About The Symphonic Orchestra

Conducted by Kenneth Bean, the Symphonic Orchestra is the most experienced orchestra combining the advanced string, wind, brass, and percussion groups of the Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey.

SONY DSCOur Symphonic Orchestra performs rigorous original repertoire such as Copland’s Billy the Kid Ballet Suite, Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3.  During YOCJ’s 2014 European Tour, the orchestra had the opportunity to perform a contemporary composition, Limes (Frontiers) from Symphony No. 1, under the baton of its composer the Austrian, Daniel Muck, in the historic Haydn Hall at Esterhazy Palace.

In the beginning of the semester, Symphonic students meet during the first hour in sectionals of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The focus is on the sections’ idiosyncrasies of tone production and ensemble performance in playing original works. Then all the sections meet together as a “symphony” forming an orchestra for the final hour of the 7 to 9 p.m. rehearsal.  Following the small ensemble recital in the middle of the semester, the Symphonic Orchestra meets as a full orchestra for the entire two-hour rehearsal to prepare for the concert at the end of the semester.

Every year, the Symphonic Orchestra invites renowned soloists from the tri-state area to perform concertos with them for the winter concert. Soloists have included members of The Philadelphia Orchestra such as David Kim, Concertmaster, and Yumi Kendall, Associate Principal Cellist. The soloists also present a Master Class for specially selected students. In January, the Symphonic Orchestra has a Senior Concerto Competition in which talented high school seniors of the Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey have the opportunity to audition to perform a concerto with the Symphonic Orchestra in their spring concert.

The goal of YOCJ’s Symphonic Orchestra is to provide advanced high school musicians an inspiring, powerful and balanced symphonic experience.  Original music is chosen to challenge the student in ways beyond what the typical high school orchestra can offer, including repertoire, expert training in sectionals and camaraderie in the bonding experience of performing together some of the greatest music ever composed. Rehearsals are Tuesdays, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Audition to join YOCJ


Young musicians (elementary through high school) are all welcomed to audition for The Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey in January, June, and September.

Students MUST study privately and be enrolled in either their school band or orchestra in order to become and remain a member of YOCJ. Recommendation by the student’s private teacher is required. Homeschoolers are also invited to audition!

Click HERE for complete audition information and upcoming DATES.