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Resident Orchestra at the Green Music Center

Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra

COVID UPDATES (8/17/2021)

With the availability of vaccines for people 12 and older, and proven health and safety protocols, the Institute is returning to in-person rehearsals for all of our ensembles. The Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra will hold in-person rehearsals beginning September 12. Stringent health and safety protocols will be enforced to ensure everyone's safety. This includes requiring all eligible participants (including staff and faculty) to show proof of vaccination before the first rehearsal. Please see this page for more health and safety information.

Formed in October 1959, as the Sonoma County Junior Symphony, under the direction of founding conductor Eugene Shepherd, the orchestra's name was changed, in 1994, to the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra and is currently led by Bobby Rogers, previously Conductor of the Aspirante Youth Orchestra since 2011. A graduate of Sonoma State University (B.A. in Music Education and Jazz Performance) and Sacramento State University (M.A. in Wind Conducting), he has earned many top awards and honors for outstanding teaching. Rogers is currently the Music Director at Pioneer High School in Woodland, Director of Jazz Program at Solano Community College, adjunct Professor of Band at Woodland Community College and Artistic Director of the Yolo Community Band. He serves on the California Teachers Association State Council of Education.

The Youth Orchestra has helped prepare musicians who have pursued a professional music career with numerous professional ensembles throughout California, including the Santa Rosa Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Oakland Symphony, Musica Angelica, Sacramento Symphony and Napa Valley Symphony. 

Interested in hearing Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra in concert? Click here to view SRSYO playing Shosty Festival Overture, Shostakovich.

Auditions & Membership


Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra Chamber Players

COVID UPDATES (8/17/2021)

During this time of COVID-19, the SRSYO Chamber Players has been folded into the larger SRSYO. We will resume our in person chamber concerts when conditions permit. In the meantime, follow the SRSYO on social media (Facebook: Santa Rosa Symphony Young Musicians) to learn about our virtual concerts. The concerts can be viewed on the SRS Education YouTube channel.

Chamber music offers a unique music experience. Through chamber music, student musicians learn skills they do not learn in other settings. These skills can then be brought back to the larger orchestra or band context. These skills include:

Rhythm - Because students are playing “one on a part”, they have to be very secure in their own part. Being able to play rhythms and maintain a steady pulse without benefit of a conductor is a skill that is crucial to the success of the chamber performance.

IntonationMusicians have to rely on their own ears to find the center of the pitch to match the other players. This is especially tricky in ensembles of diverse instruments.

Listening Playing in an ensemble without a conductor requires an enormous amount of listening. Players need to know the members’ parts almost as well as their own.  Listening allows the musicians to match articulation, rhythm, interpretation and pitch.

Often, youth orchestras will double and triple wind parts in the orchestra to accommodate many players. At SRSYO, we believe there is more educational value for musicians to experience music as the composer intended. This gives us the incredible opportunity to have a Chamber Music Program. Every musician plays in the orchestra in an authentic setting and, when their piece is not being rehearsed, they have the opportunity to play chamber music.

While the musicians receive a certain amount of coaching, the priority is for them to run their own rehearsals – they are learning to rehearse themselves, critique themselves, and make musical decisions about the pieces they are working on.

In 2020-2021, SRSYO is meeting virtually to study music history and theory, and using technology to create virtual concert experiences. Through this process, the students are exponentially increasing their listening and ensemble playing skills. You can see the first of such concerts HERE.



We gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions from the following:


Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra sponsored by the George L. Smith Jr. M.D. and Nancy Doyle M.D. Fund of the Community Foundation Sonoma County


All photos by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography

Contact Us

ATTENTION: Symphony offices are currently closed due to COVID-19. Symphony staff, working from home, continue to monitor voicemails, email and mail.

Administrative Office:
50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Phone:  (707) 546-7097

Patron Services:
Phone: (707) 546-8742


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