In 1957, Alphonse Carlo, concertmaster emeritus of the Florida Symphony Orchestra, recognized a need for a youth orchestra in Central Florida in which young musicians could develop their talents. Young musicians were invited to attend and participate in rehearsals with Florida Symphony Orchestra musicians and the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra was born. Carlo nurtured the orchestra and served as its principal conductor for 15 years. In 1981, a second training orchestra was formed to meet the needs of the emerging music student.
Today, entering its 56th Concert Season, the FSYO is comprised of 3 full orchestras, and 1 string training orchestra. The FSYO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Recent Tours, Awards & Collaborations
- In 1989, the FSYO premiered at Carnegie Hall, with a following premiere at Boston's Symphony Hall in 1991.
- In summer, 1993, The FSYO served as Cultural Youth Ambassadors in a performance tour to Basel, Switzerland and Barcelona, Spain. The following spring, 1994, the FSYO hosted the Basel Orchestra in joint concerts in Orlando.
- During summer, 1995, 60 FSYO musicians toured and performed in Great Britain. In summer, 1996, the Englanders from the East Herts Music Centre Orchestra reciprocated and traveled to the U.S. to perform with the FSYO at Epcot, and for a standing room only concert at Seminole Community College.
- During summer, 1997, the FSYO traveled to Australia to participate in the Sydney Youth Musicale, which included home-stays, concerts and tours, and culminated in a performance at the famous Sydney Opera House.
- In summer, 1999, 46 FSYO musicians toured Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague for performances in Salzburg, Vienna and Marionkron, Austria and to compete in the 28th International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna. The FSYO Tour Orchestra won second place in the Youth Orchestra Division competing against European youth orchestras who include members up to age 29.
- The FSYO was extremely proud to be one of 6 youth orchestras from across the U.S. selected by audition to participate in the prestigious National Youth Orchestra Festival, summer, 2002 in Sarasota, Florida.
- In summer, 2004, the FSYO traveled to Washington DC where they performed with Martin Hackleman, the Principal Horn of the National Symphony, and took part in Master Classes with the Baltimore Symphony.
- The 2010 – 2011 Season brought internationally acclaimed violinist Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg to the FSYO for a series of rehearsals, culminating in the Mendelsohn Violin Concerto in concert with the Symphonic Orchestra for an audience of over 1,200 guests at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center.
- The 2011 – 2012 Season brought a significant grant from the Josh Groban Foundation, leading to a backstage meet and greet for select FSYO members during Groban’s Straight to You Concert Tour.