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South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra

The South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra is an elite music education program comprised of five student ensembles, ranging from a string orchestra for beginning students to a symphonic orchestra for advanced players, and chamber orchestra for student musicians ages 6 – 18. These ensembles provide an inspiring group setting that gives young musicians the tools and training to pursue artistic passions, develop musical talents, and build leadership skills. Performances are scheduled at major venues throughout each season, giving students multiple opportunities to showcase their musical talents.

With inquiries regarding auditions and enrollment, please contact SDSYO Manager Jessica Johannsen at, or (605) 335-7933 x14.

Click here for the SDSYO Concert Season

2021-22 Student Ensembles and Rehearsal Schedules

Youth Orchestra Advanced Symphonic Orchestra
Conducted by Thomas Fortner
Rehearsal:  Sundays, 3:30pm – 6:00pm
September – May

Philharmonia Intermediate Symphonic Orchestra
Conducted by Jeffrey Paul
Rehearsal:  Mondays, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
September – May

Sinfonia Developing String Ensemble
Conducted by Thomas Fortner
Rehearsal:  Mondays, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
September – May 

Prelude Strings Beginning String Ensemble
Conducted by Thomas Fortner
Rehearsal:  Mondays, 5:30pm – 6:15pm
January – May

Camerata Chamber Ensembles
Camerata is available for ages 6-18 with students placed in small groups according to their ability level. Groups rehearse once weekly for 1 hour throughout the school year (days/times vary per groups and are arranged at the beginning of the semester) and perform in two formal recitals at the Washington Pavilion as well as other informal and outreach performance opportunities.

What will I learn in SDSYO?

The South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra is designed to enhance young musicians’ talents in an inspiring and educational group setting. Through participation, students build leadership skills, develop musical talents, and create lasting friendships. The SDSYO encourages these students to enjoy a life of active engagement in the arts.