As one of the finest pre-college programs in the region since its founding in 2005, EYSO supports the pedagogy of school directors and private teachers, while providing additional performance opportunities and ensemble experience. All students and parents are offered the opportunity for pre-college counseling, assistance with college and scholarship applications (including Common App. and other recommendations) and financial aid advice. The orchestra is open to string, wind and percussion musicians from 9th-12th grade.

The home of EYSO is the world-class Schwartz Center for Performing Arts on the Emory University campus (see: www.bestvalueschools.com/25-most-amazing-university-performing-arts-centers/); members are under the direction of conductor Paul Bhasin who began with EYSO in 2016. Students receive regular sectional instruction from Emory’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Artist Affiliates and other Atlanta professionals. The orchestra performs three concerts during the school year in the renowned Emerson Concert Hall.

In the 2009-2010 season, the orchestra and its members were featured on the nationally broadcast From the Top, National Public Radio’s program dedicated to the most outstanding young musicians in the country. EYSO has also been featured at Spivey Hall, performed with guest soloists from the Atlanta Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras and has appeared in concert with Emory University’s String Quartet in Residence, the Vega String Quartet. In 2014, the orchestra began a regular tour cycle with a performance at New York’s Lincoln Center attended by major donors and supporters of the program, Donna and Marvin Schwartz and Ted Turner. In 2017, EYSO travelled to Chicago performing at Northwestern University and participating in masterclasses with distinguished faculty.

Members are expected to enroll in their school’s instrumental ensemble music program for the entire school year. Students attending a school where there is no ensemble program must be recommended to EYSO by a private teacher or school official.

Rehearsals are held throughout the school year on Wednesdays from 7:30-9:30pm in the Tharp Rehearsal Hall of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University. Rehearsals begin immediately after the audition period starting with string rehearsals; wind and percussion musicians are required for only 8 weeks before the November and May performances and 5 weeks before the February performance. This allows for a more practical schedule, in particular for the many wind and percussion students participating in multiple groups such as the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. Students should plan to arrive on the Emory campus between 7:00-7:15pm in order to park and warm up. Free parking is available in the Lowergate South Parking Deck and the Fishburne Parking Deck next to the Schwartz Center; practice rooms are available on the third floor of the Schwartz Center.

EYSO is funded solely through tuition fees and donations; rehearsal and performance venues, concert promotion and marketing, basic equipment needs and concert support are all provided by Emory University.

The tuition fee for 2017-2018 is just $600 for the year. This is an all-inclusive fee for the season; there are no additional fees for folders, music, t-shirt, parents’ association etc. Full and partial tuition scholarships are available. Consideration for scholarships is based on the needs of both the student and the program. Please email Dr. Prior directly for more information.

The EYSO Concerto Competition is open to members of EYSO only. The winning student performs with the orchestra on the last concert of the season. Previous winners include:

Ben Rau, (2017) Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations
Mia Pattillo, (2016) Grieg Piano Concerto
Kaegan Gregory (2015) Borne Carmen Fantasy for Flute and Orchestra
Carly Weikle (2014) Weber Concertino for Clarinet
Christina Bae (2013) Grieg Piano Concerto
Amanda Ake (2012) Bruch Violin Concerto
Sam Lee (2011) Elgar Cello Concerto
Benito Thompson (2010) Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3
Melissa Ake (2009) Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor
Blake Johnson (2008) Dvorak Cello Concerto in B minor

If you have questions regarding the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, please contact:

Dr. Alexandra Shatalov
EYSO Manager
[email protected]