Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra starts new season titled Storytelling

The Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra (WCYO), based in Ridgefield, but made up of youth musicians from 26 towns in Connecticut and southwestern New York State, has started its 2023/24 season titled “Storytelling”. 

Weekly rehearsals for the WCYO‘s three large ensembles – Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble – began on September 7th, with the first concert of the season scheduled for Sunday, November 19th, and with each with each ensemble focusing on pieces that tell stories through music. 

“This season WCYO ensembles explore one of the most meaningful and universal rituals throughout human history; storytelling” says WCYO Music Director and Symphony Orchestra Conductor Eric Mahl.  “The focus of the year will be to experience, through music, how composers have told stories of love, triumph, myth and legend through the ages and how these stories still ring true today.” The artistic leadership of the WCYO, along with Mahl, includes String Orchestra Conductor Joanna Giordano and Wind Ensemble Conductor Malin Carta. 

The largest of the WCYO ensembles is the Symphony Orchestra - a full symphonic orchestra made up of advanced string, woodwind, brass and percussion musicians. The ensemble performs professional orchestral repertoire, from staples of the classical genre to music of the 21st century. 

The String Orchestra is an intermediate string ensemble for advancing middle school and early high school musicians.  This group focuses on strengthening the various fundamentals of ensemble performance and comprehensive string instruction, and performs intermediate to advanced level traditional and contemporary repertoire. 

The WCYO Wind Ensemble is comprised of advanced woodwind, brass and percussion middle school and high school musicians. This group focuses on strengthening the various fundamentals of ensemble performance and skill development, and performs both woodwind and jazz ensemble repertoire, as well as big band and concert band repertoire.

Musicians in all three ensembles frequently work with professional guest musicians, have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers in the other ensembles, and participate in community engagement activities.

The WCYO encourages youth musicians to audition for participation in one of the organization’s ensembles.  Entry into the ensembles is offered at select times during the school year early in each of the three concert cycles, with primary auditions held in early June for the following year.  For audition information, visit https://wctyo.org/auditions/

For more information on the upcoming WCYO concert titled “Fantasy”, visit https://wctyo.org/events/

The mission of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra is to educate and inspire young musicians through the study and performance of classical and contemporary musical works, participation in enrichment activities, and engagement with the community. Our program provides an opportunity to develop artistry and technique, as well as a profound understanding and appreciation of instrumental music. Our members are challenged not only to perform at the highest level, but also to build character, creativity and self-esteem, with music as their guide.


Submitted by Redding, CT

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