Members of the YPO are seventh graders and younger. This ensemble currently consists of 50 string players (violin, viola, cello and bass) and is the first ensemble experience for many of its members.
In the YPO, musicians learn the fundamentals of playing in an ensemble and receive instruction on proper instrument position and posture. Young musicians are nurtured and challenged while they are introduced to vibrato, a variety of bowing techniques and positions.
Under the direction of Susan Younghans, the YPO performs three concerts annually. The final concert in May takes place at the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Rehearsals and Requirements
YPO rehearses on Sundays from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Sammons Center for the Arts. YPO members should demonstrate left hand accuracy in first position, beginning shifting and music reading skills. All GDYO musicians are expected to participate in their school music programs.
Young Performers Orchestra Conductor
Susan Younghans is currently in her eighth season conducting the YPO and DSE. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Susan Younghans came to Texas in 1984 and is recognized as an accomplished teacher, conductor and performer in the Dallas area. Susan received her Bachelor of Music Performance Degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia where she studied with Charles Joseph and a Master of Music Education Degree from the University of North Texas where she furthered her violin studies with Philip Lewis and James Lerch. Susan continued to pursue her PhD while directing middle and high school strings in Lewisville ISD for seven years where her focus was program building. She currently teaches general music at A Child's Garden Montessori School and teaches private violin at Faith Christian School. She also maintains a private teaching studio where her students have won numerous contests at the local and state level. Susan is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician and has guided many students to careers in music performance and education. She performs regularly with the Wichita Falls Symphony and freelances locally with her string quartet and other regional orchestras.
Violin: Sondra Brudnak, Kathy Johnson and Christine Rewolinski
Viola: Sonja Ryberg and Peggy Tucker
Cello: Gretchen Nichols and Deb Perkins
Bass: Ted Grille and David Odegaard