PYO Music Institute

Pizzicato Players

Paul Smith, Director & Conductor

Pizzicato Players, a new and expanded educational offering of the PYO Music Institute (PYO) organization, strives to create a home to develop critical and large ensemble skills and ensemble experience with conductors and acoustically favorable settings to highlight and nurture plucked instruments which are increasingly used in contemporary settings and throughout conservatories worldwide.

Plucked strings hold a constant and unique presence in the classical canon; their prevalence extends from the Renaissance and Baroque settings, operatic featurettes, and auxiliary orchestration settings in Romantic and Modern Symphonic works.

Pizzicato Players seeks to raise the profile and pathways for these instruments locally in ages 12 through 21 years of age, in advanced and intermediate settings.

Instruments Considered for Audition Include:

  • Classical/Acoustic Guitars
  • Harp, “Folk” Harp
  • Mandolin
  • Baroque Plucked strings – Lute, Theorbo

All instruments must be comfortable and proficient in tuning their instruments by themselves.

Rehearsals for Pizzicato Players will be on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Center City Philadelphia at St. Patrick Church Hall, 240 S. 20th Street.

Repertoire for the 2019-2020 Season:

  • Select works from the Baroque Masters: Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Weiss
  • Select works from the Renaissance Traditions: La Folia and Ground Bass, Mudarra, Dowland
  • Select contemporary work from established Plucked String composer Terry Champlin of Vassar College and Mannes College of Music


CLICK HERE to request an audition!

Audition Requirements

  • All players are required to play their choice of a solo or two contrasting etudes. In addition, each player must perform scales in 2-3 octaves, arpeggios, and demonstrate sight-reading fundamentals
  • Improvisational and solo opportunities available in Renaissance and Baroque styles respectively

Annual Pizzicato Players tuition for the 2019-2020 season is $500.00. A non-refundable $150.00 deposit is due at the time an accepted student registers for the PYO organization. Tuition balance is due by the first rehearsal of the concert season.

Financial Aid is available for those accepted students who demonstrate financial need. Applications are available upon request. Please contact the PYO office at or 215.545.0502 for more information.