School of Music

USM Youth Ensembles

Welcome to the USM Youth Ensembles

Become a Member

Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Youth Ensemble auditions for the 2020-2021 school year will take place digitally via recorded video. Please watch this space for updates.

Auditions for the 2020-2021 Youth Ensembles

 We are working on plans for the video auditions. Current members will be notified by email. 

Email Binney Brackett for more information: brackett@maine.edu

See below for audition requirements.

  

Member Information, click here.


Meet the Conductors

Hanna Flewelling

Robert Lehmann

Ferdinand Liva

Jackie Townsend


About the Instrumental Ensembles

Auditions: 

For more information about auditions for the instrumental ensembles, please contact Binney Brackett at 207.780.5003, brackett@maine.edu.

About your instrumental audition: Auditions are approximately 5-10 minutes in length and will consist of a prepared piece(s) of the applicant’s choice. You may perform two different works or movements, or two portions of one work. The prepared piece(s) should be from your instrument’s standard repertory and demonstrate slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing. The piece(s) should demonstrate command of the elements listed under the following requirements. Note for Percussionists - it is highly advised that you prepare one excerpt for each of the following: snare, timpani, and mallets. Please consult with your private instructor if you have questions about what is considered standard repertory.

 

The Portland Young People’s 
String Consort
conducted by Hanna Flewelling

The Portland Young People’s String Consort gives less advanced string players training for the PYJO, a chance to become familiar with playing in an ensemble situation, following a conductor, and gaining formal concert experience. Established in 1979, the PYPSC offers adjunct support to string programs in Maine schools. 

Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 5:45 to 7 p.m.

Audition requirements: Candidates must have the ability to read music, use basic bow strokes (legato, staccato, detaché) and have started shifting and vibrato. Candidates should prepare one or two contrasting pieces of their choice and two-octave major scales through three (3) sharps or flats.

 

The Portland Youth Junior Orchestra
conducted by Dino Liva (Ferdinand Liva)

The Portland Youth Junior Orchestra is an intermediate-level string orchestra, which has as its primary goal to train its players to move into the PYSO. It stresses the building of solid fundamental orchestral skills, improvement in sight-readiing ability, and presents members with challenging and varied repertory.

Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 5:45 - 7 p.m.

Audition requirements: Same as PYPSC (above). In addition, candidates must play one major and one minor three-octave scale (any form), demonstrate spiccato bow stroke, familiarity through five (5) positions (cellos should have an acquaintance with tenor clef), a well-developed vibrato and tone, and moderate sight-reading proficiency.

 

The Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Robert Lehmann

The Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra is made up of more than 70 musicians, ranging in age from 11 to 18. Established in 1942, the PYSO has grown into a pre-professional program of high caliber, which challenges its members with a diverse repertory of orchestral literature. 

Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 5:45 - 7:15 p.m.

Audition requirements: Candidates should have the same skills as described for PYJO (above) plus comfort in upper positions and advanced control of intonation and tone quality. All players should have previous ensemble experience and be well-advanced in the command of their instrument. Confidence in sight-reading and familiarity with all major and minor scales is required. The solo selection should demonstrate advanced technical command and lyrical expression. 

 

The Portland Youth Wind Ensemble
conducted by Jackie Townsend

The Portland Youth Wind Ensemble began out of a need in the greater Portland area for a select wind ensemble for talented young wind players. It is dedicated to refining concert techniques through a sophisticated repertoire of wind and band literature. The principal chair musicians are also members of PYSO. 

Weekly rehearsals during the academic year are Wednesdays from 7:30 - 9 p.m.

Audition requirements: All candidates should perform a piece(s) of their choice that best demonstrates their technical and musical skills in both fast/technical and slow/lyrical music. Auditions are approximately 8 minutes in length and will consist of a prepared piece(s) of the applicant’s choice. You may perform two different works or movements, or two portions of one work. The prepared piece(s) should be from your instrument’s standard repertoire and demonstrate slow, lyrical playing and faster, more technical playing. The piece(s) should demonstrate command of the elements listed under “requirements.” Please consult with your private instructor if you have questions about what is considered standard repertory.

 

 

Those interested in youth music programs will also be interested in USM's Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps.