Ensembles

Overview

Ensembles
YOBC offers eight core ensembles for 4th through 12th grade students. With these progressive ensembles there is a place for younger students who are new to ensemble playing, developing students who are refining their skills, and advanced players ready for more challenging repertoire. All YOBC ensembles receive instruction from some of the top conductors and educators in the area.

Full Orchestras: Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia
String Orchestras: Ripieno, Concertino, Prima Strings
Concert Bands: Concert Winds, Wind Symphony

Select students in Concert Winds may also be invited to play in Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonia.

All ensembles rehearse at Bucks County Community College (Newtown Campus) on Sunday afternoon during the school year.

Chamber Groups
Advancing students may be invited to also audition for or participate in a variety of specialized chamber groups, in addition to their core ensemble. Examples from past years includes a string quartet, clarinet trio, saxophone quartet and flute choir. Chamber groups receive professional coaching from YOBC Conductors and Artistic Staff.

– – Full Orchestras – –
Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion

Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Robert Loughran

Instrumentation: Strings, Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp
Membership: Mainly High School students
Prerequisite Skills

The flagship Symphony Orchestra is YOBC’s most advanced orchestral ensemble. Under the baton of Robert Loughran, Symphony Orchestra is a full symphonic orchestra comprised of students whose technical, musical, and ensemble skills are at a high level. The Symphony Orchestra prepares advanced original score orchestral repertoire and performs in an annual fall concert in November and a spring concert in April. In addition, the Symphony Orchestra often plays a Pops Concert in May. Sophomore and Junior members are eligible to participate in our annual concerto soloist competition. Other performance opportunities include field trips, side-by-side concerts with professional orchestras, additional concerts during YOBC anniversary years, and our international tours. Please click on YOBC Programs for more information about these and other opportunities.

Listen to the Symphony Orchestra

Repertoire examples of the Symphony Orchestra

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Philharmonia

ConductorSebastian Grand

Instrumentation: Strings, Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp
Membership: Mainly High School and Middle School students
Prerequisite Skills

Philharmonia is a full symphonic orchestra that provides students with challenging repertoire and performance opportunities. In Philharmonia, advancing strings, winds, and percussion students work on developing their individual playing skills, ensemble skills, and overall musicianship. Philharmonia performs original orchestral repertoire in both the November and April YOBC concerts. Philharmonia is led by Sebastian Grand, Conductor of the Delaware County Symphony and Assistant Conductor of the Bucks County Symphony. Philharmonia members are eligible to join select masterclasses and workshops as well as the YOBC international tours.

Listen to Philharmonia

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– – String Orchestras – –
Strings Only

Ripieno

Conductor: Noelle Casella Grand

Instrumentation: Strings only
Membership: Mainly Middle School and some High School students
Prerequisite Skills

Ripieno provides an opportunity for intermediate string players to develop their individual playing skills, ensemble skills, and overall musicianship. Led by conductor Noelle Casella-Grand, students in Ripieno prepare and perform challenging, original string orchestra repertoire. Each section rehearses individually in sectionals in addition to weekly full-ensemble rehearsals. Students perform in the annual YOBC fall concert in November and spring concert in April. Ripieno lays the foundation for advancement into YOBC’s two full orchestras, Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestra.

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Concertino

Conductor: Hannah Pak

Instrumentation: Strings only
Membership: Mainly Middle School students
Prerequisite Skills

Concertino is YOBC’s string orchestra for progressing string students. Concertino players have been studying their instruments for at least two years and have previous ensemble-playing experience, either through their school orchestra or YOBC’s Prima Strings. Concertino emphasizes ensemble skills as well as focusing on the ongoing improvement of each students’ individual instrument technique. Ensemble skills to be emphasized include watching and responding to the conductor, listening to the other players in the orchestra, and attending to one’s own playing in the context of a group. Repertoire is chosen to challenge and engage all players. Concepts such as syncopation, intonation, musicality, and dynamic and tempo changes are frequently included to challenge students’ abilities and prepare them for the major repertoire demanded by the advancing ensembles. Each section rehearses individually in sectionals in addition to weekly full-ensemble rehearsals. Concertino students perform in the annual YOBC fall concert in November and spring concert in April.

Listen to Concertino

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Prima Strings

ConductorEmily Anastasi

Instrumentation: Strings only
Membership: Middle School and Elementary School students
Prerequisite Skills

Prima Strings is YOBC’s introductory string orchestra, geared toward elementary and early middle school students who have limited or no ensemble experience and who are still mastering their instruments. All Prima Strings students should have completed at least a full year of study on their instrument at the time of enrolling. Prima Strings presents three primary objectives: to introduce and foster the technique of ensemble playing, to continue to develop each student’s individual technique on his or her instrument, and to expose each student to a breadth of musically valuable literature. Prima Strings students perform in the annual YOBC fall concert in November and spring concert in April.

Listen to Prima Strings

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– – Concert Bands – –
Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion

Concert Winds

Conductors: Steven B. Sweetsir and Karl Krelove

Instrumentation: Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp
Membership: Mainly High School
Prerequisite Skills

Concert Winds is YOBC’s more advanced concert band, comprised of students who have well-developed technical, musical, and ensemble skills. Under the batons of Steven Sweetsir and Karl Krelove, Concert Winds prepares demanding wind repertoire and focuses on high-level performance and ensemble challenges. Select students in Concert Winds may also be invited to play in one of YOBC’s full orchestras, Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonia. Concert Winds performs in an annual fall concert in November and a spring concert in April. In addition, the ensemble often plays a Pops Concert in May. Sophomore and Junior members are eligible to participate in our annual concerto soloist competition, and members are invited to perform in rotating masterclasses led by world-class musicians. Other performance opportunities include field trips, side-by-side concerts with professional orchestras, additional concerts during YOBC anniversary years, and our international tours. Please see “YOBC Programs” for more information about these and other opportunities.

Repertoire examples of Concert Winds

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Wind Symphony

ConductorErin Sweetsir-Mills

Instrumentation: Winds, Brass, and Percussion
Membership: Late Elementary and Early Middle School
Prerequisite Skills

Wind Symphony challenges advanced elementary and middle school wind players as they develop their individual playing and ensemble skills. Members of Wind Symphony perform classically oriented arrangements for symphonic band. Repertoire is chosen to challenge and engage all players. Wind Symphony performs in the annual fall concert in November and the spring concert in April. Wind Symphony lays the foundation for advancement into YOBC’s Wind Ensemble.

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– – Chamber Groups – –
All instruments

In addition to belonging to a core ensemble, advancing students may be invited to also participate in a variety of specialized chamber groups. Examples from past years includes a string quartet, clarinet trio, saxophone quartet, flute choir, and percussion ensemble. All chamber groups receive professional coaching from YOBC Conductors and Artistic Staff. Students involved in chamber groups perform in a variety of community concerts as well as the annual YOBC Chamber Recital.

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