Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra

Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra

This outstanding youth symphony provides an orchestral experience of the highest quality for talented young musicians in southwest Michigan. Players are drawn from the Kalamazoo metropolitan area and surrounding communities in nine counties. Orchestra members do not pay tuition, but are assessed a minimal registration fee. The orchestra is financed by individual and business contributions, state and local grants, and fund raising events.

Membership is open by audition to young musicians through college age with the average age being 16. The orchestra’s season begins in early September with a two day “Tune-up” Camp. For the following eight months the 85-95 member orchestra rehearses once a week for three hours.

Three concerts are presented in Kalamazoo each year. At the orchestra’s spring concert the featured soloist is the third place winner of the Julius Stulberg Auditions, a competition for young string players established as a memorial to the conductor who led and inspired young musicians for over 30 years.

The KJSO has been accorded many national and international honors. It has been selected to play for the North Central Divisional meeting of the Music Educators National Conference and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic; it has received National Federation of Music Clubs Awards for Merit for the Crusades of Strings, and for its recognition of American Composers; it has been recommended by the American Symphony Orchestra League as a model for youth orchestras; it has four times been selected as the accompanying orchestra for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival; and it has been invited to play many special engagements. The orchestra has made seven highly successful tours: Canada in 1973; Europe in 1969, 1977, 1982 and 1988; Australia and New Zealand in 1992; and Brazil in 1996. In 1982 the KJSO won first place in the Youth Orchestra Division of the Eleventh Annual International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, Austria; in 1992 the orchestra won first place in the Open Orchestra Division of the Australian National Eisteddfod held in the capital city of Canberra; and in 1996 the KJSO played to packed houses and standing ovations throughout its two-week tour to Brazil.

10November2013  The Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra