About Us

The Grand Rapids Youth Symphony was formed in 1959 by the Grand Rapids Symphony as a means for Western Michigan’s most talented young musicians to rehearse and perform together under demanding professional standards. For over 50 years, the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony has been part of and administered by the Grand Rapids Symphony, a 501 (c) (3) organization.

This special organization provides: in-depth study of difficult Orchestral repertoire, sectional coaching by leading professional musicians, three concerts in fine acoustical halls, chamber ensemble training, and an annual Skip Gates Concerto Competition.

The Classical Orchestra was founded in 2000. It focuses on music literature from the Classical period. Students engage in weekly sectionals and a full rehearsal. This is an exciting addition to the Grand Rapids musical community.

The conductor of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra is John Varineau.