Sinfonia East is a fun, full orchestra experience that introduces young East Metro musicians to the symphonic experience and challenges them to reach beyond their expectations.
Brian Larson leads Sinfonia East, GTCYS’ first full orchestra with strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Students are actively engaged in an enjoyable and welcoming environment as they’re introduced to rehearsal, listening, and ensemble skills, while developing musical elements of style and phrasing. With four annual concerts, including two at Orchestra Hall, Sinfonia East students share stimulating performances with the community. String players in Sinfonia East have an average of 3 to 5 years’ experience, and wind/brass/percussion students have been playing their instruments for 1 to 4 years. Special artistic projects, sectionals, retreats, social activities, and extra opportunities provide a well-rounded and transformative experience which develops students’ musical, leadership, and lifelong skills.
- Learn from Brian Larson, director of orchestras at Chippewa Middle School (Mounds View)
- Perform 2 concerts at Orchestra Hall in November and May, livestreamed for free
- Share a free community concert
- Enjoy 2 half-day retreats in September and January
- Explore the musical traditions of India through an exciting multicultural collaboration
- Work with professional musicians during sectionals throughout the year (percussionists enjoy a monthly seminar; woodwinds and brass will also learn from an annual masterclass)
- Make friends with youth from across the region through social activities like treat nights, year-end parties, and optional pre-rehearsal dinners each semester
Rehearsals: September – May
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church: 1669 Arcade St, St. Paul, MN 55106
Free parking is available in the parking lot.
Carpool lists are provided so interested families can coordinate ridesharing.
Watch a Sinfonia East Performance
Enjoy their live performance of William Owens’ “Carpathia” at Orchestra Hall.
Tuition, Fees & Tuition Assistance
Sinfonia East Tuition: $880 for the full season. Students joining 2nd semester pay 60%.
We offer a sibling discount of $95 per additional child. See below to learn about our generous tuition assistance. While the actual cost to participate is nearly $1,800, charitable contributions subsidize every student’s participation so we can keep tuition as affordable as possible.
Retreat Fee: $100 total for the fall and winter retreats. Reduced fees are available for tuition assistance recipients.
Payment options: Families can pay in full, or in 8 monthly installments, or set up a special plan to meet your family’s needs.
Tuition Assistance: Generous need-based assistance is offered for all of GTCYS’ programs including school-year orchestras, summer programs, tours, and special activities. No work study or volunteering is required for scholarship recipients. Support for private lessons is also provided. We encourage all families experiencing financial hardship to apply, especially if cost is a determining factor for participation. Learn more about tuition assistance and click here to apply.
Each GTCYS orchestra is a community of musicians, each of whom is equally important to the group’s progress and success. Students are accountable to their orchestra peers and should honor their commitment by consistently attending GTCYS activities, practicing GTCYS music 10 minutes a day, follow all policies outlined in the Musician’s Handbook.
- Musician’s Handbook: includes info like participation policies, concert attire, and what to bring to rehearsals
- Attendance Policy: GTCYS’ policy balances flexibility with rigor; be sure to review it!
- Absence Form: Complete online in advance if a student will miss a GTCYS activity
- News Notes: Our monthly e-newsletter sent to participating families
In order to determine which GTCYS orchestra students are best suited for, every student must audition each year to participate. Auditions are conducted by a recorded video, and include scales, a short solo, and prepared excerpts. Previous participation in GTCYS does not guarantee placement. Learn more about auditions.