The Sacramento Youth Symphony was founded in and has been running since 1956. Many young people from ages 7 to 21 have played with the Sacramento Youth Symphony over the years. Students come from all over Sacramento County, and even beyond the county as far as Davis and Roseville. The symphony fills the gap for students who want to play an instrument but it is no longer have a music program at their school. All  of the symphonic instruments are represented in the symphony.  The students all range in skill sets beginner to advanced and are placed in a certain group based on their ability.

One of the youth orchestras during their Thursday night rehearsal

The Sacramento Youth Symphony is comprised of three large orchestras, two mini string orchestras, and a symphonic band. It also has a program at Fruitridge Elementary School. They provide instruments for those who cannot afford their own or encourage students to join their school band if one available and bring their school instrument with them. They have many performances during their season which is concurrent with the school year, September through May.

Executive director Cathy Taylor has held that position for three years but has been involved for years. “My children were part of the symphony. They are both in college now.”says Taylor.  “The best thing about the program is that it brings youth from all over the Sacramento region to improve their skills, have fun, and learn new things.”

Programs like this are essential to the Sacramento community because they provide an outlet for young people that is not provided at school. Many of these young musicians have been playing for years and have a real passion for music. “Being part of the youth orchestra is a really rewarding experience because I get to work with others and learn what an orchestra sounds like.” says Wesley Kao, a fifteen year old cello player.

Taylor gave this advice to young people looking to join the symphony. “I would recommend for beginners to check at their school to see what their music program offers, take lessons if possible, and come to one to our concerts before going through the application process.” Blind auditions take place every year in June with the exception of brass instruments who can apply and audition year round.

For any additional information about the program or on how to get involved visit,