The Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Chris Cigolea, provides the community`s most talented young musicians with the opportunity to flourish in a vibrant and exciting musical environment, developing orchestral, musical and team skills with their peers.
The orchestra was established in 2011 when a partnership was struck by the Guelph Symphony Orchestra (GSO) and Guelph Youth Music Centre (GYMC), who teamed up to provide financial backing and ongoing mentorship to 32 Guelph-area youth musicians. A grant from The Guelph Community Foundation’s Musagetes Fund – dedicated to performing, visual and literary arts excellence in Guelph and area – helped to get this thriving partnership off the ground. We extend heartfelt thanks to Ken Gee for his tireless efforts and enthusiasm in helping to bring this wonderful orchestra to fruition.
This partnership with the GSO and GYMC continues to provide the Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra with substantial support through:
• Mentoring and hands-on coaching from local symphony performers;
• Access to the GYMC’s stunning recital hall;
• Increased exposure, credibility and publicity via GSO’s ongoing marketing efforts;
• Collaborative performances with the GSO at Guelph’s prestigious River Run Centre
Seasoned GSO players spend time coaching budding performers. Catherine Molina, Guelph Symphony Orchestra General Manager, describes with pride the dedication GSO members have in seeing the venture succeed. “Providing immediate feedback and real time experience is the best training”, comments Catherine. She recalls in particular GSO’s principal timpani player attending almost every rehearsal to mentor the youth orchestra’s young percussionist. “She is now a skilled and confident player”, says Catherine, “overall the Youth Orchestra is an absolute success musically and fiscally with 32 dedicated and enthusiastic members”.
The orchestra performs at least three concerts throughout each year in venues including Harcourt Memorial United Church, the GYMC Recital Hall, and feature in an annual side-by-side concert with the GSO on the River Run Centre main stage.
Other opportunities to perform have included community involvement such as free concerts at St. Josephs Hospital and a Christmas-themed flash mob performance at Stone Road Mall. Demonstrating their merit, GYSO has won the top scholarship in the ensemble category at the Kiwanis Music Festival in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Looking to the future, the Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra continues to develop their artistic level and financial sustainability, so that they can play on and keep contributing to the city’s vibrant cultural scene for all ages.