Our History

The York Junior Symphony Orchestra (YJSO) was organized in 1967. Its original 110 members performed their first concert on April 28, 1968 under the direction of Mr. Robert Snyder. Mr. Snyder continued as director until 1977. From 1977 through the spring of 1994, Dr. Priscilla Howard directed the symphony and built on its quality and reputation. Many awards and recognition’s were achieved throughout this period. The outstanding reputation of the YJSO has continued under the direction of Mrs. Kathleen Yeater to the present season.

Over the last quarter-century, the orchestra has performed beyond its local home of York on many occasions. Their talents took them in 1983 and 1989 to performances in Boston, Massachusetts. In the spring of 1988, they performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The YJSO has performed a number of times for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Convention, the most recent performance being April 1998. In 2005, 2009 and 2011, and 2013, and 2018 the YJSO competed in the Music in the Parks Adjudication and received First Place in the Middle School Full Orchestra AAA Division with a Superior Ranking and also earned the esteemed Overall Junior High/Middle School Orchestra Award.

This year’s orchestra is comprised of 98 members. The members, ranging from 5th thru 8th grade, represent area schools and home-schooled students in York and Adams counties in Pennsylvania.

The YJSO holds its auditions each fall in order to select members for the symphony. The members dedicate themselves to approximately twenty rehearsals from September to April and present two full orchestra concerts annually. Individual members and ensembles of the orchestra support performing arts in the community by providing various free performances in York and surrounding areas as well.