Youth Orchestras

The Youth Orchestras program was founded in 1947 as an educational outreach tool for the Wichita Symphony Society, and is the largest program of its kind serving Kansas students.

The Symphony maintains three active Youth Orchestras:

  1. Youth Chamber Players - string students from fourth to tenth grade.
  2. Repertory Orchestra - comprised of students in grades seven through twelve.
  3. Youth Symphony - comprised of students in grades seven through twelve.

All three Orchestras are conducted by respected professionals in the music education community, and each section of instruments also receives instruction from section coaches during rehearsals.

Steve Luttrell
Youth Symphony Conductor
Fred and Mary Koch Foundation Endowed Chair

Wesley DeSpain
Repertory Orchestra Conductor
Delmar and Mary Klocke Endowed Chair

Eric L. Crawford
Youth Chamber Players Conductor


The Youth Orchestras perform two concerts throughout the academic school year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The 2014-2015 Youth Orchestras Concerts will be presented in the Century II Concert Hall on:

  • Sunday, November 23, 2014, at 3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 8, 2015, at 3:00 p.m.


Membership is by audition only and members must have the recommendation of their orchestra and/or band directors. Exceptions are students from schools that have no orchestra or band program. Those students must be recommended by their school official and their private instructor, and must remain active in private lessons throughout the school year.

Members of the Youth Orchestras are required to participate in Saturday morning rehearsals from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Rehearsals are held at the Deurksen Fine Arts Center on the Wichita State University campus.

The yearly fee to participate in the Youth Orchestras program is $200. Since dues and ticket sales cover only a small portion of the Youth Orchestras budget, tax-deductible contributions are welcome.


Information on how to audition for the 2015-2016 Youth Orchestras season will be updated here as they become available. Auditions will be posted in February of 2015 and are typically held in early May.


For more information on the Youth Orchestras program, contact Youth Orchestras Manager Ann DuPuis at 316-706-4167 or by e-mail at

These activities are made possible with the generous support provided by Cessna Aircraft Company and Textron Charitable Trust, The Sam and Rie Bloomfield Foundation, The City of Wichita, and Symphony al fresco.