OSYO 2020/2021

The OSYO Program for the 2020-21 season has been conceived to continue to provide opportunities for live music-making in a safe environment as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our most important goal for this year season is to continue to provide a rigorous orchestral music education for the youth of the Okanagan while providing them with the meaningful social connection that they get from making live music with their peers.

The season is conceived in three modules, with eight Sunday rehearsals in each of the modules as follows:

Module 1: 

October 25 - December 12, 2020


Module 2:

January 10 - March 7, 2021

(NB - No rehearsal February 14th - Family Day)

 Module 3: 

March 14 - May 16, 2021

(NB - No rehearsals March 21st - Spring Break, or April 4th - Easter)

Each of the 8-week modules will end with some sort of live-streamed and/or recorded performance, but we do not anticipate any live performing of the full orchestra this season.  We may be able to do some live performing with smaller groups in the spring but will need to make that determination later.

At this time, we are only planning the specifics of the fall term and will re-evaluate the remainder of the year for adjustments later in the fall.


Rehearsals will take place in Kelowna at First Lutheran Church, 4091 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna from 2:30-4:30pm. We are very grateful to First Lutheran for making their space available to us during this time. 

The program will take place in three different spaces in the church 1) The Fellowship Room 2) The Sanctuary 3) The Youth Room. Students will be assigned to only one area and one room for each rehearsal.

The majority (at least 6 out of 8) of the rehearsals will be live at the church, however, there may be a small percentage of digital rehearsing. In each eight week module, students can expect to have:

  • up to four full rehearsals in the Sanctuary
  • up to two larger sectionals (ie. all strings/ all winds / all brass & percussion)
  • up to two digital technique classes with digital check in to full rehearsal for eg. Once every four weeks all 1st violins will have a one-hour digital orchestral technique master class with an OSO player, followed by 45 minutes playing along with the live rehearsal with winds, brass and percussion who are live at the church). On that same day, 2nd violins, violas, cellos and basses will have their own class). In an alternate week, all winds, brass and percussion would have their online technique masterclass and then Zoom in with the live string rehearsal at the church.

This is an experiment and we will evaluate its success over the fall term. This is, in part, our solution to keeping our OSYO students connected to the expertise of their OSO professional colleagues in a season where we cannot offer our annual Side-by-Side experience.

Other Digital Online Class Offerings

Three additional learning opportunities will be offered for OSYO students: 

1) Composition (November to March)

The composition program will be conducted as one hour online classes during the first and second modules of rehearsals (from November to March) with the plan that the third module may provide some opportunities for student composition readings with the small groups and/or the full OSYO.

These classes will be offered to a maximum of twelve students and will take place every two weeks starting in November. The instructor and dates and time of the program are still to be confirmed.

If you are interested in the composition program, please indicate yes on your registration form. 

We currently have two students who have been working on compositions already for the OSYO.  It is our hope that these introductory sessions to the world of composition will encourage more of the OSYO students to explore this craft.  As we continue into the future we hope to be able to expand this program with opportunities for many students to grow in their understanding and skill level.


2) Music Analysis (January to March)

Rosemary Thomson will be offering classes in Music Analysis - how to approach a score away from your instrument.  We will focus on repertoire that the students are working on, which will add to their understanding of how their part fits into the bigger whole.  Students will gain a new understanding of how music is put together and how this knowledge can offer them efficiencies in their individual practising, skills in their ability to memorize, and confidence in their performing.


3) Intro to Conducting (March to May)

Dennis Colpitts and Rosemary Thomson will be offering classes in how to start as a conductor, covering topics as stick technique, how to lead rehearsal processes,  how to prepare a score for the practical awareness of what musicians need from their conductor, how to prepare for performance.  If you are interested in the beginner conducting lessons, you are strongly encouraged to do the music analysis classes in the previous time slot.  We hope to be able to offer students in the conducting class the opportunity to try conducting their peers towards the end of the third module.


Detailed scheduling and the sign up for these opportunities will be forthcoming before the end of the fall term.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

OSYO Registration Form

OSYO Bursary Application