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History


The Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra was formed as a result of a successful Strings Program in Brevard County Public Schools. The School Board, in collaboration with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and Eastern Florida State College, recognized the need for the most talented string players, as well as the county’s most advanced band players, to have the opportunity to learn orchestral repertoire under the direction of a professional conductor.

Founded as a single orchestra in 1984 under Willem Bertsch, Brevard County’s finest young musicians continue to receive orchestral training not available through any other institution Today, in it 30th performing season, the BSYO boasts three orchestras consisting of more than 150 talented young musicians in grades 1st-12th, representing forty public, private and home schools.

A brief timeline shows our major achievements:

1994–expansion to two groups, the Strings Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra
1999–Strings Orchestra renamed Concert Orchestra and expanded to include winds and percussion
2000–development of a 3rd group, the String Ensemble, a training orchestra for young string students
2003–pilot chamber ensemble program was launched
2006–creation of annual Concerto Competition and collaboration with Brevard Children’s Chorus
2007–development of sectional program with clinicians from BSO and Brevard Public Schools
2008–25th anniversary celebrated with 4 world premieres of original compositions & alumni play-along
2009–innovative guest conductor residency to fill top orchestra conductor position
2011 – Development of Music Mentors Program

Students audition each year for a seat in one of three groups: String Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonic Orchestra. The BSYO is dedicated to providing talented young musicians with opportunities for personal and artistic growth through challenging rehearsal and performance experiences. In addition to making musical training available for young people, this vital arts organization serves the community by encouraging a greater understanding of and participation in orchestra music. The BSYO is an affiliate of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra.