San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestras

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 7 pm on December 7, 2015 and April 18, 2016 at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

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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.

Youth Symphony

Our Staff

  • Lech Usinowicz - Youth Orchestra Director - 970-884-3120
  • Molly Jensen - Youth Philharmonic Director
  • Bill LaShell - Junior Orchestra Director

Audition Information

Auditions are required for initial entrance into any youth ensemble and for transferring into the next. Auditions will take place in Jones Hall on Tuesday, September 1st from 4pm - 7pm. Rehearsals will begin the following week.

Rehearsal Schedule

  • Junior Orchestra: TBD Mondays 4:15-6:15 pm
  • Youth Phil: FLC Big Theory Room Tuesdays 6:00-7:30 pm
  • Youth Orchestra: FLC Band Room Mondays 6:00-8:00 pm

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

Registration Fee

Download Registration Form

$150 per year 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