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Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Announces Auditions for 2021-22 season

Auditions will be heard for the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bassoon and more.

Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Announces Auditions for 2021-22 season

Today, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra announced that because of the ongoing pandemic, auditions for the 2021-22 season will be held by video submissions during the month of May. Only percussion auditions will be conducted in-person (following health and safety protocols, including social distancing, based on advisement of the Cleveland Clinic). All applicants will receive detailed instructions. Instrumentalists from area middle and high schools who study privately and participate in their school's music program - and are prepared to commit to an ambitious rehearsal and concert schedule - are invited to audition.

Auditions will be heard for the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, percussion, and keyboard. Applications must be received by Friday, March 26, 2021; the application fee is $40. Those interested will find the application and audition requirements at (click on "Auditions"). Please contact COYO Manager Lauren Generette by phone at 216-231-7352 or email at for further information.

Vinay Parameswaran serves as music director of the ensemble and as associate conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra. The 2021-22 season will mark Parameswaran's fifth season at the helm of COYO. In June 2019, he joined COYO on its third international tour, leading the ensemble during performances in Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.

COYO musicians enjoy a very close artistic relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra. Members of The Cleveland Orchestra serving as coaches to the Youth Orchestra and leading weekly sectional rehearsals include: Peter Otto and Kathleen Collins (violin); Stanley Konopka and Mark Jackobs (viola); David Alan Harrell (cello); Mark Atherton (bass); Jessica Sindell (flute, COYO alumna); Frank Rosenwein and Jeffrey Rathbun (oboe); Robert Woolfrey (clarinet); Jonathan Sherwin (bassoon and contrabassoon); Shachar Israel (trombone); Hans Clebsch (horn); Lyle Steelman (trumpet, COYO alumnus); Yasuhito Sugiyama (tuba); Trina Struble (harp); Joela Jones (keyboard); and Thomas Sherwood (timpani and percussion).

"Because COYO has been unable to rehearse in person during the 2020-21 season, we've learned to adapt and be creative," said Parameswaran. "Despite pandemic-related challenges, our musicians have had an incredible season of enriching experiences, including a seminar with Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst; score studies and conversations with composers John Adams, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Jessie Montgomery; audition preparation; and virtual coaching sessions and sectional rehearsals with Cleveland Orchestra musicians. We hope to have in-person rehearsals and performances again at Severance Hall during the 2021-22 season, but regardless of what the future holds, all COYO musicians can expect a year of valuable musical experiences and one-of-a-kind instrumental learning."

"The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is an extremely talented ensemble," said Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. "They are at the level of, or better than, some professional musicians I have heard. They have access to musicians from one of the greatest orchestras in the world - The Cleveland Orchestra - and they learn what it means to be an orchestra musician on the highest possible level. It is a unique concept that a top orchestra has its own youth orchestra, and they are all trained exactly the same way."

"In terms of my personal growth, COYO has meant the world to me," says Sophie Calabrese, Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra alumna horn player. "Music is a great reminder of all the joy, hope, and passion that's out there."

About the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is a full symphonic ensemble comprised of approximately 100 young musicians drawn from dozens of communities across Northern Ohio. Founded in 1986 by Jahja Ling (then resident conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra), the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) provides serious young music students of middle-high school age with a unique pre-professional orchestral training experience.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is part of a suite of Cleveland Orchestra programs designed to nurture aspiring young musicians, which also includes the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus and Preparatory Chorus, and the Crescendo and Music Mentors pathways initiatives for students in Cleveland schools. In addition, with the support of many generous individual, foundation, corporate, and governmental funding partners, the Orchestra's full range of education and community programs reach more than 100,000 young people and adults annually, helping to foster a lifelong relationship with music by removing barriers to participation, advocating for and helping to facilitate equitable access to comprehensive music education in schools, and harnessing the life-changing power of service to the community. For more information please visit these links: Education, Community, and Learning Resources.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is supported by a generous grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, and by gifts from many other donors across Northeast Ohio. Endowment support is provided by The George Gund Foundation and Christine Gitlin Miles. COYO touring is supported by an endowment gift from the Jules and Ruth Vinney Family. In 2020, Anthony and Patricia Lauria endowed the Principal Viola chair of COYO. For more information, please visit

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