Symphony Program

The Symphony Program consists of three orchestras: Youth Symphony I (YSI), Youth Symphony II (YSII), and Concert Orchestra (CO). String, woodwind, brass and percussion students go through a competitive audition process to be a member of these ensembles. Audition information is normally announced in April on our Symphony Program Auditions page (CLICK HERE).

Youth Symphony I (YSI)

Youth Symphony I is the most advanced of our seven orchestras and is one of the finest youth symphonies in the country. Among its accomplishments, YSI has been a Finalist in the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, performed with Midori, and was featured on From The Top with host Christopher O’Riley.

YSI is typically composed of about 90 students, grades 9-12, from dozens of public, home, and independent schools across the state. They rehearsed more than 130 hours and performed 10 concerts, including a Side-by-Side with the professional Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.

Conducted by Joseph Stepec

Youth Symphony II (YSII)

Youth Symphony II is the second most advanced of our seven orchestras. Youth Symphony II is typically composed of 90-100 students, grades 8-12, from dozens of schools across the state. They rehearse more than 120 hours and perform 6-7 concerts each season.

Concert Orchestra (CO)

Concert Orchestra is the third most-advanced of our seven orchestras and is the entry-level to our Symphony Program. Concert Orchestra is typically composed of 80-90 students, grades 5-12, from dozens of schools across the state. They rehearse more than 110 hours and perform 5 concerts, including one of our Listen & Learn concerts!

Conducted by Mr. Wayne Fanning.

Rehearsal Locations

Please see a sample schedule below of a normal season:

OrchestraConcert OrchestraYouth Symphony IIYouth Symphony I
Rehearsal LocationNiu Valley Middle School
310 Halemaumau Street
Honolulu, HI 96821
Kaimuki Middle School
631 18th Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
UH Music Department
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Rehearsal ScheduleWinds/Percussion Sectional
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Full Orchestra Rehearsal
1:00 – 2:00 pm
Strings Sectional
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Full Orchestra Rehearsal & Sectionals
11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Winds/Percussion Sectional
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Full Orchestra Rehearsal
12:00 – 2:00 pm
Strings Sectional
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Financial Aid

HYS believes in making music education affordable and equitable for all. Thanks to generous donations and grants, we are able to offer financial aid packages for qualified students. Scholarships for private lessons are also available. All financial information will be kept confidential and used only for financial aid decision-making purposes. Please email for more information.

Neighbor Island Students

Travel Assistance Available

Students from all islands are encouraged to audition and apply. In addition to Financial Aid and Scholarships, HYS has funds to assist with neighbor island students with travel expenses (airfare and ground transportation) for rehearsals and concerts.


Because we understand that coming every weekend to Oahu would be impossible, we will work with neighbor island students on a case-by-case basis to create reasonable attendance policies that minimize hardship, while maximizing learning, participation, and artistic excellence.

We are essential to the military’s morale and bring a spirit that cannot be replicated by pre-recorded music. Our music helps to soften the fears and anxieties of our bravest citizen soldiers and airmen.

Dr. Brent Rubio

Hawaii National Guard and 111th Army Band

Future Leaders

Every time I hear HYS perform, I think how awesome Hawaii will be with these people as our future leaders.

Tammy J.



Participating in HYS was an amazing, life-changing experience. I made lifelong friends and learned to respect myself.

Jason B.

Former Student