College Park Youth Orchestra
College Park Youth Orchestra

2017-2018 registration is open!

See below for details, or jump to our online registration.

About the orchestra

The College Park Youth Orchestra was formed in 2006 to help young string players develop their reading and listening skills and to introduce them to the joys of ensemble playing. The orchestral repertoire is carefully selected to challenge the reading abilities of string players from the advanced beginner level to the advanced level.

To best meet the needs of its members, the CPYO comprises three ensembles:

The CPYO is a program of the College Park Arts Exchange and is supported by parent and teacher volunteers and by its sponsors.

Dates and times, 2017-2018

The College Park Youth Orchestra meets on scheduled Sundays from September through May. The orchestra performs concerts at the end of the fall, winter, and spring seasons.

Sectional rehearsals are held once in each concert cycle. The sections rehearse at Friends Community School, 5901 Westchester Park Drive in College Park.

College Park Community Center Regular rehearsals for Primary Ensemble and Intermediate Ensemble are held at the College Park Community Center, 5051 Pierce Avenue, in College Park. The Primary Ensemble rehearses from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. and the Intermediate Ensemble rehearses from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Old Parish House Regular rehearsals for Chamber Ensemble are held in the Old Parish House, 4711 Knox Road (at Dartmouth Avenue), in College Park. The Chamber Ensemble rehearses from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.

For setting up and tuning, players should arrive 15 minutes early. Players should bring their own music stands to rehearsals.

Auditions for Intermediate and Chamber Ensembles
Sunday, September 10, at the College Park Community Center, 5051 Pierce Ave., College Park. Audition times will be scheduled after registration.

Northwestern High School

Fall rehearsals
September 17
October 1 (sectionals), 15, 29
November 5, 19
December 3
Fall concert
December 10, 7:00 p.m., at Northwestern High School, 7000 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville

Winter rehearsals
January 7, 21 (sectionals)
February 4, 11, 25
Winter concert
March 4, 7:00 p.m.

Kay Theatre

Spring rehearsals
March 18, 25 (sectionals)
April 8, 22
May 6, 20
Spring concert
June 3, 7:00 p.m.

Membership requirements

All members must be taking lessons apart from CPYO.

Members of the Primary Ensemble are expected to have skills which, at minimum, include reading knowledge of the notes in first position; quarter, eighth, half, and whole notes and rests; and a comfortable physical set-up. Suzuki students should be working on or beyond the Bach Minuets in Book 1.

Members of the Intermediate Ensemble will be competent readers with knowledge of third position and experience with keys of up to three sharps and three flats. It is recommended that students be working on solo repertoire comparable to that in Suzuki Book 4. They will typically have had some previous ensemble experience, such as a prior CPYO year.

Members of the Chamber Ensemble represent the most advanced players in the CPYO. These musicians should have considerable prior ensemble experience and be ready to pursue technical and musical goals on the highest level.


Auditions are required for new members of the Intermediate and Chamber Ensembles, whether they are entirely new to the CPYO or moving up from another ensemble. Returning members of the Intermediate and Chamber Ensembles, and all members of the Primary Ensemble, need not audition.

Auditions will include, within the limits of available time, sight reading, a prepared solo piece, specified excerpts, and scales, as described below.

Sight reading

At the audition, the student will receive a new piece of music and be asked to play it after just a quick reading.

Prepared solo

The student's prepared solo shows off the student's best playing. Students will usually get help from their instrument teachers to select and prepare their solo pieces.


Auditioning students should download, print, and practice the appropriate excerpt. The student's teacher will be able to help the student prepare the excerpt.

Intermediate Ensemble excerpts:

Chamber Ensemble excerpts:


Scale requirements are different for Intermediate and Chamber Ensemble auditions.

Intermediate Ensemble Scales
Scales, with arpeggios, should be played at 2 eighth notes per bow, at a tempo of 60-72 quarter notes per minute.

Chamber Ensemble Scales


Tuition for the year is $300, refundable until October 1. Prospective new members of the Chamber Ensemble or Intermediate Ensemble must add a non-refundable $15 audition fee. Checks should be payable to College Park Arts Exchange (CPAE).

The CPYO will provide financial assistance as necessary to allow every qualified and motivated young musician to participate. You can send your confidential inquiry regarding financial assistance to

How to join

Please register with our convenient online registration. If you cannot register online, please contact us to arrange an alternate method of registration.

Early registration is recommended as spaces are limited.

CPYO in the news

3/14/2011: A video report in the College Park Patch showed interviews and concert excerpts.

6/19/2008: Van Caldwell's column in the College Park Gazette featured the CPYO as an exemplary addition to Prince George's County.

12/12/2006: Outlook, the University of Maryland's faculty and staff newspaper, spotlighted Ashleigh Butler, an undergraduate majoring in music performance and music education, who has volunteered her time with the CPYO.

2/23/2006: The College Park Gazette profiled the CPYO shortly after its formation.


The College Park Youth Orchestra is supported in part by generous donations from:


Contact a CPYO administrator by e-mailing or call us at 301-458-0042.


College Park Arts Exchange
Connecting People through Arts Experiences

The College Park Arts Exchange is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting arts and humanities activities in College Park, Maryland, through collaborative partnerships and innovative programming.