Composed of five ensembles with musicians drawn from Kalamazoo and its nine surrounding counties, the nation's third-oldest continually-operating youth orchestra organization has performed hundreds of concerts on five continents and made a profound impact on generations of musicians. The Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra (KJSO), the flagship ensemble and namesake of the organization, is led by Andrew Koehler. In addition to its three annual performances of professional-level repertoire in Chenery Auditorium, the KJSO also tours internationally, and offers a dynamic chamber music training program for select KJSO members who are coached by area professional musicians. The Chamber Ensemble program is free-of-charge with student members required to give back to the community by participating in outreach services. Ensembles give free education concerts for at-risk student programs and area schools. They give recitals for senior resident and care centers and other meaningful community programs and events. Preparation for younger string players hoping to one day join the Junior Symphony is provided by the three tiers of the Prep String Orchestras. The Training Orchestra (TO) provides the youngest string players an opportunity to reinforce basic skills; those students can then go on to the PSO’s Concert String Orchestra, and eventually the Symphonic String Orchestra, where the emphasis shifts to building technical and orchestral playing proficiencies. A distinguished KJSO alumna and noted pedagogue, Audrey Lipsey, is the director of all three ensembles. The Prep Winds Ensemble (PW) was established in 2015 to provide parallel training for younger woodwind and brass players. Noted instrumentalists and educators Keith Geiman and Beth Jonker co-direct the PW. PSO and PW students participate in sectionals once a month, and the KJSO holds sectionals twice per concert sequence all given by outstanding area music educators. KJSO concerts are highly affordable providing a greater opportunity for the community to experience a quality concert of fine music. PSO, PW and TO concerts are free-of-charge as are outreach performances.
714 S Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA
Primary Contact: Lee Fletcher, Executive Director
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