GDYO Philharmonic PerformingPhilharmonic Ensemble

Comprised of approximately 100 members, high school seniors or younger, the Philharmonic is a full symphony orchestra. The combination of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion makes possible the performance of a wide variety of symphonic music. For some, the Philharmonic is an introduction to advanced orchestral literature.

Under the direction of James Frank, the Philharmonic performs three concerts annually.


The orchestra performs pieces such as: Arnold’s English Dances, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2, Arturo Marquez’s Danzon No. 2, and Franck’s Symphony in d minor.


Guest soloists from across the Metroplex frequently perform with the Philharmonic. In the Spring of 2010, David Heyde from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performed the Mozart Horn Concerto Number 4.  In 2013, oboist Rogene Russell joined the Philharmonic for a performance of Wayne Barlow’s The Winter Passed.


Philharmonic members are encouraged to enter the Philharmonic Concerto Competition. This competition is held each January, and the winner is invited to perform as a soloist with the orchestra the following fall.

Rehearsals and Requirements

Rehearsals take place at Sammons Center for the Arts on Sunday afternoon, from 1:30 to 4:00 pm. All GDYO musicians are expected to participate in their school music programs.

James Frank, Philharmonic Conductor

A third generation musician and native Texan, James Frank graduated from the Juilliard School in 1981, where he studied applied French horn with James Chambers as a Rubenstein scholar.
As a French hornist, Mr. Frank enjoyed a six year career as Co-principal in the Columbus Symphony and a member of the Columbus Symphony Woodwind Quintet.
He has also performed with The National Orchestral Association and The Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City, The Aspen Music Festival and Chamber Orchestras, the Sinfonia da Camera and Pro Musica Chamber Orchestras, The A.I.M.S. Orchestra in Graz, Austria, and as a Blossom Music Festival Fellow. Locally, he has performed with the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Richardson Symphony and the Plano Symphony Orchestra.
As an educator, Mr. Frank received his teaching certificate from the Ohio State University in 1987 and returned to Texas to lead the orchestras of Richardson High School, Vines High School and Plano Senior High School. In addition to being consistent sweepstakes winners at U.I.L. contest, orchestras under his direction were named “Best in Class” and “Grand Champion of Texas” three times by American Classic Music Festivals. In 1999, Plano Senior High School Chamber Orchestra was named the TMEA Honor String Orchestra for Texas. Mr. Frank has also worked as a Southern Association Evaluator and Region III Orchestra Chairman and continues to serve as a guest clinician, a panelist, TMEA All State Symphony brass coach and as a frequent adjudicator for U.I.L. and other major festivals.
As a conductor, Mr. Frank is in his twenty second season as director of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Philharmonic and also led the GDYO Sinfonietta for thirteen seasons.  He has conducted the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphonies, and was the Youth Concert Series conductor for the Dallas Symphony for the 2008-2009 season. Mr. Frank has also served as director of orchestras at the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana and as a guest conductor of the New Philharmonic of Irving and the Allen Philharmonic. He currently lives in Dallas with his wife Marilyn and daughter Lauren.

Philharmonic Sectional Coaches:
Violin: Betsy Thomas, Jeff Turner
Viola: Susan Dubios, Vern Lewis
Cello: Jim Higgins
Bass: Scott Sheffler, Dr. Jack Unizcker