The Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Chris Cigolea, provides the community`s 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 GYSO was established in 2011 when a partnership was struck by the Guelph Symphony Orchestra (GSO) and Guelph Youth Music Centre (GYMC) to collaborate in the operation and support of Guelph’s only youth symphony. 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 for rehearsals and performances;
• Increased exposure, credibility and publicity via the ongoing marketing efforts of the GSO and GYMC;
• Collaborative performances with the GSO at Guelph’s prestigious River Run Centre
Seasoned GSO players spend time coaching budding performers. Catherine Molina, GSO’s General Manager, described with pride the dedication GSO members have in seeing the venture succeed. “Providing immediate feedback and real-time experience is the best training”, commented Catherine. She recalled in particular David Knight, 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 featured 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 it can play on and keep contributing to the city’s vibrant cultural scene for all ages.