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The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) is one of Canada’s leading youth orchestras. 

For over 50 years, the TSYO has provided a high-level orchestral experience for talented young musicians aged 22 and under. The tuition-free TSYO program delivers a unique, powerful, and life-enriching opportunity that encourages significant achievement, regardless of the career path participants choose to pursue. The TSYO has a close affiliation with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO): TSO musicians serve as coaches through the season, TSO guest artists lead masterclasses for TSYO members, and the TSYO performs annually with the TSO in a side-by-side concert at Roy Thomson Hall.

The Youth Orchestra’s affiliation with the TSO has resulted in a number of exciting masterclasses led by world-renowned guest artists and conductors. Recent guests include Alison Balsom, Alisa Weilerstein, James Ehnes, Pinchas Zukerman, Pekka Kuusisto, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Christian Lindberg, Maxim Vengerov, James Gaffigan, Stéphane Denève, Sir Andrew Davis, and TSO Conductor Emeritus Peter Oundjian, to name only a few.

The Youth Orchestra has toured extensively within Canada and abroad. Tour destinations have included Banff, British Columbia, the Canadian Arctic, Quebec, Texas, Massachusetts, California, Japan, and Europe.

We welcome you to audition for the TSYO.

TSYO Diversity Statement

This message was created by us, musicians of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Our orchestra is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts. 

We acknowledge that we are presenting this statement on the traditional territory of many Indigenous peoples.

We want to break the barriers that have prevented BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+, women, and other marginalized groups from creating music. 

We want to challenge the inequalities in our city which affect who gets to play in and listen to our orchestra.

We will continue to foster a safe environment so that no one should ever feel hurt in our orchestra.

And finally, we believe that youth of all backgrounds deserve the opportunity to experience the amazing world of orchestral music.

*written by the 2021/2022 TSYO members

Our Commitment to a Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity in the Arts


Program Information


TSYO rehearsals generally take place weekly between mid-September and the last week of April, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm on Saturday afternoons at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, in the Edward Johnson Building.

TSYO members must bring their own music stand to every rehearsal.

TSYO members are required to check email daily and note all schedule updates. Attendance at all rehearsals, concerts, masterclasses, and other activities is mandatory. All TSYO members are expected to continue their school music programs since the TSYO is meant to supplement such programs, not replace them. Attendance at all TSYO activities is mandatory. Members will not be excused for paid gigs.

General Rules for Any Orchestra

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the rehearsal to set up and warm up.
  • If you have forgotten or lost your music, contact the TSYO Manager in plenty of time before the beginning of the rehearsal.
  • A pencil (with eraser) should always be on everybody's music stand, and inside string players must mark their own parts as well.
  • The concertmaster will start tuning five minutes before the beginning of the rehearsal. Tuning should be fast and professional—no “warming up” here.
  • The rehearsal starts as soon as the conductor enters.
  • When the conductor stops the music, please stop immediately and do not finish the phrase.
  • When the conductor rehearses with other players, do not chat. This is a good time to listen and try to learn something useful for your own part. The same applies to players who are tacit.
  • When counting rests, do not rely on other players. Always count for yourself (or know your cue well).
  • Woodwind players should always bring playable spare reeds and mouthpieces. “Scraping” and “testing” can cause unwanted delays.

At the end of the rehearsal, make sure you remember or write down any important information you need for the next rehearsal.

A TSYO staff member is available before every rehearsal and during the break to answer questions, help solve problems, and collect anything due.

Camp Weekend

Each season, the TSYO holds an intensive rehearsal weekend. Members work closely with the TSYO coaches and conductor in a variety of individual, combined, and full-orchestra rehearsals. Camp Weekend also includes team-building and leadership activities, workshops, a campfire, and the famous faculty concert!

Side-by-Side Concert

Each year, the TSYO performs side by side with the TSO on stage at Roy Thomson Hall. This exciting collaboration highlights the mentorship our Youth Orchestra members receive from TSO musicians.

TSYO Concerts

The TSYO presents three concerts each year in the best performance venues in Toronto. Each full-length concert features different orchestral repertoire. TSYO members may also perform in various outreach concerts as opportunities arise.


Throughout the year, TSO guest artists may lead a masterclass for TSYO members. Past masterclasses have been led by Alison Balsom, Alisa Weilerstein, James Ehnes, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Maxim Vengerov, to name a few.

Concerto Competition and Awards

All TSYO members are eligible to win special prizes, either through the Concerto Competition or by earning end-of-year merit-based awards. For more information, please visit our Concerto Competition & Award Winners webpage.

Important Dates for 2024/25

**TSYO members need to available for all dates below:


  • TSYO Auditions: September 6-8, 2024
  • Camp Weekend: November 1-3, 2024
  • Concerto Competition: Monday, December 9, 2024


  • High Spirits: Brahms, Borodon, Dvořák—Sunday, November 24, 2024
  • May the Fifth Be With You: Beethoven & Star Wars—Saturday, February 15, 2025
  • Shostakovich’s Fifth—Saturday, April 26, 2025


  • Wednesday, November 27, 2024
  • Thursday, November 28, 2024
  • Saturday, November 30, 2024

More about the TSYO