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 ten individual groups: Wolfgang Strings (String Program, Level 1), Amadeus String Orchestra (String Program, Level 2), Allegro Strings (String Program, Level 3), Vivace String Orchestra (String Program, Level 4), Bravo! Winds (intermediate concert band), Pikes Peak Wind Symphony (advanced concert band), Pinnacle Jazz (beginning jazz band), Ascent Big Band (advanced jazz band), Ovation Youth Orchestra (advanced full orchestra) and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony (our flagship group). 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 150 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 inspire young musicians to be leaders, provide artistic development and diverse musical experiences, and share exceptional music that bridges cultures.
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.