Founded in 1980 with the purpose of providing artistic and educational development of musically talented and dedicated junior high youth within Colorado Springs' School District #11, the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association (CSYSA) began with 70 young musicians and gave a single performance the first season. Today, the Youth Symphony is comprised of eight individual groups: Wolfgang Strings (for beginning string players), Amadeus String Orchestra (for string players with some experience), Allegro Strings (for string players with a little more experience), Vivace String Orchestra (intermediate strings), Bravo! Winds (a concert band for intermediate players), Pikes Peak Wind Symphony (advanced concert band), Ovation Youth Orchestra (a full orchestra for intermediate players) and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony (a full orchestra for advanced players). Approximately 350 young musicians are accepted by audition every year to take part in one of these groups. The Mozart String Project, which focuses on beginning string instruction, enrolls an additional 140 students at sites in Northeast and Northcentral Colorado Springs. Today, students from over sixty schools from the Pikes Peak region including Pueblo, Limon, Castle Rock, Peyton and Canon City participate in our programs.
The mission of the Association is to provide for the artistic and educational development of young people within the Pikes Peak region by offering high quality and diverse musical experiences which enrich the cultural environment of the community. In conjunction with this mission are the following goals:
- to bring together the finest young musicians from Colorado Springs and the surrounding area to rehearse and perform together under inspiring leadership;
- to enable students to experience the elements of a professional environment including competition, responsibility, and concert hall performances;
- to develop performers and audiences for the future;
- to offer students opportunities to broaden their repertoire by playing music of varied and differing styles from standard professional literature;
- to enrich and encourage local school music programs;
- to inspire elementary and secondary school students interest in music as performers or listeners;
- to provide high quality symphonic music to the general public at a reasonable cost.
The Association presents over 60 performances each year regionally, nationally, and internationally. The educational program features music camps, performing tours, leadership classes, a solo competition, exposure to all forms of orchestral literature, chamber music ensembles, and community collaborations.
It was during a tour to New Zealand that the organization adopted its motto “Through Music We Are One,” quoting a Maori tribesman.
For our list of Board of Directors, click here.