Youth Orchestras

Youth Orchestra Member Portal

Coached by NJSO musicians, the NJSO Youth Orchestras give qualified middle- and high-school students—especially African-American and Latinx youth in the Greater Newark area—unparalleled opportunities to achieve personal and musical excellence. 

The NJSO Youth Orchestras bring together students of all skill levels who share a passion for music. In addition to great music making across four performing ensembles, benefits include:

  • Coaching by NJSO musicians
  • Saturday rehearsals with flexibility for students in marching band
  • Volunteer opportunities and mentorship training
  • Additional performance opportunities for advanced students
  • Complimentary tickets to select NJSO concerts
  • Supportive peer-to-peer environment

Beginning with the 2019–20 season, the NJSO is proud to expand the program’s preparatory Training Ensemble of the Youth Orchestras to incorporate individualized instruction, juried student assessments and musicianship classes, modeled on its nationally recognized NJSO CHAMPS program.

The NJSO Youth Orchestras have immediate openings for students who play viola, cello, double bass, bassoon, trombone and tuba. For more information, call 973.735.1733 or email [email protected]

Rehearsal Days & Locations

Saturdays 9:30 am–12:30 pm (Academy Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, String Ensemble)

Bradley Hall, Rutgers University–Newark
110 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07102


Saturdays 11 am–2:30 pm (Training Ensemble only)

Arts High School
550 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ 07102

Audition Information

AUDITION FOR 2020–21! 

Applications for the 2020–21 season will be available in January 2020. 

For more information, call 973.735.1733 or email [email protected]

For more information about ensemble levels, view requirements and excerpts from the 2019–20 auditions.

2019–20 Audition Requirements and Excerpts


Frequently Asked Questions

Coming soon.

Join the NJSO Youth Orchestras Alumni Network

Are you among the program’s alumni? We would love to reconnect with you!

We invite you to fill out this brief questionnaire and join our Facebook group.


Related Programs

MANY Partnership

Music Advancement for Newark-area Youth (MANY) offers programs for beginning and experienced students alike and is designed to provide students in the Newark area with high-quality instrumental music instruction.

More Info

El Sistema New Jersey Alliance

Funded by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, El Sistema New Jersey is a unique alliance of El Sistema-inspired music-instruction programs across the Garden State. Keys 2 Success, the Paterson Music Project, Sister Cities Girlchoir (Camden), Sonic Explorations (Orange), Trenton Music Makers and Union City Music Project are the anchor programs of this network. The aim of El Sistema New Jersey is to provide collaborative training, performance and professional-development opportunities that empower participating families to come together in a statewide musical community.

NJSO Academy Artistic Leadership

A group of dedicated professionals lead the NJSO Academy Programs.

Meet the Team

Sponsors make this program possible. Thank you!

  • BD
  • Marjorie Bunnell Charitable Fund
  • Merck Foundation
  • M&T Bank (Youth Orchestras Winter and Spring Concerts Sponsor)
  • New Jersey State Council on the Arts
  • Turrell Fund
  • Wells Fargo
NJSCA-logo.jpg DJA-logo.jpg

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NJSO Training Ensemble is supported by the following sponsors, in addition to those listed above:

  • Broadridge Foundation
  • Ken and Susan Fahrenholtz
  • The Leavens Foundation
  • The Harold I. and Faye B. Liss Foundation
  • Verizon
  • Victoria Foundation