Akron Youth Philharmonic - Akron Symphony Orchestra

Akron Youth Philharmonic

About the Akron Youth Philharmonic

For the past 37 years, the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Akron Public Schools have co-sponsored the Akron Youth Philharmonic, which has provided the opportunity for talented students to perform a wide variety of orchestral literature with their peers. The Akron Youth Philharmonic is geared toward sixth through ninth graders, but is open to all qualified middle and high school students from all area school districts, as well as home-schooled students.

The Akron Youth Philharmonic is under the direction of Douglas Bayda, director of orchestras at Miller South School for Visual and Performing Arts in the Akron Public School district.

The Akron Youth Philharmonic provides:

  • Full orchestra experience
  • Excellent preparation for the Akron Youth Symphony

2022-23 Season Information

The Akron Youth Philharmonic’s schedule for the 2022-23 performance season includes:

  • Akron Youth Orchestra Winter Concert – January 22, 2023
    Tallmadge High School, 140 N. Munroe Road, Tallmadge
  • Akron Middle School Strings Festival – February 23, 2023
    Miller South School, 1055 East Avenue, Akron
  • Akron Youth Orchestra Side-by-Side Concert – March 19, 2023
    E. J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill Street, Akron

Rehearsals will be held on the following dates and times:

  • Tuesdays from October 11 through March 14 at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will not be rehearsals on November 8, December 20 and December 27.
  • A joint rehearsal with the Akron Youth Symphony on March 12 at The University of Akron’s Guzzetta Hall, from 1:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Please note: Attendance is expected at all rehearsals and concerts.

A $50 participation fee will be charged to all students accepted into the Akron Youth Philharmonic.


All students interested in performing with the Akron Youth Philharmonic will need to audition in September. There is no fee to audition. Students who auditioned for the Akron Youth Symphony during the summer but were not selected must audition for the Akron Youth Philharmonic to be considered. If they are accepted, their audition fee will be applied to their Akron Youth Philharmonic participation fee.

Auditions will take place at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, which is located at 1055 East Avenue in Akron, on the following dates and times:

  • September 14 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 pm
  • September 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 pm

For more information, contact Director of Education and Outreach Orzella Matherson by email at omatherson@akronsymphony.org or by phone at 330.535.8131.

Audition Application

Click here to access the online audition application.

Audition Requirements for All Instruments

Please prepare music that demonstrates your musical ability. Solos or etudes are preferred. Literature from your school ensemble that demonstrates your technical and musical abilities is also acceptable. You must bring your music, and accompanists are not permitted at the audition. Your audition will be evaluated on the following criteria.

Rhythm: Demonstrate the ability to play with a steady tempo at a fast or slow rate while keeping note values proportionate. In general, avoid choosing pieces that rely heavily on exaggerated use of rubato to make their musical effect.

Scales: Full-range major scales through four sharps and four flats may be requested. Wind and brass players may be asked for chromatic scales.

Sight Reading: A short musical excerpt comparable to the music performed by the group may be asked.

General: Tone, dynamic variety, articulation (staccato, marcato, legato, etc.), range, intonation, shifting, breathing, bow use, and musicality will also be evaluated.

Additional Requirements for Specific Instruments

Woodwinds: Flute, Clarinet, Oboe and Bassoon – If you have piccolo or bass clarinet experience and access, please bring one with you to demonstrate your ability.

Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass and Harp – Familiarity with shifting and upper positions is highly desirable. You will be asked to perform two-octave scales.

Brass: Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn and Tuba – No transposition will be necessary.

Percussion: Demonstrate proficiency on snare drum and a mallet instrument.

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Education and Outreach Orzella Matherson by email at omatherson@akronsymphony.org or by phone at 330.535.8131.