Youth Symphony

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony

For Advanced Players

Heralded as “…a prestigious group of young, talented musicians…” by Santa Barbara SEASONS magazine, the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony brings together 60-70 gifted musicians, ages 12-18, from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to perform works across the orchestral repertoire. This advanced ensemble instills the discipline and commitment that budding young professionals need for the next step in their careers, whether in music or another field.

The Santa Barbara Symphony is engaged in a strategic partnership with Westmont College for the purposes of supporting the Youth Ensembles.  The partnership brings many additional resources to our music education program, educational opportunities for our students, internship experiences for Westmont students and perfectly complements our continuum of programs from elementary school, to college and even on to a professional orchestra career.

“The student experience in the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony is totally unique. Where else can my child learn and perform musical masterpieces in a symphony orchestra made up of their peers? The environment is so fun and supportive, rehearsals are the highlight of our week!”

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony 10/29/17 Notre Dame School
Santa Barbara Youth Symphony 10/29/17 Notre Dame School

Program Highlights

  • Weekly rehearsals with Dr. Yvette Devereaux.
  • Three public performances at the historic Lobero Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara.
  • Students receive two free tickets to every regular season Santa Barbara Symphony concert, and access to reduced priced tickets for additional family members.
  • Additional special educational opportunities like invitations to attend masterclasses, meet guest artists, and learn about various topics like composition and music theory.

Participant Guidelines

  • Rehearsal commitment is Sunday from 6-8:30pm. Students rehearse during the school year from September through May and must be on time for all rehearsals and performances.
  • Students are expected to further their musical education outside of rehearsals by:
    • Practicing their instruments and assigned material on a daily basis
    • Participating in their school music program
    • Attending Santa Barbara Symphony concerts
    • Taking private lessons is highly recommended
  • Families are expected to help students keep a regular practice schedule, and to volunteer for and participate in occasional social events and fundraising activities.
  • SAFETY NOTE: Student safety is our priority and we continue to closely monitor guidelines from the Public Health Department. Fall 2022 instruction will be conducted in-person and in accordance with current Santa Barbara County Public Health Department masking requirements as outlined HERE. The Santa Barbara Symphony requires that all students show proof of vaccination to participate in the 2022-2023 Youth Ensembles season.
Santa Barbara Youth SymphonyWinter Concert 3/10/19 The Lobero Theatre

2022-2023 Audition Information

Auditions for our 2022-2023 season will be held in person on Sunday, June 12. Complete your online application form no later than Friday, June 3 to schedule your audition. Please note that both new and returning students must audition. 

Our online application is open — please apply now, save the date and start practicing! We are growing and would love to have you join us.

2022-2023 Audition Requirements

  • Level: Advanced. Open to woodwind, brass, percussion, and string instrumentalists.
  • Scales and Arpeggios:
    • String players prepare a 3 octave major and minor scale and arpeggio of your choice AND a 3 octave chromatic scale.
    • Woodwind and brass players prepare a 2 or 3 (if possible) octave scale and arpeggio of your choice AND a two-octave chromatic scale.
  • Audition Excerpts: download and prepare audition excerpts according to your instrument from the links below.
    • Violinists may choose the Violin 1 excerpts or the Violin 2 excerpts. Choice of excerpts does not guarantee section assignment.


  • A Solo Piece which best demonstrates both technical and musical skills on the instrument (no accompanist needed).
    • Percussionists: please prepare a solo piece or excerpt on the snare drum.

2022-2023 Tuition


As a non-profit, generous annual donations from Symphony supporters enable us to keep Tuition fees to a minimum. Need-based Scholarships are available and information regarding these can be found on the application form. Admitted musicians will not be turned away due to finances. If tuition is a challenge, please reach out to the Education Programs Manager at 805-898-1417.

Support this program!

Would you like to join our family of donors and support this program? Annual donations at any level have a big impact. They can fund scholarships, help pay our faculty, provide instruments and more! 

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony 10/29/17 Notre Dame School
Support The Santa Barbara Symphony

Your support matters now more than ever!
Please make a donation today.