“As grandparents, we have the privilege of loving and being proud of our grandchildren. It is a great blessing when the grandchildren do something to make us even more proud. Seeing our granddaughter and grandson play with the YOCJ tops it all. We see their hard work, and that of each private teacher and all the YOCJ conductors. Everyone gives 100 percent and it is readily seen at each performance.  We are in “awe” of all the children and their very dedicated mentors. Each performance comes through with diligence and pride in their work. We are so proud of our grandchildren. May God continue to bless them.”

~ Grandparents, Jim & Irma Martinez


“Our son thoroughly enjoys being part of YOCJ and he is SO PROUD to be part of this prestigious youth orchestra!  YOCJ offers countless enriching opportunities for young string, brass, and woodwind students to grow as musicians!  Since joining YOCJ two years ago as a trombonist, my son has grown tremendously as a musician.  His conductor, Mr. Woodward, has played an integral role in challenging our son to progress instrumentally and in nurturing a love and appreciation of music, all while managing to make weekly rehearsals FUN!  All of the YOCJ Conductors are truly outstanding, extremely accomplished, and are an inspiration to both the YOCJ musicians and their parents alike! YOCJ is a wonderful community of teen musicians, conductors, and parents  — where we have always felt right at home!”

~ Kristin & Bob Rossi, parents of YOCJ member


“We’re so thrilled to have found YOCJ for our daughter. As a homeschooling family, there was no orchestra at school! She’s participated in all 3 YOCJ orchestras and has made some great friends, especially on the Europe trip. The quality of the musical instruction is excellent; the conductors have a great rapport with the kids but also command their respect. The music selection broadens their horizons by introducing them to classics from many countries and time periods. Master classes with the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra have been inspiring. Exciting performance venues have included the music pier in Ocean City, Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University and Esterhazy Palace in Austria, Haydn’s home for 50 years. The pressure’s on to practice, knowing that they have seating auditions before each concert! And it’s well-run, reasonably-priced, and conveniently located. Sign up now for your audition!”

~ Amy and Chris B.


“YOCJ challenged my children to become better musicians than they ever expected to be. Our family has been a part of YOCJ since 2007 when my son Erich joined the SPO as a second violin.  His sister Julia joined a year later as a violist.  They both rose through each of the orchestras and performed, or in Julia’s case will perform, in their senior years with the Symphonic Orchestra.  The memories run deep and they are both proud to have been part of such a wonderful and talented group of musicians and conductors in Mr. Pugh and Mr. Enz. Truly a first class experience.”

~ Eileen M. Heinzel


“It’s a special treat every time I get to see them play… I marvel at the dedication and creativity of the students and conductors AND the great sound they produce at the concerts! The trips and special venues they get to play in are the icing on the cake… what a unique group!”

~ Mike, father of two string players in YOCJ

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“Because everyone else has already raved about the other YOCJ students and lauded the excellent music instructors, I would like to focus on how YOCJ made me fall in love with classical music. I was never really a fan of classical for the first 15 years of my life; it was too slow for me. However, YOCJ reversed those false stereotypes – classical music is actually very passionate and is almost like narrating a story, it has its fast and slow parts. Each instrument adds its own tone to the story’s portrayal and the different sections come together as intricate, dynamic characters whose intwined interactions add plot. Now, I listen to classical music almost all the time, especially when I’m studying or driving.”
~ Ryan D’souza