October 21, 2012 at 02:10 AM EDT
SLO Youth Symphony Back to School, Back to Music

Students, conductors and coaches of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony returned to San Luis Obispo High School for their first rehearsal of the 2012-2013 season on Sept. 24.

Now in its 48th season, the Youth Symphony is the only opportunity between Santa Barbara and Monterey for school-age musicians to receive ensemble instruction and a full orchestral experience, establishing the foundation for future orchestras.

The Youth Symphony, a key element of the extensive music education programs offered by the San Luis Obispo Symphony (SLO Symphony), is comprised of five ensembles that accommodate various levels of performance skill under the direction and coaching of distinguished and seasoned local musicians.

The Youth Symphony presents three major concerts per school year: Dec. 9 and March 9 at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande, and May 12 at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Additional performances with smaller ensembles and school outreach concerts are also a part of the season. The Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra, which is the most advanced ensemble of the five, looks forward to concluding their season with a performance at the Walt Disney Concert hall and tour to Chicago in June 2013.

With budget cuts hitting existing school music education programs very hard, the SLO Youth Symphony provides a path for young musicians to acquire musical training and ensemble performance experience, benefiting the entire Central Coast community.

“Music is a critical component of a well-rounded education,” said SLO Symphony Executive Director Jim Black. “This type of training is not currently offered in our local schools but the Symphony is committed to doing whatever we can to fill that gap through the Youth Symphony and our other music education programs.”

Generous season sponsors make the Youth Symphony’s 2012-2013 Season possible. These sponsors include Pamela M. Dassenko, DDS; Susan Polk Insurance Agency, Inc.; and the SLO City News.

The SLO Symphony is dedicated to providing music education programs to San Luis Obispo County students regardless of their ability to pay tuition and supply costs.

Annually, the SLO Symphony awards over $20,000 in scholarships to eligible students in the Youth Symphony and Strings in the Schools programs. Donations for tuition scholarships and program supplies are much appreciated.

For more information about the Youth Symphony and other music education programs offered by the SLO Symphony, please call (805) 543-3533 or visit http://www.slosymphony.com and http://www.sloyouthsymphony.org.

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