Youth Symphony grades 9-12


Dan Whisler

Music Director and YS Conductor


Dan Whisler

The Youth Symphony (YS) is the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program’s premier ensemble. It is comprised of 60-80 of the most talented and dedicated string, woodwind, brass and percussion players from across the Albuquerque area. Youth Symphony students have the opportunity to hone their skills while performing a wide variety of advanced orchestral repertoire as well as works by contemporary composers.

WEEKLY REHEARSALS:  Mondays 6:30-9:15pm (unless otherwise noted) at the AYSP Facility.

SECTIONALS:  Youth Symphony students participate in sectionals, during which each section works with a professional musician to assist them in preparing season repertoire and addressing instrument specific issues. Sectionals are held several times each semester during the regular rehearsal time with a variety of professional musicians from our community.

CONCERTS:  The Youth Symphony gives two performances at the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall each season – one in the fall and a second in the spring. The orchestra also performs a third concert in December side-by-side with the New Mexico Philharmonic, a professional symphony orchestra. These three performances, along with associated dress rehearsals, are mandatory for all members of the Youth Symphony. Most of the rehearsals leading up to the side-by-side concert will take place during the regular time on Monday evenings, with one additional rehearsal to be determined. Members of the Youth Symphony also have an opportunity to perform at community events and with other area music organizations during the year, such as the side-by-side New Year’s Eve concert with Opera Southwest.

CASTRO CONCERTO COMPETITION:  The Youth Symphony holds a Concerto Competition annually in May to select two soloists for the following season. Students enrolled in the Youth Symphony as high-school juniors the previous season are eligible to audition for the Concerto Competition. Learn more

SCHOOL TOUR:  The Youth Symphony performs annually in November at a public school in the Albuquerque area as part of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program’s School Tours. The host school offers one or more assemblies in the morning (usually between 7am-12pm) for their students, during which the Youth Symphony performs several pieces and students at the host school learn about classical and symphonic music. Youth Symphony students enrolled in APS schools are excused from classes on the morning of their School Tour. Parents bring their students to the host school and pick them up.

OTHER TOUR:  The Youth Symphony has a rich history of touring – locally, nationally, and internationally. Tours give students unparalleled opportunities to experience other cultures across the world, make life-long memories, and perform in world-class venues. During recent tours, Youth Symphony students have performed at the Teatro Nacional in Costa Rica, Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and a number of other outstanding venues! Participation in tours, when they are offered, is strongly encouraged of all Youth Symphony members.


Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program
4407 Menaul Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
PO Box 30961
Albuquerque, NM 87190