Welcome to our upcoming season of the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras! Since 1944 both the SSO and Springfield Youth Orchestras have been woven into the fabric of our communities. Throughout the area we serve, the SSO strives to provide young musicians – and young listeners – with exposure to classical music and live performances that can educate and inspire.

The Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras (SSYO)


SSYO are two merit-based orchestras sponsored by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, for talented young musicians (up to age 19) living in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. The SSYO performs three Sunday afternoon concerts, which offer the perfect family-friendly way to introduce your children to the magic of live orchestral music. Additional opportunities such as sectionals with members of the SSO, an annual field trip, and our concerto competition provide an engaging musical environment for young musicians. 

Auditions for both the Springfield Youth Sinfonia (an introductory orchestra that develops ensemble skills), and the Springfield Youth Orchestra (an advanced orchestra that cultivates standard orchestral repertoire) are held several times during the calendar year.

Download Youth Orchestra Audition ApplicationDownload Youth Orchestra Audition Application
Download Youth Orchestra Brochure
Download April 2019 Newsletter
Download Youth Orchestra Handbook for 2019-2020 Season

Youth Orchestra Concerts

Come be inspired by these talented young musicians! Tickets are available at the door. For more information, by call 413.733.0636 Ext. 116.

Season Premiere
Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 3:00pm
Belchertown High School, Belchertown, MA

Winter Concert
Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 3:00pm
Springfield Symphony Hall, Springfield, MA

Season Finale
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:00pm
Springfield Symphony Hall
Springfield, MA

At the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, it is our mission to educate our community and concert-goers about classical music. We invite you to learn more about our programs and enjoy our educational events.

The Musical Petting Zoo

The Musical Petting Zoo is a fun and informative hands-on traveling exhibit of musical instruments, this experience is perfect for pre-schools, elementary schools, summer camps, children’s library reading groups, birthday parties, community centers – even senior centers! After an introduction to the instruments, participants get a chance to bow a violin, blow a horn or tap out a rhythm on a drum. Here’s your chance to try an instrument in a judgment-free zone that encourages exploration and excitement! Advanced scheduling is required. Contact Patrick McMahon at 413.733.0636 x119.

Education Connection Concerts

Save the Date:  Friday, May 8, 2020

Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents: The Pines and Fountains of Rome!

Travel in your imagination to stunning spots in Rome. Learn about history, culture and nature. Free in-school visits to prepare your students will be available, and much much more! Elementary and Middle School children attend a concert in Symphony Hall that is both interactive and educational. The schools participating will be involved in a multi-faceted interdisciplinary journey! The program also includes curriculum materials including a Teacher Resource Guide and student newsletters to assist teachers in preparing their students.

Let our education staff help you to apply for grants this September through your Local Cultural Councils to help defray your expenses for this special event.

For grades 2-8 (older students are always welcome!)

Friday, May 8, 2020 9:45 or 11:20 AM

Please call the SSO offices at 413.733.0636 x116 for schedule and pricing details.

Accent on Music

The SSO recognizes music teachers in Western Massachusetts, Central Massachusetts, and Northern Connecticut Schools by providing free tickets to select SSO classical concerts for students participating in their schools’ music curriculum.  These free tickets help inspire students, who might otherwise not have the opportunity to experience the excitement of a live orchestral performance, to visit Springfield Symphony Hall, and enjoy a professionally-produced symphonic concert.

An Evening of Instrumental Women Composers

This free event for students ages 8 – 18 explores the art of composition and women composers throughout history. An interactive workshop for all levels allows participants to write their own music. Students will watch part of the SSO’s rehearsal, and may attend an upcoming performance at a discounted rate. A free catered dinner will be provided to all students, and to adults for a small fee. Advanced reservations required.

An evening of Instrumental Women Composers
Thursday, March 5, 2020
4:30 – 8:00 pm
Symphony Hall
34 Court Street, Springfield, MA

Meet the Musicians: High School Edition

Before SSO’s classical concerts, high school students are given unprecedented access to Springfield Symphony musicians for in-depth personal conversation about music and careers and will be able to watch a rehearsal and attend the upcoming performance. A free downloadable smartphone app (Real Time Concert Notes) will provide live information about the rehearsal and music. Students may attend through their school or individually, on February 6, 2020 and April 16, 2020, 4:30 – 7:30 pm. For more information, call Kirsten Lipkens at (413) 733-0636, ext 116.

This event is free and open to all high school students involved in music!

In-school Ensemble Performances

In-school ensemble performances are a great way to give kids an up-close and personal introduction to classical music and professional musicians. These performances inspire music students to strive for excellence and consider music as a career choice or simply as a source for life-long learning and enjoyment. The SSO will design an event to fit any school’s budget. Programs range from a full day residency with members of our orchestra visiting classrooms and interacting with students using games and activities that teach musical terms and encourage interdisciplinary correlations between STEM subjects and music, to a 30-minute live performance by a chamber music ensemble.

In-school ensemble performances can be scheduled in conjunction with the Education Connection Youth Concerts, as a supplement your to school’s curriculum or organizational activities. Comprised of SSO musicians, ensembles available for in-school performances include our Woodwind Quintet, Brass Quintet, Percussion Trio, and String Quartet.

Please contact Kirsten Lipkens, Education Director, at 413-733-0636 Ext.116 for more information.

Grants for all SSO Educational Programs may be available through the Massachusetts Cultural Council via your Local Cultural Council and/or your Local Cultural Council’s PASS program. For information, visit the MCC website or call the MCC at 1-800-232-0960.