The Holland Area Youth Orchestras is committed to pre-professional training of young
musicians in the greater Holland area of elementary through high school age who join the
orchestra through a competitive audition process.
The Holland Symphony Youth Orchestras is comprised of two orchestras:
The Holland Area Youth Orchestra is an auditioned high school orchestra
The Holland Area Junior Strings is a non-auditioned middle school string orchestra.
Holland Area Youth Orchestra (HAYO):
Formed in 1988, HAYO has grown from a string orchestra of 35 players to a full orchestra (strings, winds, and percussion), grades 6 – 12, of 80 members. Members of HAYO represent many different schools in the greater Holland and Lakeshore area and are auditioned for membership and chair placement. Chamber music opportunities are available for: an Honors string quartet, a woodwind ensemble, and a brass ensemble. Two formal concerts are scheduled during the season, one in late fall and the other in early spring, as well as a joint concert with the HSO every other year. Former conductors have been Mr. Harold Geerdes, Mr. Cal Langejans, Mr. Steven Benham, and Dr. Russell Floyd. The current conductor is Richard Piippo.
Holland Area Junior Strings (HAJS):
HAJS is a string orchestra started in 1997 for students in grades 6-9 who may not be quite ready for the difficulty level of the Youth Orchestra. The Junior Strings performs at the HSYO concerts and is administered by the Holland Symphony Youth Orchestras Steering Committee and the Holland Symphony Orchestra. The conductor is Deborah Craioveanu.
We are committed to use standard orchestral literature for a full symphonic orchestra in
addition to programmatic arrangements for youth orchestras.
We focus on education as well as performance. We cultivate excellence under an
outstanding conductor and coaches, thus seeking to provide an educationally sound
musical experience that will motivate the students to fulfill their potential and to strive for
that same excellence. Lesson scholarships are available to encourage private lessons.
We encourage and sponsor chamber music and chamber ensembles through coaching
We seek to enhance the cultural environment of the families and communities we serve.
We wish to promote the appreciation of the performing arts in the community through
collaborations and guest artists.
We seek to be an inspiration to our members and other young musicians by offering a
peer group for students interested in orchestra from several area schools. Through HSYO,
talented students who have attained a similar level of expertise and share the love of
classical music, motivate and encourage each other.