The Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO) began as the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan in 1988, founded by renowned composer, Imant Raminsh. Under the current direction of co-conductors, Dennis Colpitts and Rosemary Thomson, the OSYO is now in its 34th season.
The goal of the OSYO is to provide a rigorous orchestral education for music students throughout the Okanagan. Students aged nine through 20 are welcomed from all over the valley. Typically, the program consists of weekly rehearsals between September and May, with an overnight rehearsal camp weekend in the fall, two performance weekends, and a side-by-side experience with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Additional programs are available to students in performance and composition.
In honour of the OSYO’s founder, the Imant Raminsh Scholarship was established in 2013 to be awarded annually to a graduating student who is pursuing music at the post-secondary level. Information regarding the scholarship is available each spring.
Support the OSYO
Three ways to support the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra:
OSYO Mentorship Fund
The Mentorship Fund was established in 2019 by June Nicolay in honour of the passing of her husband Dietz Nicolay to support student bursaries, sectionals, and specialized activities of the OSYO.
Chair Sponsorship Program
The OSYO Chair Sponsorship Program personalizes your youth orchestra experience and brings a new perspective to the music you love.
OSYO Program Support
Registration fees do not fully cover the operating costs associated with the youth orchestra program. Your additional support ensures that valley music students get a rigorous orchestral education.