Youth Orchestra

//Youth Orchestra
Youth Orchestra 2022-05-16T16:14:19-05:00

Registration for the 2022-2023 school year is now open on Get Learning!

Learn more about our Summer Programs >

Students who participate in orchestra develop foundational musical skills, while honing teamwork and leadership qualities that last a lifetime.  Registration is a commitment for September – May and will include three activities a week including individual lessons, group lessons and placement into a youth orchestra ensemble.

* Lessons – Students receive individual weekly lessons. Younger students receive 30 minute lessons and older students receive 45 minute lessons. An arrangement with area schools allows us to teach during the school day in your child’s school. Times will be arranged to fit into your child’s schedule.

* Orchestra – All students play in one of three student orchestras, which rehearse after school in the Robert J Elkington Middle School (RJEMS) on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

* Group lessons – Students will meet weekly with same instrument groups. Group lessons will be held on Mondays after school in the RJEMS Grand Rapids Middle School.

2021 SCHEDULE (2022 schedule subject to change)

Mondays | Group Lessons
starting at 3:30 PM by instrument

Tuesdays | Prelude Youth Orchestra*
3:30 – 4:30 PM

Wednesday | Intermezzo Youth Orchestra
3 – 4 PM

Thursday | Itasca Chamber Orchestra
3:30 – 4:30 PM

*Prelude orchestra will be for all first year students.
Students with orchestra experience will be placed into an appropriate orchestra according to skill level.

Lessons will take place weekly between September and May. There will be 27 lessons, 27 orchestra rehearsals and 27 group lessons for each student.  If school in ISD 318 is cancelled then lessons and student orchestra practices are cancelled. Lessons cancelled by school cancellations or by the student will not be rescheduled.

Regular attendance at student orchestra rehearsals is required. The director may determine when a student has missed too many rehearsals and not be allowed to perform with the orchestra in the concert.


Regular practice is important. Generally 20-30 minutes most days is a good basis, with shorter time for beginning students.


Lessons are held at area schools or at the Reif Center. Students in Grand Rapids may ride a bus from their school to the Grand Rapids Middle School for their weekly after school orchestra rehearsal.



Cellos and basses are not allowed on school buses! Please arrange to have these instruments be dropped off at the school.



Students will participate in two public performances in the Reif Performing Arts Center. Concerts will be held at 6:00 pm on December 16th, 2022 and May 25, 2023. Additional community performances will be announced.


Students may be recommended for participation in the Grand Rapids Area Music Festival. Participating students will perform two pieces for a judge and will receive a rating. Students receiving a superior rating will participate in a public performance including other high performing area musicians.

If you are interested in lessons only, please email [email protected] to be put on a waiting list.

Register today on the Get Learning website. A $50 registration fee is your commitment fee for the program. A form will popup prior to checkout that will ask for student information and payment preference. Please select a preference for paying lesson fees in full prior to September 18th or monthly ACH payments on the 1st of the month. We will follow up with an invoice or a form to fill out for monthly ACH payments.

See Scholarship options by following the link below. The competitive scholarship deadline is June 1st!

For more information regarding scheduling, billing or logistics please contact managing director Buffy Dege at [email protected] or 218-327-5781. Music related questions may be directed to Artistic Director Pedro Oviedo at [email protected]


Register Today | Meet the Instructors | Strings Program | Apply for Scholarships