Important PYS Rehearsal Changes and  Information (COVID19 Circumstances)

In accordance with the guidelines set forth by the city, state and school districts (Phoenix Union School district in particular) PYS will not hold in person ensemble rehearsals through the week of April 10, 2020.
The conductors of each ensemble are working to create opportunities for each ensemble to get together virtually. We will also continue to forward great online opportunities that are provided such as the free masterclasses and the free Met and Berlin recording archives to listen to.
We are hopeful; we may still be able to have some remaining season depending on the recommendations of our health and government authorities. We are working all possibilities.
PYS is also continuing to work on contingency plans for auditions for the 2020-2021 season. If you are in contact with your musical colleagues from school online please be sure to share with them the opportunity to audition for PYS for next season. Keep practicing hard as we are striving to have auditions for next season and look forward to more great music making opportunities.

Click the name of the ensemble you are in to access announcements, forms, information, parent committee contact info and to make monthly fee payments.

Percussion Ensemble
Prelude Strings
String Orchestra
Symphonic Winds
Chamber Winds
Youth Symphony


Phoenix Youth Symphony 2019-20 Handbook

The PYS Handbook contains the policies, procedures and information for the 2019-2020 Season.

Download and save the handbook to their computers, phones and smart devices:

PYS Handbook 2019-2020

Please download, print, sign and return the following acknowledgement form to your Ensemble Committee by Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Handbook Acknowledgement Form

School Confirmation 2019-2020

PYS Renewal Intent for 2020-2021 Season

The Phoenix Youth Symphony would like to know your intentions for the 2020-2021 season.  This will help us prepare for next season.  CLICK HERE to submit your Renewal Intent form online OR click here to download and print an intent form.

Renewal Registration Forms are now online.  Students who want to perform in the SAME ENSEMBLE next season should login to their ensemble page to complete the renewal form and pay the $30 non-refundable fee.  Audition forms for those who want to audition to move to a new ensemble will be posted soon.

Information for March:



Rehearsal notes for March 18 – 24:

Prelude Strings:

Hello, Prelude Strings, I hope you are all staying healthy and safe. I have some practice tips for the next week I would like to share with you all. This is so when we return we can pick up where we left off. If you have any questions you can email me at [email protected]. I understand you may not be able to practice every day so just get as much in as you can, if you miss a day just do what is expecting the next day and if you want to fit two days in one, then go for it.  I will sound out more practice tips for next week.

Practice tips for 3/18/20-3/24/20

3/18/20 – spend two minutes holding open strings, so 30 seconds on each string – this helps teach your right arm how to control the bow after a slower speed and to produce a cleaner tone. The spend 10 minutes practicing what scales you know using half notes. After practice daily warm-ups #7,8,9,10. Practice sinfonia in d m.75-end with coda, focus on rhythm, speed, playing in tune, separating the notes and keeping your bow at the middle part of the bow.

3/19/20 – Practice slurring the following notes by slurring 2,3, then 4, d-e-f sharp -g (d string), a-b- c sharp-d (a string), g-a-b-c (g string). Then practice slurring 2,3,4 using these notes g-a-b flat-c (g string), d-e-f natural-g (d string), a-b-c natural-d (a string). Practice spiccato using any note you want while using a metronome, set the metronome at 90 and the bow placed at the balance point on the string. Once you can keep the bow steady and with the metronome bump the metronome up to 100, then 110, then 120. Practice Allegro Con Brio (Beethoven) m. 102-135 – practice getting a spiccato, off string, place bow at the balance point. Think light fun, flying, keep the bow close to the string. Work on playing with metronome at 80, then 90, the 100.

3/20/20 – Practice daily warm-ups #5&6. Practice vibrato exercise, either exercises you know, what we have discussed in rehearsal or watch this video  Practice Scarborough Fair the whole song, with the metronome set at 88 bpm. Please focus on a steady tempo, clean half notes, steady bow speed and adding in dynamics. If there are two notes I want you to practice the top notes and then if you go through it again the bottom notes.

3/21/20 – Practice the following measures in Sinfonia in D – 1-31, use the metronome set it at 80 bpm, then try it at 90 bpm, then 100 bpm. If 80 is too fast start at 70, only increase speed once you can play it clean and in tune. Try to add in dynamics and marcato – separated/accented/loud sound, sticky bow sound. Practice the following measures in Allegro Con Brio m. 60-102, practice with the metronome at 69 remember there are naturals and flats! Once you can play 69 in tune and playing with full smooth bow speed, make sure the tone is clean and the tempo is steady, don’t apply too much pressure when playing long sustained notes. Once this is comfortable then bump the metronome up to 79.

3/22/20 – I want you practice doing 20 bow lifts, – first ten at a very slow speed and the second ten at a fast speed. I want you to focus on the speed and the replacement, set at the frog. Warm-up on Daily warm-ups #1,2,4, 13. Remember keep your arm and wrist relaxed when playing 16th notes, find the part of the bow you don’t have to but a lot work into, sixteenths should be relaxed and not big arm movement. For number 13 the rhythm is 1-2 lift and four and repeat, also reset back at the frog. Practice through Sinfonia 31-53 – focus on rhythms, bow placement and controlled 16th notes, use a metronome and do the same tempos as 3/21/20. Practice through Scarborough fair focus on crescendos and decrescendos. Allegro Con Brio focus on m. 1-26 with a metronome set at 69, focus on bow placement, clean sound – not a lot of pressure and avoid too bouncy spiccato, remember to hold out those tied notes for the full beat values.

3/23/20 – Spend ten minutes on practicing your scales using quarter notes separated and slurring two then three then four 1-2 octaves. Practice using dynamics in your scales, forte, piano, crescendos, decrescendos. Practice daily warm-up # 18, arco, pizzicato pattern, go very slow, focus on the transitioning from arco to pizzicato, keep the bow in your hand, rest your hand on the instrument and extend out the index finger. Practice allegro con brio m. 26-60 – with metronome, focus on playing a very soft piano, 37-60 focus on spiccato articulation, bow placement is everything, as you know. In sinfonia practice m. 53-75, much slower tempo so practice with metronome between 60-80 bpm. This is a soft section, think erie, whisper, wind blowing, mystery sound. Less pressure on the bow, slower bow speed. If you have a mute please practice with it.

3/24/20 – Record yourself playing through all the three songs, you can use a metronome if you’d like, either record a video or an audio recording. Then want you to listen and critique yourself, then come up with 3 things you did well and 2 things you want to improve. Send me the recordings and your critiques once you are done. Email me at [email protected].

CLICK HERE to download and print the Prelude Strings’ rehearsal plan for March 18-24.

String Orchestra:
Symphonic Winds:
Symphonette Orchestra:
Percussion Members: 
Youth Symphony:


2019-2020 Full Season Schedule

2019-2020 Season Schedule

The Phoenix Symphony Classical Series 2019-2020

PYS members receive two free tickets to each classical concert.

Present PYS membership card at the box office on the day of the concert.

CLICK HERE for the schedule.

Monthly Fee Payments

Pay by check or cash at rehearsal.  Pay by credit card by logging onto your ensemble page.  A late fee will be added to all balances after January 31, 2020.  Students will unpaid balances after April 30 will NOT perform in the Season Finale.


Absence Form

Click here for attendance policy and absence request form

2019 Retreats

Youth Symphony strings – September 6-8, 2019 Prescott Pines
Youth Symphony winds  – September 7-8, 2019  Prescott Pines
Symphonette strings – September 6-8, 2019 Prescott Pines
Symphonette winds  – September 7-8, 2019  Prescott Pines
Symphonic Winds –  September 7-8, 2019  Prescott Pines
All Percussion September 7-8, 2019  Prescott Pines
String Orchestra  – September 28-29, 2019 Camp Friendly Pines


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