Louisiana Youth Orchestra

The Louisiana Youth Orchestras

David Torns, Music Director/Conductor
The Louisiana Youth Orchestra is the premiere youth performing arts organization in the capital area. It is an educational component of the Baton Rouge Symphony and a project of the Baton Rouge Symphony League. The LYO's mission is to supplement and enhance music education in the schools and promote the highest standards of orchestral performance.

The Louisiana Youth Orchestra debuted on February 26, 1984. Today, nearly 180 musicians between the ages of 6 and 20 are selected by competitive audition to present three major concerts at the Baton Rouge Community College Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion. These young musicians are outstanding representatives of public, private, and parochial schools from 25 districts in a four-parish area.

David Torns was named Music Director of the LYO program in May 2003 and conducts the Louisiana Youth Orchestra. The Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra is under the direction of Jennifer Cassin and consists of middle school level musicians. The Louisiana Junior String Ensemble is intended for elementary school level musicians and is conducted by Lisa McGibney.

The newest addition to the program is the Louisiana Youth Orchestra Percussion Ensemble founded by Dr. Michael Kingan in 2000. The LYOPE performs challenging repertoire for advanced high school percussionists. It is currently under the direction of Chris Hoefer.

Performances have been given at LSU, Baton Rouge High Magnet School, Lee High School, Scotlandville Magnet High School, University Laboratory School, New Orleans, and St. Francisville. The 2004-05 LYO season was highlighted by a tour to the Walt Disney World Resort where they performed at the Galaxy Palace Theater in front of an international audience. The LJSE was featured at the 2004 inauguration of Governor Blanco. The Louisiana Youth Orchestra is one of many youth arts organizations to perform at the downtown Christmas Tree Lighting. They also performed at the opening of "The Symphony of Trees" at the Argosy Atrium in December 1999 - 2001.

The May 2000 concert of the Louisiana Youth Orchestras was broadcast on Metro21, government access channel. In October 2000, they performed at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium and ExxonMobil Space Theater at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. The LYO performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony for the 1998 Holiday Pops concert, and in June 1998, the LYO represented the state of Louisiana for the National Festival of the States. Performance venues included the U.S. Naval Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Old Post Office Pavilion. The LYO has also performed on the grounds of the Old State Capitol in October 1997 for delegates attending "Louisiana's Promise: The Summit on Youth."

The orchestras of the LYO have been featured in segments of WLPB's "Gumbo Island" and "Louisiana Legends."

Rehearsals are held at the LSU School of Music on Monday evenings, September through May. The concert season also features the winners of the annual LYO Concerto Competition and the Baton Rouge Music Teachers Association Piano Concerto Competition.

The Baton Rouge Symphony is proud to promote the musicians of the Louisiana Youth Orchestras in their pursuit of musical excellence.

For more information about the Louisiana Youth Orchestras, please contact David Torns at 383-0500 ext. 117 or .

2013-14 Louisiana Youth Orchestra Series
Baton Rouge Community College
Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion - 3:00 p.m.
Sponsored by: Deborah Dunlevy Todd, Dr. Wendy Holden-Parker and Mr. Robert Parker, Anne Bolner and Donald Meltzer.

Saturday, November 9, 2013
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014 (Baton Rouge Magnet High School)

Concerts are free and open to the public.

Louisiana Youth Orchestra

Photo by Daria Doyle

The Louisiana Youth Orchestra is a pre-professional training orchestra open to string players aged 15-20 (grades 9-college), and wind players aged 16-20 (grades 10-college). All students are accepted by competitive audition only. Under Music Director/Conductor David Torns, the LYO performs works from the standard orchestral repertoire and pops literature in three concerts throughout the year. The LYO also accompanies guest artists and concerto competition winners. Master classes with prominent teachers and guest artists are scheduled when available. Rehearsals are held Monday nights from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the LSU School of Music, Room 118.

LYO Percussion Ensemble

The Percussion Ensemble is the newest group to join the LYO organization, and is one of the elements that really separates the LYO program from any other in the country. It is open to advanced percussion students from grades 6 thru college. Members of the LYO percussion section study orchestral technique, chamber music, and world music. These students are coached on their own and then join the LYO rehearsal. They will present their own program on each of the LYO concerts during the year.

Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra

Photo by Daria Doyle

This ensemble consists of talented middle school students. Entrance is gained through competitive auditions for string players grades 6-8, and wind players grades 6-9. The LJYO is conducted by Jennifer Cassin, string instructor at the Runnels School. She is renowned in the region for her excellence in music education. The LJYO rehearses from 5:30-6:45 p.m. at the LSU School of Music, Room 118.

Louisiana Junior String Ensemble

Photo by Daria Doyle

The LJSE is geared toward beginning string players who have had limited orchestral experience. This ensemble is an excellent training ground for young string players up to the 6th grade who are interested in playing together with their peers. They rehearse from 5:45-7:00 p.m. at the LSU School of Music, Room 116. The LJSE is conducted by Lisa McGibney.