Youth Orchestras

The Holland Symphony Youth Orchestras is committed to pre-professional training of young musicians in the greater Holland area of elementary through high school age.


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.


Purchase tickets to the upcoming Fall HAYO/HAJS Concert on Sunday, November 12 at 3pm at Zeeland East High School!  Click here.


Holland Area Youth Orchestra (HAYO):


hayo-rehearsal-in-new-space-copyFormed in 1988, HAYO has grown from a string orchestra of 35 players to a full orchestra (strings, winds, and percussion), grades 6 – 12, of 65 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):

jr-strings-first-rehearsal-in-new-space-copy-2HAJS 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 founding conductor was Deborah Craioveanu.  David Lee became conductor in 2014.  Kyle Nester assumed the position of Interim conductor in Spring 2015.




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 and performances.


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.