The Youth Symphony orchestra is the heart of our programs, providing a seamless artistic and educational experience for our young musicians. This ensemble relies on the hard work of our individual players to build a collaborative group success. Intermediate and advanced string, woodwind, brass, and percussion players are encouraged to audition.

Musicians accepted to the Youth Symphony will study and perform a wide range of advanced symphonic repertoire under the leadership of Music Director Nathaniel Berman. Our musicians receive further orchestral training in smaller sectionals, led by professional musicians, to prepare for concerts.

The Youth Symphony was established in 1966 and remains a cornerstone of the Santa Cruz County community, performing several times a year to packed concert halls.

Musicians rehearse weekly and perform four to five concerts per year. In the winter season, the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony combines with the Santa Cruz Symphony for outreach concerts in Santa Cruz and Watsonville.

NOTE: The Youth Symphony will shift to online rehearsals, beginning in Fall 2020, due to the coronavirus. We will return to in-person rehearsals and performances as soon as it is safe for us to do so. Our online program will focus on music education and recording opportunities. We encourage new musicians to apply!

Please see our Auditions page for further details on joining this group.