Below is a list of local youth orchestras. If I’ve left some out feel free to contact me at pattyoboe [at] me [dot] com with the name and the URL and I’ll add it in. Thanks!

I do have advice for choosing a youth orchestra. I’ve written about it before, and here is just a quick list in case you are interested:

  • Check to see how many groups are offered to be sure there’s an appropriate one for your level of playing.
  • Find out what day the orchestra(s) rehearse before you bother paying the audition fee; if you can’t attend the rehearsals why bother with the group?
  • If you have the opportunity, go listen to the orchestra(s)! Check to see if they are actually using what we “ringers” (older players, sometimes even professionals and, in one case I saw, a professional musician who had school-aged children).

**Do not believe the websites and the ages give there; I know for a fact that two of the orchestras are using older players all of the time! (And no, I won’t tell you which ones here.)

Update
I’ve been receiving requests from people regarding which orchestra to join. I highly recommend you speak with your private teacher about this. If you don’t have a private teacher … get one! I will not make recommendations to students other than my own.

PLEASE NOTE
If a youth orchestra conductor publicly humiliates a student I would highly recommend you find another orchestra. If the youth orchestra conductor sets an example that isn’t honorable and admirable I would highly recommend you find another orchestra. Having a student experience a conductor who both humiliated him and set a horrible example I am fed up and will be happy to warn you of certain people that should never have been with youth in the first place. (And I won’t list orchestras if I know the conductor to be this sort of person.)



BERKELEY YOUTH ORCHESTRA

CALIFORNIA PHILHARMONIC YOUTH ORCHESTRA

CALIFORNIA YOUTH SYMPHONY

EL CAMINO YOUTH SYMPHONY

FREMONT YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

MARIN SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA

OAKLAND YOUTH ORCHESTRA

ORCHESTRA GRADUS AD PARNASSUM

PALO ALTO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (STRINGS ONLY)

PENINSULA YOUTH ORCHESTRA

SACRAMENTO YOUTH SYMPHONY

SAN JOSE YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (STRINGS AND FLUTE ENSEMBLE ONLY)

SOLANO YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (STRINGS ONLY)

SAN FRANCISCO YOUTH SYMPHONY

SANTA ROSA YOUTH SYMPHONY

YOUNG PEOPLE’S SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

YOUTH ORCHESTRA OF SOUTHERN ALAMEDA COUNTY