Youth Orchestras

The Illinois Symphony Youth Orchestra is the region's principal provider of youth orchestra education experiences. Auditions for the 2023-2024 season for current ISYO musicians or new musicians who did not audition in May will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2023 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM and Sunday, May 14, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 5:50 to 7:00 PM. Musicians interested in joining the Youth Orchestras may use the link below to visit our Auditions page.

If you have any questions regarding auditions, cannot audition during our regular audition dates, or would like to audition and register for an ensemble after scheduled auditions are completed, please contact Youth Orchestras and Community Education Programs Manager Jackie Mitra at or at (217) 522-2838 x 6.

Staff of the Youth Orchestras Program

Jacobsen Woollen
Conductor of Youth Orchestras and Assistant Conductor
(217) 522-2838 x 7

Jackie Mitra
Youth Orchestras & Community Education Program Manager
(217) 522-2838 x 6


ISYO's annual Practice-A-Thon starts Saturday, March 11th! Practice-A-Thon is ISYO's largest annual fundraiser and is an opportunity to improve students' musical skills and win prizes while raising funds for ISYO programs. The Practice-A-Thon will take place from March 11th - March 26th. All musicians in ISYO classes and ensembles, Starter Strings through Symphony Orchestra, may participate in Practice-A-Thon!

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Become a member of the ISYO today! ISYO Auditions will be held on August 21, 2022 and August 23, 2022 at the Grant Conservatory of Music and Dance at 501 W. Elliott Avenue, Springfield, IL 62702. Interested musicians who wish to join the ISYO may sign up and locate audition requirements by clicking the View Details button below.

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ISYO offers a variety of orchestra education experiences for youth and adults. ISYO offers five levels of youth orchestras. Students with no prior musical background can begin in Starter Strings as early as third grade. Participation in the program culminates with ISYO's premiere ensemble the ISYO Symphony Orchestra.

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Summer Strings 2023

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is excited to offer summer opportunities for beginner through advanced string players in the Springfield area!

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We are excited to announce that Jacobsen Woollen has begun his tenure as Conductor of Youth Orchestras and Assistant Conductor of the ISO. Jacobsen comes to the ISO after the completion of a Post-Graduate Diploma in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Prof. Mark Stringer at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.

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Absence Report

Please complete the form below to inform ISYO staff of any absences. Please submit at least 24 hours in advance of the referenced date. 

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Get Involved with Illinois Symphony

Our patrons, donors, and sponsors are a large part of what makes our orchestra great and our concerts successful! If you'd like to take part in making a difference for our orchestra, click the button below to learn more. Thank you!