The instrumental and community programs of the Young Artists Philharmonic

Young Artists Philharmonic

The Young Artists Philharmonic (YAP) is a full symphony orchestra performing advanced orchestral literature. As the flagship ensemble, the Young Artists Philharmonic is recognized for its high level of professionalism and musicianship. Students are expected to be able to play in all keys, have much technical facility and demonstrate mature musicianship. Violinists should be able to play in five to seven positions. Violists should be familiar with treble clef as well as alto clef. Cellists should know some thumb positions and have familiarity with the tenor clef. Transposition may be necessary for winds. Trombonists will need to be able to play in tenor clef.

Young People’s Symphony

The objective of the Young People’s Symphony (YPS) is for its members to learn the standard orchestral literature and eventually graduate to YAP. String players should have knowledge of the first five positions. They should be able to use vibrato, have a sense of phrasing and tone production, and have a familiarity with all the basic rhythms and meters. Wind and brass players must be able to demonstrate endurance and flexibility, as well as good tone production, as there is an emphasis on solo passage work.

Young String Ensemble

The Young String Ensemble (YSE) provides an introduction to the principles of ensemble and string technique that are crucial to beginning musicians. Members of this string group are expected to be able to play material up to three sharps and three flats. A minimum amount of position work is required. Knowledge of rhythms should include dotted halves, dotted quarters and dotted eighths. Students should be familiar with the following meters as well: 2/2, 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, and 6/8 time.

Woodwind Ensemble

The Young Artists Philharmonic is dedicated to offering woodwind and brass players a high-quality and comprehensive musical experience, with many opportunities for ensemble and solo performance. Students rehearse alongside professional coaches, who help young woodwind and brass players to refine the techniques they need to excel in their school band and orchestral programs—with which we work in tandem. The following are some examples of the repertoire focused on by the ensemble:


  • Bennett’s Suite of Old American Songs
  • Milhaud’s Suite Française
  • Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
  • William Schumann’s George Washington Bridge
  • Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances, arr.
  • Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody, arr.

Community programs

Instrument Petting Zoo

YAP’s Instrument Petting Zoo program is a key feature of its community outreach. These seminars provide children with what is usually their first interaction with a stringed instrument. They get the chance not only to see and hear, but to touch and learn. YAP teaching artists reach over 500 children a year through these Instrument Petting Zoos, at organizations such as the Childcare Learning Centers (CLC), Starfish Connection, and local Fairfield County schools.

Starfish Connection

YAP is honored to partner with the Starfish Connection, a comprehensive program that identifies high potential children from high risk socio-economic groups in the 3rd grade, and provides mentoring, advocacy, educational support, enrichment, and extracurricular activities throughout their elementary, middle and high school years. Offering an Instrument Petting Zoo to students who are ready to select a musical instrument for study, YAP hopes to ignite a spark in each student for the particular instrument of their choosing, and asks advanced YAP students to demonstrate the instruments in a ‘hands-on’ demonstration.

Music in the Schools

We are committed to helping to improve classical music education in all its forms. To that end, YAP is proud to collaborate with public and private schools in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, and other cities. Music programs are often the first target in budget cuts, so we help out by making our teaching artists available for “side-by-side” rehearsals, guest performances, and other enrichment seminars.

5 Benefits of Music Education

By Eric Kung M.D., Young Artists Philharmonic President Emeritus


Enhances the development of academic achievement


Provides a vital means of self-expression


Fosters a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem


Teaches the importance of focus, discipline and teamwork


Builds character, social skills and creativity

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