The Mission of the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestras (SJSYO) is to provide an inspiring orchestral experience for the youth of Fort Lewis College, Durango, Bayfield, Farmington, Mancos, Pagosa Springs, Cortez and surrounding areas, while further enriching the arts communities of the Four Corners. SJSYO is the only youth symphony organization in the Four Corners area, and its members receive an exceptional educational experience under the guidance of the region’s finest musical performers and educators. The two-tiered orchestral system serves serves woodwind, brass, percussion and string students ranging from grades 5 through college.
Welcome to the 2020-2021 Season!
Do you love band or orchestra and want to do more music? Are you interested in taking your musicianship to the next level by playing a new style of music? If so, join us by auditioning for the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestras!
Typically grades 8-College
Tuesdays between 6:00pm-8:45pm
La Plata County Fairgrounds, Exhibition Hall Classroom A
September 29 – November 17, 2020
The Youth Orchestra (YO) is an advanced, full symphonic orchestra comprised of 60-80 talented and dedicated string, woodwind, brass and percussion players from across the Four Corners area. Youth Orchestra students have the opportunity to advance and hone their skills while performing a variety of orchestral repertoire, as well as works by contemporary composers.
Typically grades 5-9
Tuesdays between 5:15pm-7:00pm
La Plata County Fairgrounds, Exhibition Hall Classroom B
September 29 – November 17, 2020
The Junior Orchestra (JO) is an intermediate, full symphonic orchestra which provides exposure to orchestral training for 40-60 string, woodwind, brass and percussion players from across the Four Corners area. The Junior Orchestra performs exciting symphonic literature, while focusing on developing a united symphonic sound and developing more advanced technical skills.
IMPORTANT UPDATES FOR 2020:
All orchestra rehearsals for the Fall 2020 semester will be held in the La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall Building, in the 2nd floor meeting rooms. Complete COVID updates and rehearsal guidelines are included in the SJSYO Musician’s Handbook as well as the updated Fall 2020 rehearsal schedule and more. (Updated September 28th, 2020.)
Please send questions to:
Youth Orchestra Manager
Auditions for the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra program occur multiple times throughout the season. Please contact us for the next available audition opportunity. To review video audition submission guidelines, read the Audition Video Instructions for future reference. Check back here for any further updates on auditions in 2021.
Youth Orchestra Strings, Woodwinds and Brass
- Two (2) major scales of student’s choice
- Scales played slowly in single quarter notes at metronome marking = 72
- String players to play 3 octaves, if possible
- Solo, etude or excerpts of the student’s choice, showing a variety of your playing abilities (limit solo to 2-3 minutes). Strings should demonstrate ability to perform in multiple positions.
Junior Orchestra Strings, Woodwinds and Brass
- One (1) major scale of student’s choice
- Scale played slowly in single quarter notes at metronome marking = 72
- String players to play 2 octaves, if possible
- Solo, etude or excerpts of the student’s choice, showing a variety of your playing abilities (limit solo to 2-3 minutes).
- Solo, etude or excerpts of the student’s choice on snare and mallet (keyboard) instrument, showing a variety of your playing abilities (limit solos to 2-3 minutes total).
- If no mallet instrument is available, leave out the mallet solo
- Snare roll from pp < ff > pp (very soft to very loud to very soft)
- Optional: hand cymbals crash, triangle strike, and/or snare rudiments of your choice
Sayra Siverson, Youth Orchestra Director
Sayra Siverson is a nationally-known conductor and music educator who has spent over 26 years dedicated to the pursuit of her craft and sharing the joy of musical excellence with young musicians. She has served as guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician for many local and national music festivals and camps, as well as multiple all-state orchestras throughout the United States.
As Artistic Director and Conductor with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program for the past twenty-two years, Ms. Siverson was the first woman to conduct the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program’s flagship ensemble in the 65-year history of the program. She actively promotes the education and performance of new music by successfully partnering with living composers on commissions and performances of new works. Additionally, she taught public and private school music for 16 successful years.
Ms. Siverson’s orchestras have performed at events in concert halls around the world, most recently, the Sydney Opera House of Australia. An advocate of volunteering and collaborating with local organizations, she created an opera orchestra apprenticeship with Opera Southwest, and her students have performed alongside multiple professional ensembles. Recently, Augustana University (SD) honored her with the Horizon Award which recognizes alumni who have demonstrated outstanding vocational achievement and have provided faithful service to their community.
Ms. Siverson, along with husband Marc Salter, owns New Harmony Music – a company that makes custom accessories for orchestral string instruments with diverse customers like Yo-Yo Ma, Cirque du Soliel, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Avett Brothers.
Molly Jensen, Junior Orchestra Conductor
Molly Jensen currently serves as the Junior Orchestra conductor of the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra Program. Ms. Jensen’s passion for teaching young musicians has included conducting the Junior Division orchestras of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, Pennsylvania; teaching public and private school music in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado; running a private lesson studio with an emphasis in Suzuki private and group instruction, and adjudicating festivals and conducting festival orchestras in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
As a violinist, Ms. Jensen has performed as an orchestra and chamber musician in Colorado, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, and Kansas City, performing most recently with the San Juan Symphony, Apollon Chamber Music Company, Class Act Music, Trenton Symphony, Delaware Valley Symphony, Bucks County Symphony, and Ocean City Symphony.
Ms. Jensen received her bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance and Music Education from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she studied with Helen Kwalwasser. Her Master’s degree in Music Education is from the University of Colorado, Boulder where she studied violin with Lina Bahn and conducting with Gary Lewis. Ms. Jensen is Executive Director of the Apollon Chamber Music Company and Co-director of the Durango Chamber Music Academy. She is also a recipient of the Max Aronoff Award for Excellence in Performing and Teaching and is Editor-in-Chief at MusicalMountainMama.com.