Youth Programs

Youth Orchestras 2018-2019

Lech Usinowicz, Director

San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra Programs Registration Form.docx

The Mission of the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestras (SJSYO) is to provide an inspiring orchestral experience for the youth of Durango, Bayfield, Farmington, Pagosa Springs, Cortez and surrounding areas, while further enriching the arts communities of the Four Corners. SJSYO is the only youth symphony organization in the Four Corners area, and its members receive an exceptional educational experience under the guidance of the region’s finest musical performers and educators. SJSYO maintains a strong connection with the area’s school music programs, Fort Lewis College, and cultural institutions such as 3rd Ave. Arts and Music in the Mountains. SJSYO is open to all Four Corners area elementary school, middle school, high school, home-school, and Fort Lewis College students on an audition basis.

SJSYO Concerts this season will be held at 2 pm on December 2 at the Bayfield Performing Arts Center, 7 pm on December 3 at the Community Concert Hall in Durango, and at 2 pm on April 14 at the Bayfield Performing Arts Center and 7 pm on April 15 at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

Our Ensembles

San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra

  • Advanced Level
  • Generally high school and college strings and college winds and percussion
  • Suzuki Book 4 level and up, or equivalent

San Juan Symphony Youth Philharmonic

  • Intermediate Level
  • Strings only
  • Generally Grades 6-8
  • Suzuki Book 2-4 level, or equivalent

San Juan Symphony Junior Orchestra

  • Beginning Level
  • Strings only
  • Generally Grades 3-5
  • Suzuki Book 1: “Allegro” – Suzuki Book 2 level, or equivalent

Requirement for San Juan Symphony Junior Orchestra: The student must have played a bowed string instrument for at least one year, either in a school string program or in private lessons.  The minimum grade level for participation in the SJS Junior Orchestra is third grade.  However, exceptions may be made.  Please contact the director for more information on any exceptions.

*It is highly encouraged that all students in our youth ensembles take private lessons. Please contact one of the directors for more information about local private string teachers.

Audition Information

Auditions are required for initial entrance into any youth ensemble and for transferring into the next ensemble.

Audition Requirements

The student must play a prepared piece. This may be music learned through private lessons or in a school orchestra. The student must also play a major scale.

  • One-octave major scale for the Junior Orchestra
  • Two-octave major scale for the Youth Philharmonic
  • Three-octave major scale (preferred) for the Youth Orchestra

Youth Orchestras Auditions

Come and play with the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestras! Be a member of the top quality youth Orchestras in the Four Corners.

Auditions to be held on August 27th in the Music Theory Room in Jones Hall from 4:30 to 7:00.

Students are placed according to their skill level, in the group where we think they will be most successful!

*Students wishing to join after August 27 must contact their director and arrange an audition time.

“These materials are neither sponsored nor endorsed by Durango School District 9-R”

Seating auditions for the Fall SJSYO semester will take place during our second rehearsal on Monday, September 17, 2018. Seating auditions are a required part of the San Juan Youth Symphony. In our effort to give our youth orchestra musicians an orchestra/audition experience that mimics professional orchestras, we will run our seating audition as follows:

  1. Each musician auditioning should arrive to rehearsal 10 minutes early to draw a number to determine audition order.
  2. When the student’s number comes up, he/she will quietly exit rehearsal for a short, 5-minute audition in a separate room.
  3. There will be an audition assistant who will escort you to the audition area, announce your presence, and ask you if you have any questions. This person will stay on the audition area with you the entire audition, sitting behind you.
  4. This will be a blind audition, with the jury seated behind a screen.
  5. You will not be allowed to say anything during the audition. Our goal is for the audition to be completely anonymous and unbiased.
  6. The required excerpts they want you to play will be listed in order.
  7. The jury may ask you to play it again, perhaps at a different speed.
  8. You will be dismissed to return to rehearsal.

2018-2019 Fall Semester Calendar

 Junior Orchestra – 4:15 PM to 5:45 PM (Large Theory Room)
Youth Philharmonic – 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (Large Theory Room)
Youth Symphony – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (Band Room)

 Please note that ALL groups will now rehearse on Monday evenings

Monday, 8/27: Auditions for New Members

Monday, 9/10: Tutti rehearsal 1*

Monday, 9/17: Mentor Night #1: Seating auditions

Monday, 9/24: Tutti rehearsal 2

Monday, 10/1: Tutti rehearsal 3

Monday, 10/8: Mentor Night #2  (Indigenous Peoples’ Day)

Monday, 10/15: Tutti rehearsal 4

Monday, 10/22: Tutti rehearsal 5

Monday, 10/29: Tutti rehearsal 6

Monday, 10/29: Concerto Competition Applications Due

Monday, 11/5:   Mentor Night #3

Monday, 11/12: Tutti rehearsal 7 (Veterans Day)

Monday, 11/26: Tutti rehearsal 8

Thursday, 11/29: SJS Side-By-Side Application Due**

Sunday, 12/2:    Bayfield Performing Arts Center Concert

Monday, 12/3:   Durango Community Concert Hall Concert

No rehearsal over Thanksgiving Break, November 19th

 * Mandatory Parent Meeting 9/10 (First 15 minutes) – Registration, Snack schedule, Tuition Due
** San Juan Youth Symphony ONLY! Thursday night rehearsal on November 29th in place of November 19th

Dress Rehearsal Schedule

December       2 – Sunday      2:00 PM – Call Time
3:00 PM – Concert: Bayfield Performing Arts Center, Bayfield High School

December       3 – Monday      4:30pm-6:30pm Dress Rehearsal; 7:00 PM Concert

  • 4:30 PM-5:00 PM Symphony B/Youth Symphony
  • 5:00 PM-5:30 PM Philharmonic
  • 5:30 PM-6:00 PM Junior
  • 6:00 PM-6:30 PM Combined Rehearsal
  • 7:00 PM Concert: Community Concert Hall, Fort Lewis College

Concert Attire – Junior Orchestra: Concert black and white (black shoes)
Youth Philharmonic – Concert black and white
Youth Symphony – Black on black

 Please note:  We will only have the rehearsals above to prepare. Some rehearsals are scheduled on school district professional development days (no students) but we will still have rehearsal. If you have to miss for an illness, you are required to notify your director. Students that miss 3 or more rehearsals will be asked to meet with their parent and director.

2018-2019 Spring Semester Calendar

Monday, 1/7: Tutti rehearsal 1

Monday, 1/14: Tutti rehearsal 2

Monday, 1/21: Mentor Night #1: Seating auditions

Monday, 1/28: Tutti rehearsal 3

Monday, 2/4: Tutti rehearsal 4

Monday, 2/11: Mentor Night #2

Monday, 2/25: Tutti rehearsal 5

Monday, 3/4: Tutti rehearsal 6

Monday, 3/11: Tutti rehearsal 7

Monday, 3/18: Tutti rehearsal 8

Monday, 4/1:   Mentor Night #3

Monday, 4/8: Tutti rehearsal 7 (Veterans Day)

Sunday, 4/14:    Bayfield Performing Arts Center Concert

Monday, 4/15:   Durango Community Concert Hall Concert

No rehearsal February 18th and March 25th

Dress Rehearsal Schedule

April                 14 – Sunday    2:00 PM – Call Time
3:00 PM – Concert: Bayfield Performing Arts Center, Bayfield High School

April                15 – Monday    4:30pm-6:30pm Dress Rehearsal; 7:00 PM Concert

  • 4:30 PM-5:00 PM Symphony B/Youth Symphony
  • 5:00 PM-5:30 PM Philharmonic
  • 5:30 PM-6:00 PM Junior
  • 6:00 PM-6:30 PM Combined Rehearsal
  • 7:00 PM Concert: Community Concert Hall, Fort Lewis College

Concert Attire:
Junior Orchestra: Concert black and white (black shoes)
Youth Philharmonic – Concert black and white
Youth Symphony – Black on black

Please note:  We will only have the rehearsals above to prepare. Some rehearsals are scheduled on school district professional development days (no students) but we will still have rehearsal. If you have to miss for an illness, you are required to notify your director. Students that miss 3 or more rehearsals will be asked to meet with their parent and director.

Please contact me for more information regarding our mentorship program!

Thank you,

Lech Usinowicz
SJS Youth Symphony
BeFrankFoundation@gmail.com
970.799.4303

Molly Jensen
SJS Youth Philharmonic
vlnmej@gmail.com

Mark Walser
SJS Junior Orchestra
mwalser@durango.k12.co.us

Registration Fee

$150 per year ($75 per semester) for participation in any ensemble
Checks should be made out to “San Juan Symphony.”
(Due at the first rehearsal in September)
Family Tuition Reduction: $150 for the first student, $125 for each additional sibling
Please contact us for more information regarding our mentorship program!

San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra Programs Registration Form.docx

SJS Youth Concerto Competition

The San Juan Youth Symphony will hold its Third Annual Concerto Competition this season, celebrating/featuring the individual work of one talented
young artist.

Who? Students currently playing in the San Juan Youth Symphony

What? One (1) musician will be selected to perform a concerto of their choice at the SJSYO concerts on April 14 & 15, 2019.

How to Apply for the Concerto Competition:

  1. Email Mr. Usinowicz at befrankfoundation@gmail.com with the name of your piece (one movement of a standard concerto roughly 5-10 minutes in length) by Monday, September 24th. Do not proceed with your application until you receive a confirmation email permitting your selected repertoire. Mr. Usinowicz will need to determine any/all orchestration considerations for your piece; works with large orchestrations are discouraged (Mozart is more appropriate than Shostakovich, for example). If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask Mr. U.
  2. Submit an electronic audition video of your piece (one movement only) no later than Monday, October 29th to befrankfoundation@gmail.com. Students may also use Youtube, Dropbox or Google Drive to submit electronically.
  3. Students will be notified of the results by December 3rd, 2018.

Note: Students that have been previously selected to play a concerto will have to wait one year before they are eligible to audition again.

Please do not hesitate to email Mr. U with questions.

SJS Youth Orchestra

Youth Education

Thomas TeachingIn addition to the Youth Orchestra program, the San Juan Symphony’s Youth Education program provides opportunities for music students to participate in our subscription concerts as orchestra members and as audience members, and to learn from our visiting Guest Artists.

The Education program arranges an annual Side-By-Side concert where area school students are featured on stage with the symphony for a portion of the program. The Side-by-Side includes additional coachings and rehearsals with symphony musicians.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors in Durango and Farmington, the SJS is able to underwrite the cost 50-100 music student tickets for each subscription concert. Student tickets may be requested through the SJS office.

The SJS works with the Artist in Residence program at Fort Lewis College to provide masterclasses for area musicians. On occasion, our Guest Artists make visits to classrooms in the Four Corners area to speak to music students.

The San Juan Symphony also maintains a cooperative relationship with Fort Lewis College where both faculty and students are members of the orchestra.