About PYSO

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PYMO Musicians

The Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) have continually offered robust musical training and personal development for young musicians throughout the San Gabriel Valley for more than 40 years. Each year, more than 200 students from 45 different schools audition to be a part of this prestigious program designed specifically for students between the ages of 11 and 18. As part of the Pasadena Symphony Association, the PYSO fosters dedication, excellence, fellowship, and passion in the development of those who are not only outstanding young musicians, but outstanding young individuals.

PYMO Musician

PYSO has performed throughout the world, including venues in Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and many others. The PYSO has also appeared in concert with the United States Air Force Academy Band – Blue Steel – at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Members of PYSO have also experienced opportunities to play additional performances outside the full orchestra program, such as chamber music at Pasadena Symphony concerts, and special guest appearances on Fox’s TV sensation, “Glee.” PYSO falls under the auspices of the Pasadena Symphony Association, and students often interact with Pasadena Symphony and POPS conductors, guest artists, musicians, and staff.

PYMO Musician

PYSO is comprised of four challenging and rigorous ensembles. The String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble are specialty groups that enhance young musicians’ ensemble playing skills, and offer multiple performance opportunities. The Symphony is comprised of wind, brass, percussion, and string players, and performs arrangements and original scores appropriate for intermediate level students. In May of 2013, the PYSO added another ensemble, the PYSO Philharmonic, further extending the program to include advanced students who perform major symphonic repertoire. All four groups perform multiple times each year at a variety of venues, including Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. Placement in each ensemble is contingent upon space availability and audition quality.

All City Rehearsal

For information regarding PYSO, please contact our Education and Community Engagement Manager, Alex Chu, at achu@PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org.

Upcoming Performances

November 22, 2015 at 7:00pm

PYSO Philharmonic Concert at Pasadena High School

December 1, 2015 at 7:00pm

PYSO Winter String Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Concert at Pasadena High School

May 14, 2016

PYSO Spring Concert at Ambassador Auditorium (all ensembles)

2:00pm – PYSO All-City Orchestra, String Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphony

4:30pm – PYSO Philharmonic

All PYSO concerts are free and open to the public.


The application to audition for the 2015-2016 season of PYSO is now closed.

For questions regarding the audition process, please contact Alex Chu, Education & Community Engagement Manager.


Rehearsals for PYSO begin in September and end in May.

PYSO Philharmonic: Sundays, 6:00-8:30 PM, Pasadena City College

PYSO Symphony: Tuesdays, 5:15-7:45 PM, Pasadena High School

PYSO String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble: Tuesdays, 5:15-7:15, Pasadena High School

PYSO All City Orchestra: Tuesdays, 2:30-4:30, Jefferson Elementary


Annual Tuition: $540.
Financial aid information is available upon request and is granted based upon need.


Each year students from PYSO are given opportunities to travel. Attendance is strongly encouraged. These trips afford musicians the unique experience to perform in exciting venues, grow socially and advance musically.

PYSO is committed to making these travel programs accessible to all students, regardless of their financial situation. Fundraising opportunities will be made available to all students.