Rivers Youth Orchestras

Rivers Youth Orchestras

The Rivers Youth Orchestras program boasts five orchestras for students ages 7-18. The orchestras perform several concerts throughout the year. Rehearsals are on Fridays at 4:00 pm throughout the school year.

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:
2022-2023 Calendar
RYO Handbook
Absence Form, Please submit if your child will be absent from a rehearsal.


Current Openings:

There are some openings in RYO and we hope you’ll spread the word to anyone who may be interested:
  • All Levels – Viola
  • Primo Orchestra – Cello
  • Rivers Youth Symphony – Bassoon, Trombone, Tuba


2022-2023 Auditions:

Please email the Orchestra Manager for more information on auditions. Current RYO students who do not want to move up do not have to audition. Please see important details about auditions below as well as audition information by level.

Click here to sign-up for an in-person audition

Chris Brainard, conductor
Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:00-5:15 PM

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 be able to proficiently read those notes. Students should 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; sightreading

Whitney Tandon, conductor
Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:00-5:30 PM

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; sightreading

Susan Memoli, conductor
Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:00-5:30 PM

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; Two 3 octave Major scales through 3 sharps and 3 flats, student’s choice (violin/viola/cello); Two 2 octave Major scales through 3 sharps and 3 flats, student’s choice (double bass); sightreading

Colleen MacDonald, conductor
Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:00-5:30 PM

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 sight-reading abilities.

Audition requirements: Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections; Selected 3 octave major scales through 4 sharps and 4 flats; sightreading

Christopher Memoli, conductor
Rehearsals: Fridays, 4:00-6:00 PM

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, selected 3 octave major scales; sightreading

Winds and Brass: Excerpts from 2 contrasting selections; full range chromatic scale, selected major scales; sightreading

2022-2023 Concerts

Concerts and Dates 2022-2023

Sunday, October 30, 2022 (@1:00 PM), at Regis College
Friday, December 16, 2022, Primo Concert
Sunday, February 12, 2023, at Regis College
Sunday, May 7, 2023, at Regis College

Questions? Please contact:

Katherine Greene, Youth Orchestra Manager
orchestramanager@rivers.org