August 24, 2021

Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestras and Club Orchestra Programs Launch 2021-2022 Season
Serving Hundreds of Young People 
Youth Symphony Orchestra Reschedules Debut at Carnegie Hall

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic today announced details of the 2021-2022 Season of its flagship education and engagement programs for young people, including the Youth Symphony Orchestra’s (YSO) rescheduled debut appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

During the 2021-2022 Season the YSO will join the Philharmonic performing Khachaturian on a Side-by-Side Masterworks Series concert scheduled for Oct. 23, followed by its own fall concert, entitled “Mozart & Monsters” on Oct. 31.  A highlight of the YSO Season is an annual performance at Night of Lights, this year scheduled for Nov. 24. The YSO Spring Concert will take place on Mar. 13, 2022, followed by the annual FAME performance, whose theme this year is Jazz Age of North America, scheduled for Mar. 20, 2022. The YSO concludes its local Season on May 15, 2022 followed by a special appearance at a festival of American Youth Orchestras at Carnegie Hall between June 10 and 14, 2022.

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (YSO) program is designed to provide student musicians with an authentic, professional orchestra experience. A core focus of the program is to offer exceptional artistic training and transformative experiences that impart a strong sense of discipline, accomplishment, confidence, and self-esteem; provide a network of camaraderie; and establish a deep appreciation for music and the arts.

"This season is designed to engage and educate the minds, hearts, and souls of not only our youth orchestra musicians, but our audiences as well,” said Troy Webdell, Director of Youth Orchestras. “I look forward to making music with these amazing young adults. The excitement and dedication displayed by our young musicians is an inspiration to the future of classical music."

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Orchestras perform throughout the greater Fort Wayne area including at the Embassy Theatre, Grand Wayne Center, and Purdue University Auer Performance Hall. Throughout the Season, resources are dedicated for YSO coaching sessions with Philharmonic musicians, access to special events, including master classes, guest artist visits, complimentary tickets to select Philharmonic concerts, scholarship opportunities for private lessons, summer music camp study funding, and instrument loan opportunities.

The Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra program is designed to support existing school music programs and students are encouraged to enroll as members of their school orchestra or band programs. The YSO is open to all student musicians in the greater Fort Wayne area. For more information, contact Troy Webdell, Director of Youth Orchestras, at twebdell@fwphil.org or visit FWPHIL.ORG.

Club Orchestra (Club O) is a Partnership of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Fort Wayne Community Schools. The program is part of El Sistema, a visionary world movement transforming the lives of children and their communities through music, a new model for social change. Club Orchestra’s mission is to empower children by providing an intensive orchestra training program that teaches the importance of teamwork, promotes self-confidence, and instills the value of social responsibility.

Club O finds its home at Forest Park, Waynedale, and South Wayne elementary schools, meeting after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays until 4:30 p.m. This Season the program kicks off on Sept. 14 and concludes with a concert mash up with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Youth Symphony Orchestras on Apr. 28.

“We are so happy to reconvene in-person for the Club Orchestra and Club Kid-O programs at Forest Park, South Wayne, and Waynedale Elementary Schools for the 2021-2022 Season,” said Aaron Samra, Program Manager, Club Kid-O & Club Orchestra. “The educators, instructors, and I look forward to getting back into the classrooms, making wonderful music again, and witnessing the learning opportunities that Club O programs will offer our young people.”

A popular special feature added in recent years has been “3rd Saturdays,” where students from the various schools convene in one location for music, refreshments, exercise, and social enjoyment. Plans for “3rd Saturdays” will be released to participating schools in the near future.

Philharmonic education programs continued throughout the pandemic, with program managers adjusting to the realities of lock downs and altered school schedules while employing technology to reach hundreds of young people. The YSO successfully performed and produced three video concerts in collaboration with PBS Fort Wayne, University of St. Francis, and the Clyde Theater. A highlight was the Beethoven's 250th Birthday Celebration with a local concert that attracted the attention of the official Beethoven@250 Festival in Vienna, Austria. A subsequent invitation to perform in Vienna is being considered. The YSO’s performance of "The Moon Represents My Heart" was included in an international cloud concert that has been viewed over 3 million times. 

Throughout the 2020-2021 Season, Club Kid-O Pre-K classes were offered through weekly videos that engaged classes in singing and playing instruments. Club O was able to assemble in person, with smaller classes meeting once a week. The program was highlighted in a live streamed concert on Apr. 17 at Science Central. And Club O’s summer program just completed with a trip to Goshen College for a joint practice and performance with ECoSistema, Goshen’s El Sistema program.