Growing Hearts & Minds

The OSO believes that musical experiences are the foundation for important personal and social development. Each year, our musicians and our partners dedicate time and energy to ensure that young people have the chance to experience and explore music in different ways. Whether it is on or off our stages, our goal is to share our love of music and the joy of discovery with students throughout the Okanagan.

Every new school year presents the opportunity for us all to nurture future patrons of the arts, leaders or mentors in their own right. For all students, skills and values such as listening, compassion and cooperation that are developed through musical exposure are gifts that will remain for life. We are proud to reflect on the young people whose lives, families and even career choices have been transformed through association with our programs. Please join us as we continue growing hearts and minds.

Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra

Ages 10-20

The Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO) is made up of eighty young orchestral musicians from throughout the Okanagan Valley. Under the direction of Dennis Colpitts and Rosemary Thomson, the OSYO is the flagship of the OSO’s Community Engagement program.

The OSYO program offers students a rigorous orchestral training program with OSO mentors, weekly rehearsals, an overnight camp, concerto solo opportunities, a new professionally coached chamber music program and the opportunity to compose a work for the orchestra.

Symphony School Shows

Kindergarten through grade 6

The OSO presents an annual Symphony School Show the week before Spring Break.  Elementary and home school students visit the theatres and experience a 50minute live orchestra performanceThe program changes yearly and is designed to teach an element of classical music and to learn more about orchestras specifically. 

A comprehensive teachers guide accompanies the program and is created and distributed prior to the performance to enable teachers/parents to take their students through the lesson plans to prepare them for the concert. 

The performance dates and times for March 2021 have not yet been announced. 

Symphony Storytime

Children 2 - 5 years & families (but all welcome!)

Symphony Storytime is a wonderful way to introduce pre-schoolers to the magic of live orchestral music. Master educator Joe Berarducci leads these story-based, 40-minute interactive concerts with OSO and OSYO quintets. The whole family can join in singing, dancing and playing percussion instruments while engaging in folk tales and nursery rhymes. What a great way to meet the instrument families of the orchestra!

Performance dates for Symphony Storytime have not yet been announced. 

Middle School Band Clinics

Band students in grades 6 through 9

Area middle school band students enjoy an annual clinic with OSO professionals and OSYO mentors. The clinic gives these students - many of whom have just started learning their instrument at school - the opportunity to receive specific instruction from a professional, ensuring that any bad habits are nipped in the bud. They also meet students from other schools who share the same instrument, and hear their instrument up close and played by a pro.



Suggested level Grade IX RCM and above

Students across the Valley can apply to participate in Masterclasses with our renowned guest artists.

In recent years, students have had the opportunity to learn hands-on and up-close from artists including pianists Ian Parker and Jane Coop, cellist Bryan Cheng, trumpet player Jens Lindemann, and the Gryphon Trio.

Students interested in participating in a masterclass this season should contact the OSO office for an application form at least one month in advance.


Masterclasses for our 2020-2021 season have not yet been announced.