Vanderbilt Youth Orchestras

Youth Orchestras

Craig Madole, program director

The Vanderbilt Youth Orchestras have been an integral part of the Blair Academy since 1972. Comprising eight orchestras, the program draws outstanding young musicians from throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. The Vanderbilt Youth Orchestras are open by audition to students in the third through the 12th grades. The VYO provides a high-quality orchestral experience at all levels, in addition to a fun, supportive and challenging learning environment. Members of the VYO have the opportunity to work with professional conductors and coaches from the Blair School of Music faculty and the Nashville Symphony. Students accepted for membership are encouraged to be in good standing in their school's music organizations. For information about becoming a part of VYO, contact Craig Madole.

Vanderbilt Youth Orchestras Summer Intensive

Craig Madole, program director, Conductor

Sunday, June 2–Thursday, June 6

Sun 6:30-8:00 pm, Mon-Thurs 9:30 am-3:00 pm, Final Concert at 2:00 pm

The VYOSI features an intensive orchestral experience, challenging repertoire, and sectionals with Blair faculty and Nashville Symphony musicians. Open by audition to strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussionists in grades 7–12. Current members of Philharmonia and Curb Youth Symphony do not need to audition and can sign up through their existing VUPACE account.  Students will prepare a concert to be performed in Ingram Hall at Blair School of Music. 

Summer Young Artists Orchestra

Craig Madole, program director, Conductor

Tuesday, June 25–Friday, July 28

Tuesday-Friday 9:30 am-3:00 pm, Final Concert at 2:00 pm

This exciting full orchestra experience will include rehearsals, sectionals and more. SYAO is open by audition to strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussionists in grades 5–12. Students will prepare a concert to be performed in Ingram Hall at Blair School of Music. String students should at least be in Suzuki book 3 or playing equivalent literature. This ensemble will perform grade 3-4 repertoire.  Students in Repertory Orchestra, Philharmonia, or Curb Youth Symphony do not need to audition to participate and may go ahead and sign up through their existing VUPACE account.

Summer Orchestras Audition Information

Fill out the application at: https://redcap.link/VYOsummer2024

Audition videos should be approximately one and a half minutes of a prepared solo or excerpt. Upload an unlisted YouTube link or cloud drive link (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) of your audition video to the application form. If sharing a drive link, please make sure the video is accessible by craig.a.madole@vanderbilt.edu.  
Students will be notified of acceptance/camp placement by May 20, 2024.

Curb Youth Symphony

Nathan Aspinall, artistic director

Beginning in Fall 2023, Nathan Aspinall, the associate conductor of the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra, will also serve as conductor and artistic director of the Curb Youth Symphony (CYS) at Vanderbilt Blair. This is the most advanced ensemble in the VYO program, and draws students from all over the region. As the presenting orchestra for the Curb Concerto Competition and collaborating ensemble for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra side-by-side experience, concerts will be held at Blair and the Schermerhorn. An intensive sectional experience is coached by members of the NSO, Blair faculty and guest artist coaches. Rehearsals are 6:35-9:05pm, Mondays. The first rehearsal for Spring 2024 will be January 22. Tuition is $335 per semester. Need-based financial aid is available. For more information, contact Craig Madole.

The Blair-Curb Youth Symphony Concerto Competition will be held the evening of Tuesday, October 3, 2023.  The competition is open to members of the Curb Youth Symphony and local-area pianists.  Winners have the opportunity to perform as soloist with the Curb Youth Symphony.  Email Craig.a.madole@vanderbilt.edu with any questions.

Read more about audition requirements for Curb Youth Symphony.

Philharmonia Orchestra

Craig Madole, director

The Philharmonia is a full orchestra (woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp and strings) of outstanding young musicians performing masterpieces of standard orchestral literature. Membership is open to students in grades 8-12 by audition. Philharmonia will perform each semester and have other opportunities to perform such as the We Are Nashville Festival at the Schermerhorn. Audition requirements are the same as for the Curb Youth Symphony. Intensive sectionals are provided by members of the Nashville Symphony, Blair faculty and guest artist coaches. Rehearsals are 2-4:30pm, Sundays. The first rehearsal for Spring 2024 will be January 21. Tuition is $315 per semester. Need-based financial aid is available. For more information, contact Craig Madole.

Read more about audition requirements for Philharmonia Orchestra.

Repertory Orchestra

Tiffany Turner, director

Repertory Orchestra is a full orchestra experience (woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings) with students performing arrangements of standard orchestral repertoire. This ensemble is open by audition to students in grades 6-12. Sectional experiences are provided by members of the Nashville Symphony, Blair faculty and guest artist coaches. Rehearsals are 6:30-8:45pm, Tuesdays. The first rehearsal for Spring 2024 will be January 23. Tuition is $305 per semester. Need-based financial aid is available. For more information, contact Tiffany Turner.

Read more about audition requirements for the Repertory Orchestra.

Youth Strings Orchestra and Reading Orchestra

The Youth Strings Orchestra provides training for young string students and prepares them for admission into the Repertory Orchestra. The Youth Strings Orchestras are open to all string students in Nashville and the surrounding areas by audition and recommendation of the private instructor. These ensembles perform a concert each semester and meet on Tuesday evenings. The first rehearsal for Spring 2024 will be January 23. Tuition is $250 per semester. Need-based financial aid is available. For more information, contact Susan Abell.

The Reading Orchestra focuses on strengthening string students' music-reading skills. This class also introduces fundamentals of orchestral playing and music theory. This ensemble performs each semester and meets for one 50-minute session weekly. It is open to all string students in Nashville and the surrounding areas by audition and recommendation of the private instructor. Rehearsals meet on Tuesday evenings. Tuition is $250 per semester. Need-based financial aid is available. For more information, contact Susan Abell.

Read more about audition requirements for the Youth Strings and Reading Orchestra.

VYO Summer Camp Registration

student with tuba

Summer Young Artists Orchestra

This exciting orchestra experience will include rehearsals, master classes and more. Students in grades 7–12 will prepare a full concert to be performed at the Blair School of Music.

Learn More and Register

student with tuba

Vanderbilt Youth Orchestra Summer Intensive

The VYOSI features an intensive orchestral experience, professional repertoire, master classes, sectionals and a final concert. Open by audition to students in grades 8–12.

Learn More and Register

VYO Orchestras

student with tuba

VYO: Repertory Orchestra

The Repertory Orchestra is a full orchestra (woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp and strings) of outstanding high school and middle school students performing arrangements of standard orchestral literature. Membership is open to students in grades 6-12 by audition. The orchestra presents two concerts each year. Rehearsals are 6:30-8:45 p.m. Tuesdays. 

Learn More and Register

student playing violin

VYO: Youth Strings Orchestra

The Youth Strings Orchestra provides training for young string students and prepare them for admission into the Repertory Orchestra. Students must be able to read at least Level One music. The Youth Strings Orchestra is open to all string students in Nashville and the surrounding areas by audition and recommendation of the private instructor. The group gives several concerts each season and meets for one 60-minute session weekly.

Learn More and Register

young girl playing cello

VYO: Reading Orchestra

The Reading Orchestra focuses on strengthening string students' music-reading skills. This class also introduces fundamentals of orchestral playing and music theory. This ensemble gives two or three concerts each season and meets for one weekly 45-minute session weekly. It is open to all string students in Nashville and the surrounding areas by audition and recommendation of the private instructor.

Learn More and Register

student playing bassoon

VYO: Philharmonia Orchestra

The Philharmonia is a full orchestra (woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp and strings) of outstanding young musicians performing masterpieces of standard orchestral literature. Members of the Philharmonia included students from Tennessee and Kentucky. Membership is open to students in grades 8-12 by audition. Audition requirements are the same as for the Curb Youth Symphony. Rehearsals are 2-4:30 p.m. Sundays. For more information, contact Craig Madole.

Learn More and Register

student playing violin

VYO: Curb Youth Symphony

The Curb Youth Symphony is the most advanced ensemble of the Nashville Youth Orchestra. It performs masterpieces of standard orchestral literature and features winners of the CYS Concerto Competition. Students have the opportunity to work with Nashville Symphony Orchestra members and Blair School of Music faculty members in section rehearsals and master classes. An annual CYS/NSO side-by-side concert is performed at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Membership is open to students in grades 8-12 by audition. The Curb Youth Symphony is sponsored by the Nashville Symphony and the Blair School of Music. Rehearsals are 6:35-9:05 p.m. Mondays. For more information, contact Craig Madole

Learn More and Register

young girl playing violin

VYO: Beginning Reading Orchestra

The Beginning Reading Orchestra develops music-reading skills and introduces the fundamentals of orchestral playing and music theory. The Beginning Reading Orchestra performs several concerts a semester and provides the opportunity to learn in a fun and challenging environment. It is open to all string students in Nashville and the surrounding areas by audition.

Learn More and Register