (YCO) is the first full orchestra experience for most students. While the string players in YCO often come from Camerata (and bring several years of youth orchestra experience) this is often the first ensemble for many wind, brass and percussion students. Listening, blending, and making music within a full orchestra is a challenge met by all students in YCO. In this ensemble, principal players learn what it means to lead a section, and less-experienced players learn from their colleagues. Students perform arrangements, original masterworks, and pops favorites.


Chia-Hsuan Lin (Associate Conductor, Richmond Symphony)

The Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO) offers a pre-college orchestra experience for the serious student musician. Nearly all members of RSYO study with private instructors and all are leaders in their school programs. RSYO performs masterworks of the orchestral repertoire. Once each season, RSYO performs side-by-side with the Richmond Symphony. In RSYO, students hold themselves to a high level of discipline, preparation and musicianship.

“My family feels very fortunate to have the YOP available to our child. It has provided our son an unparalleled opportunity for learning to play with a group of highly motivated students from all around Central Virginia. The conductors are well educated and skilled at bringing out the best in youth…

—YOP Parent


The RSO Youth Orchestra Experience

We offer a wide variety of programs for musicians of all skill-levels and ages.View the information below to learn more about the RSO Youth Orchestra Experience and what it will mean for you and your child.