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Youth Orchestra image

The Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras (SSYO) consists of two merit-based orchestral ensembles sponsored by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) for talented young musicians (to age 19) who hail from MA, CT & VT. Founded in 1944, the SSYO strives to provide young musicians with unique performance and educational opportunities, both regionally and abroad.

The Springfield Youth Sinfonia (SYS) is an introductory orchestra that develops ensemble skills; the Springfield Youth Orchestra (SYO) is an advanced orchestra that serves to cultivate standard orchestral repertoire. Both groups are mentored by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. For more information on the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras, contact SSYO Manager Patrick McMahon at SSYO@springfieldsymphony.org or (413) 733-0636 x119.


Marsha Hassett, a music educator, cellist and violin-maker, has been the conductor of the Springfield Youth Sinfonia since 1998.
Jonathan Lam, a violinist and private music teacher, has been the conductor of the Springfield Youth Orchestra since 2007.

Marsha Hassett Conductor Springfield Youth Sinfonia         Jonathan Lam Conductor Springfield Youth Orchestra          

          Marsha Hassett, SYS Conductor                           Jonathan Lam, SYO Conductor

Benefits of SSYO Membership

SSYO musicians and parents enjoy a host of membership benefits, including:

  • Exposure to great repertoire
  • Fellowship with other talented young musicians
  • Complimentary tickets and discounted tickets to SSO concerts
  • Concerto competition
  • Educational retreats or trips
  • Sectionals/coaching sessions with members of the SSO
  • Master classes

2016-2017 SSYO Concerts 

SSYO ensembles perform three concerts during the performance season at various venues in the Pioneer Valley. The 2016-2017 performance schedule is below: 

Sunday, November 20th, 2016 - Belchertown High School (Belchertown, MA) 
Sunday, February 12th, 2017 - Minnechaug Regional High School (Wilbraham, MA) 
Sunday, May 21st, 2017 - Springfield Symphony Hall (Springfield, MA) 

Concert Tickets 

Available in advance as a 3-concert Subscription or for a specific performance. Tickets are also available at the door. 
To order, call (413) 733-0636 x119. 

Early Bird Tickets (for a specific concert, purchase by 10/12/16): Youth & Seniors $10, Adults $20
Tickets At the Door (for that afternoon's performance): Youth & Senior $15, Adults $25 

Musicians' Responsibilities

In order to strive for and attain musical excellence in rehearsals and concerts, each musician is expected to: Use for Season Premiere 2014

  • Commit to full season participation
  • Maintain consistent attendance and punctuality at rehearsals
  • Take private weekly lessons
  • Practice diligently
  • Participate in school music programs (where offered)

2016-2017 Rehearsals

During the season, the Youth Orchestras rehearse on most Sunday evenings during the school year at Holyoke Community College. Through weekly rehearsals and their own private lessons, musicians master challenging orchestral repertoire and learn the basics of what’s involved in being part of a high-caliber orchestral ensemble


Season Finale 2016 image resized for websiteWinter 2016 Poster Photo for SSYO pageMay 2015 Finale concert image for SSYO page

2016-2017 Auditions 

While Pre-Season auditions have already been held, we are currently looking to fill the following instrument vacancies:

     Springfield Youth Sinfonia: viola, oboe, bassoon, trombone, percussion
     Springfield Youth Orchestra: violin, oboe, bassoon, French horn, tuba, percussion

For an audition, please contact Patrick McMahon at ssyo@springfieldsymphony.org or call 413-733-0636 x119

Audition Requirements: 

Springfield Youth Sinfonia (SYS - Intermediate)
• Two Pieces: contrasting in style and tempo, demonstrating current level of development
• Sight-Reading
• Major Scales: C, G, D, A, F, B-flat, E-flat
     Violins: 2-octave scales (all)
     Violas: 2-octave scales for C, G, D, F, E-flat; 1-octave scale for A & B-flat
     Cellos: 2-octave scales for C, G, D, F, E-flat; 1-octave scale for A & B-flat
     Basses: 1-octave scales (all)
     Winds: 2-octave major and 2-octave chromatic, as appropriate to instrument range
     Percussion: 1-octave major scale; must play a keyboard percussion instrument (e.g. bells, marimba, xylophone), and a membranophone (e.g. snare, bass, timpani)

Springfield Youth Orchestra (SYO - Advanced)
• Two Pieces: contrasting in style and tempo, demonstrating current level of development
• Sight-Reading
• Major Scales: All
     Strings: 3-octave scales; Violins and Violas must demonstrate proficiency in upper register; Cellos must know tenor clef & thumb position; Basses must demonstrate ½ of 6th position
     Winds: 2 or 3-octave scales, as appropriate to instrument range, and 2-octave chromatic
     Percussion: 1-octave scale, must play a keyboard percussion instrument (e.g. bells, marimba, xylophone) and a membranophone (e.g. snare, bass, timpani) 

2016-2017 Tuition 

  1st Family Member Each Add'l Family Member Deadline 
Early Bird $375 $325 Friday 9/2/16


$425 $350 Please inquire 


 SSYO girl violinist





SSYO Scholarships/Internships

Limited financial assistance is available through a full or partial scholarship. Student Internships (for stagehand & music librarian work) are also available, and provide a stipend worth 50% of the tuition. Both programs are financed by SSO educational / outreach funds, as available. For more information on both programs, contact Patrick McMahon, SSYO Manager at (413) 733-0636 x119.

Sponsors & Funding Partners

MassMutual Foundation is the official season sponsor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. The SSYO is funded in part by the Amherst Cultural Council, the Belchertown Cultural Council, the Westfield Cultural Council, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.