London Youth Symphony
The London Youth Symphony is an orchestra for youth musicians between the ages of 13 and 23, located in London, Ontario, Canada.
To give talented young musicians in London and the surrounding area a challenging opportunity to develop those talents in a collaborative orchestral atmosphere; through making and sharing the finest creations of minds from around the globe, they can become aware, involved, and visionary citizenry.
That potential leaders in society learn the transforming powers of music themselves and develop the confidence and passion to share those powers for good with diverse communities.
LYS is unique - in many ways. Canadian youth orchestras fall into three main categories: those attached to public and private schools; those supported by professional orchestras; and those which are a young counterpart of the community orchestras. LYS "stands alone.”
The Canadian Encyclopedia lists part of its history and leadership: “London Youth Symphony. Founded in 1961 under the auspices of the Junior Women's Committee of the London SO Association. For players aged 13 to 23. It has performed at the 1976 International Festival of Youth Orchestras at Aberdeen, Scotland, at four Festivals of Youth Orchestras in Banff (1974, 1978, 1986, 1990), and at OFSO festivals in 1985 and 1989.”
It has been conducted by many Canadian notables, In the 1980s the youth orchestra broke ties with the city’s professional orchestra and gained its own charitable status and by-laws. Since then, it has continued to provide musical education with conductors Stan Kopac and Len Ingrao.
The London Youth Symphony has collaborated in venue and personnel with several London music education groups, has given three or four formal concerts annually, and has ventured into performing concerts in surrounding smaller communities and in London commercial venues. Two self-funded overseas tours for learning and performance took the young players to Poland and Prague in 1999 and to Austria and Italy in 2002.