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 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.

Flute Choir

Directed by Sharon Levin, this ensemble explores some of the colorful and exciting music written and arranged for multiple flutes. The Flute Choir allows every YAP flute player to perform expressive and technically challenging repertoire in a setting geared towards exploring the unique challenges and possibilities of this versatile instrument.


Woodwind/Brass Ensemble

This ensemble is geared towards developing the technique and musicianship needed for performing music written exclusively for winds and brass. This is a helpful and engaging genre of music, not only for reaching the next level of technical ability, but is also good  for reinforcing the student’s abilities in their concert/marching band groups outside of YAP. 

Chamber Music

Directed by Ben Grow, students in the Chamber Music program develop their listening, collaborative, and interpretative skills in a small-ensemble setting. It’s an opportunity for the young musician to gain experience in this challenging and artistically fulfilling genre. Open to strings, piano, woodwinds, and brass. Chamber Music ensembles typically rehearse at the Greenwich Arts Center.


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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