Rivers Youth Orchestras

Rivers Youth Orchestras

The Rivers Youth Orchestras program boast five orchestras for students ages 7-18. The orchestras perform several concerts throughout the year. Rehearsals take place on Fridays after school throughout the academic year. Sinfonia and Youth Symphony begin rehearsals at 4:00 p.m. Primo Orchestra, Preparatory Orchestra, and Philharmonia begin rehearsals at 4:15 p.m.

More info about each orchestra:
Rivers Youth Symphony, Christopher Memoli, conductor
Philharmonia, Colleen MacDonald, conductor
Sinfonia, Susan Memoli, conductor
Preparatory Orchestra, Whitney Tandon, conductor
Primo Orchestra, Chris Brainard, conductor

Important Links:
2023-24 Calendar
RYO Handbook
Absence Form, Please submit if your child will be absent from a rehearsal.


2024-25 Auditions

Audition dates to join RYO’s 2024-25 Season:

  • Friday, May 10, 2024
  • Friday, May 17, 2024

Please find important details about auditions below as well as audition information by level. For more information on auditions, please email the Orchestra Manager (orchestramanager@rivers.org).

Click here to view and download audition requirements
Audition Sign-Up Form for RYO’s 2024-25 Season

Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Chris Brainard, conductor

Primo is a student’s first orchestral experience. Students must be enrolled in private lessons. Candidates should demonstrate ease of playing in first position on all four strings and can proficiently read those notes, they have modest sight reading abilities, and may be working on beginning shifting.

Audition requirements:
– Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections
– Two 1 or 2 octave scales, student’s choice

Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Whitney Tandon, conductor 

Preparatory is designed for young string players ready for intermediate string repertoire. Candidates can read music proficiently and have strong sight-reading abilities. Preparatory students demonstrate ease of playing in the first three positions and may be developing or playing with vibrato.

Audition requirements:
– Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections
– Two 2 octave scales, student’s choice

Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Susan Memoli, conductor

Sinfonia is for musicians who can rehearse and perform intermediate through medium-advanced string orchestra repertoire. Candidates are able to use a variety of bow strokes, demonstrate use of vibrato, and comfortably play in the first four positions.

Audition requirements:
– Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections 
– 3 octave Major scales C, G, D, A, F, Bb, Eb (violin/viola/cello) student choice
– 3 octave Major scales C, G, D, A, F, Bb, Eb (double bass) student choice

Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Colleen MacDonald, conductor

Philharmonia is for advanced string players that will perform advanced string orchestra repertoire. Candidates should possess highly developed technique, familiarity with the first five positions, mature sound, and proficient sightreading abilities.

Audition requirements: 
– Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections 
– 3 octave major scales C, G, D, A, E, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, conductor choice

Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Christopher Memoli, conductor

This is the only orchestra for both string and wind players. RYS provides orchestra training for advanced student musicians. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to rehearse and perform advanced orchestral repertoire and excellent sight-reading skills.

Audition Requirements:
Strings:
– Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections
– All 3 octave major scales 

Winds and Brass:
– Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections
– Full range chromatic scale
– All major scales

Percussion (students must audition in at least two of the following areas):
– Mallets: 12 major scales in 2 octaves, solo that demonstrates ability, sight-reading
– Timpani: Tuning to given pitches, solo that demonstrates ability, sight-reading
– Snare: Long Roll (open-closed-open), Single Stroke Roll, solo that demonstrates ability, sight-reading


Looking to audition but unable to make live auditions? Send a virtual audition using the link below.

Virtual audition sign-ups here

2023-24 Concerts

Concert Dates 2023-24

  • Sunday, October 29, 2023 @ 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., at Regis College*
  • Friday, December 15, 2023 @ 6:00 p.m., Primo Concert, at Rivera Recital Hall
  • Sunday, February 11, 2024 @ 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., at Regis College*
  • Sunday, May 5, 2024 @ 3:00 p.m., at Jordan Hall, NEC

*You only need to purchase one ticket per person in your party to attend both concerts.


Questions? Please contact:

Katherine Greene, Youth Orchestra Manager
orchestramanager@rivers.org