(August 1, 2022) – The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute (PYOMI) is committed to increasing access to excellent music education and performance opportunities for students. As a part of the organization’s commitment to growth, President and Music Director Louis Scaglione is pleased to announce the introduction of a new program division, The Philadelphia Youth Symphonic Band (PYSB). The PYSB is designed to provide advanced student musicians from across the greater Philadelphia area access to professional level wind ensemble and band repertoire as an avenue for musical and personal growth. In addition to their musical work and growth, members develop personal traits of character, discipline, perseverance, and citizenship through their work with other serious music students.

Maestro Patrick Bailey is the founding Director and Conductor of the PYSB. A longtime PYOMI associate and PYO alumni, he currently serves as Operations Director and Librarian for the Institute. He is a tenured faculty member of the Pennsbury School District’s internationally recognized instrumental music program and currently holds the position of Music Director & Conductor of the Drexel University Concert Band program. Maestro Bailey is excited to begin the Symphonic Band’s inaugural season and shared that, “To be a part of the growth of the Institute over the last sixteen years, as a student in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and as a staff member here, has been deeply humbling. This is an incredible community of student musicians, families, staff, and audiences who help enable music to have a positive impact on our lives. I am thrilled that the organization is reaching out to a new group of students through the development of the Symphonic Band program – bringing band students together from across the region to put together some of the great works of our repertoire will make for a rewarding year. It is inspiring to work with such talented, dedicated, and positive young people.  I am excited to begin the season and build this ensemble together.”

Maestro Scaglione is also thrilled to provide more opportunities for music students and knows that Maestro Bailey is the ideal person to direct them. He said, “Patrick has worked with PYOMI for many years and his passion for education and determination to provide the highest-level experiences for students made him the perfect choice for PYSB. We hope to reach students who may be involved in their school bands and have greater potential. We have extensive plans for these musicians.”

Rehearsals for the Symphonic Band begin after the Thanksgiving weekend, on Tuesday evenings at Saint Patrick Hall in Center City Philadelphia, and performances will occur through the winter and spring. Students will have master class sectional rehearsals with expert teachers and musicians, exposure to advanced wind band literature through rehearsal and performance, and access to supplemental resources through the PYO Music Institute including College and Conservatory Audition Preparation classes, Introduction to Conducting classes, and access to the Institute’s Student Resource Center & Library.

Membership in the Symphonic Band is attained through an audition process. In-person auditions will be held on September 17th and 18th, and in mid/late November on the 15th and 22nd. The Philadelphia Youth Symphonic Band (PYSB) accepts woodwind, brass, percussion, piano, string bass, and harp students aged 13 through 18. Details about auditions can be found at www.pyomusic.org.

About PYO Music Institute:

The renowned PYO Music Institute, launching its 83rd season in September, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance organizations. PYO Music Institute provides talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training and is committed to training tomorrow’s leaders. Its students go on to excel in diverse fields and many go on to become professional orchestral musicians, performing locally and across the world. Many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are proud alumni of PYO Music Institute.

The new Philadelphia Youth Symphonic Band ensemble is one of eight program divisions. The anchor group of the Institute is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by PYOMI President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, which features 125 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 15-21. Young musicians 13-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), which is led by Drexel University Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin. Young Musicians Debut Orchestra (YMDO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra that provides most students aged 11-17 with their first introduction to playing in a full symphonic orchestra setting. Bravo Brass, directed by former Curtis Institute of Music Dean Maestro Paul Bryan, is an all-brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. Prysm Strings and Prysm Strings Young Artists ensembles provide large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate string students ages 6-14. The director and conductor of Prysm Strings is Gloria dePasquale, former cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of Prysm Strings Young Artists is Andrea Weber. Pizzicato Players, directed by Paul Smith, is an ensemble offering for students who play plucked string instrument which aims to develop critical and large ensemble skills and ensemble experience.  Tune Up Philly – Orchestral Pathways Program (TUP) is the PYO Music Institute’s after-school music program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum.

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