EYO Ensembles

The Ensembles of the Etowah Youth Orchestras

The EYO features four after-school ensembles that are open by audition and/or teacher recommendation to young musicians from throughout Northeast Alabama. Each ensemble is designed to enhance the musical experiences of its students, based on each student’s current level of performance. While there are recommended grade levels for each ensemble, placement is based strictly on performance level at the time of audition. Minimum levels of previous experience are noted for each ensemble. Each EYO ensemble meets once a week at a specified time during the regular academic year (August through May).

The Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra


The Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra, comprised of string, woodwind, brass, and percussion players. The EYSO performs standard orchestral literature and advanced orchestral transcriptions. Additionally, repertoire for the EYSO includes music from motion pictures and the Broadway stage. The EYSO has earned a national reputation for its performances of the music of contemporary composers, and regularly presents the World, Regional and Local Premieres of contemporary works. Repertoire from previous seasons includes “Mars” and “Jupiter” from “The Planets” by Holst, “Danzon No. 2” by Marquez, “Rhapsody in Blue” by Gershwin, “The Barber of Seville” Overture by Rossini, and “Carmen” Suite No. 1 by Bizet.

Principal conductor – Michael R. Gagliardo

Suggested grade levels – 8th-12th grade

Minimum requirements for auditioning – 2 years performing experience (can be waived with teacher recommendation)

Rehearsal day and time – Mondays, 6:30-9 PM

The Etowah Symphonic Wind Ensemble

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The Etowah Symphonic Wind Ensemble is a full concert band, consisting of woodwind, brass, and percussion players. The ESWE performs works from the standard concert band repertory, including both traditional and contemporary compositions. The repertoire of the ESWE is comparable to that of advanced high school and collegiate ensembles, as well as honor, All-State, and district band festivals, and includes marches, concert works, ballads, and popular selections. Repertoire from previous seasons includes the First and Second Suites for Military Band by Holst, “Invocation and Toccata” by James Barnes, “Havendance” by David Holsinger, “Emperata Overture” by Claude T. Smith, and numerous marches by John Philip Sousa.

Principal conductor – Michael R. Gagliardo

Suggested grade levels – 8th-12th grade

Minimum requirements for auditioning – 2 years performing experience (can be waived with teacher recommendation)

Rehearsal day and time – Sundays, 2-4 PM

The Etowah String Philharmonic

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The Etowah String Philharmonic is an intermediate-level string orchestra that functions both as an active performing ensemble and as an educational ensemble that serves to prepare musicians for performance in the Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra. The ESP performs regularly throughout the season, including two annual formal concerts and special performances for area organizations including the Gadsden Music Club. Musical selections include classical transcriptions, new works for string orchestra, and transcriptions of popular music.

Principal conductor – Roland Lister

Suggested grade levels – 7th-10th grade

Minimum requirements for auditioning – 2 years performing experience (can be waived with teacher recommendation)

Rehearsal day and time – Thursdays, 4-5:30 PM

The June Moore Bugg Prelude Strings


Named after the founder of the Etowah Youth Orchestras, the June Moore Bugg Prelude Strings is an introductory-level string orchestra that is designed to serve as a “first ensemble” performing experience for its members. The Prelude Strings has a strong educational component paired with an introduction to the performance experience. The repertoire of the Prelude Strings is designed to educate students in ensemble performance while enforcing basic skills and technique. Membership in the Prelude Strings is based on the recommendation of a school string orchestra or private teacher, rather than by audition.

Principal conductor – Roland Lister

Suggested grade levels – 6th-8th grade

Minimum requirements for participation – 1 year performing experience, recommendation of school or private teacher

Rehearsal day and time – Tuesdays, 4-5:30 PM