GPAC Youth Symphony OrchestrA

GPAC Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) was created to offer opportunities for young musicians across the Tri-State area to improve upon their technique, learn basic music theory, work with an ensemble and interact with professional guest artists performing at GPAC. 

GYSO was founded in 2009 by former GPAC Executive Director, Tania Castroverde Moskalenko and Music Director and Conductor, Pu-Qi Jiang.

In 2011, GYSO merged with the Mid South Young People's Orchestra and added two younger string ensembles, Mendelssohn String Orchestra and Mozart String Ensemble for students ages 7-14 years of age thus creating the GPAC Youth Symphony Orchestra Program. Each ensemble performs 2 concerts each season along with special access to master classes, workshops and performances with partners, The IRIS Orchestra and Concerts International.

Additionally, GYSO was named a Finalist in the American Prize Youth Orchestra national competition in 2012 along with taking two international performing and learning tours to China in 2011 and Europe in 2014. 

The GPAC Youth Symphony Program is dedicated to the highest standards of music and is open to career-oriented students as well as those who wish to study music for the pure enjoyment, inherent benefits of and appreciation for the art form.

Mozart String Ensemble

The Mozart String Ensemble is for students 7-12 years of age.  Mozart SE is a training group under the direction of Ms. Britta Hall with beginner to intermediate level. Student placement is based on ability, talent and skill along with their age and maturity. Rehearsals are held Thursdays from 4:30 - 5:45 p.m.

Mendelssohn String Orchestra

The Mendelssohn String Orchestra is for students 12-16 years of age under the direction of Mr. Alex Perry. Mendelssohn SO is a training group with an intermediate to advanced level.  Designed to hone their orchestral skills and further develop their abilities, this program prepares students to advance to the Youth Symphony Orchestra.  Rehearsals are held Thursdays from 5:45 – 7:00 p.m.

Wind Ensemble

Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Spencer Nesvick is made up of woodwind, brass and percussion students ages 12-18 from across the Mid-South.  The focus is to provide a high quality musical experience for its members built on fundamentals and musicianship through the great and ever-expanding concert repertoire specifically for wind ensemble.  The Wind Ensemble rehearses from 12:30 - 1:30 pm on Saturdays and then participates in the weekly music appreciation class from 1:30 - 2:15 pm.

GPAC Youth Symphony Orchestra

The GPAC Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mr. Jonathan Schallert is a full orchestra consisting of strings, winds, brass, percussion, harp, and keyboard.  Admitted by audition, GYSO musicians are advanced students from 14-19 years of age and participate in weekly orchestra rehearsals, sectional rehearsals and weekly music appreciation class.  The GYSO weekly music appreciation class meets from 1:30 - 2:15 pm and rehearsal from 2:15 – 4:00 pm on Saturdays.

**Please note that the ages listed above only the suggested range. Students are placed into groups based on their audition results.

2018-2019 Concert Schedule

Sun. November 18 at 4pm
Sun. May 5 at 4pm

18-19 Calendar
Absence Form

2018-2019 Auditions

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Auditions are closed for the 2018-2019 season. Please contact us at for future audition information. 

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Financial Aid

GPAC believes that finances should not prevent a motivated and talented student from participating in our youth symphony program. The GPAC Arts Education Fund provides tuition assistance to families each season. Financial aid is awarded based on many factors including family size, annual income and extraordinary situations. Please contact Emily Hefley for more information.

Financial Aid Application



Sheryl Lane (Orchestra Manager)

Emily Hefley (GYSP Director)                   901-751-7665