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The Youth Orchestras of Essex County, founded in 1956, are comprised of four performing groups: the Essex County Symphony Orchestra, the Junior Symphony, Overture Strings and Chamber Ensembles.

The orchestras were founded in 1956 under the sponsorship of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the West Orange Public Schools. As one of New Jersey's most outstanding youth orchestras, Youth Orchestras of Essex County offer excellent programs to young musicians from Essex and neighboring counties who participate in their school orchestras and study privately.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • Develop instrumental performance skills
  • Improve music sight reading skills
  • Demand proper discipline from musicians, including displaying appropriate behavior during rehearsals and performances and following through with their commitment to the orchestra.
  • Create an atmosphere of professionalism in which students can grow musically
  • Expose the students to high level cultural experiences and resources, particularly in their communities
  • Bring high quality performances to diverse audiences throughout Essex County
  • Ensure affordability through modest tuition and scholarships


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