Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras

The Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra experience provides extraordinary music education in pursuit of musical excellence. The program aims to inspire in our students a strong sense of character, discipline, commitment, and community. The ensembles are inclusive, diverse, and accessible to all students, regardless of financial resources. High-quality ensemble training is led by Charlotte Symphony Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees and professional Charlotte Symphony musicians, who provide a nurturing environment through which young musicians create lasting bonds in music and friendship. We offer regular performance opportunities throughout the city, including the Belk and Knight theaters, plus access to the Charlotte Symphony's renowned Music Director, Christopher Warren-Green and international visiting artists, such as Joshua Bell. 

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About the Conductor

Christopher James Lees serves as the Resident Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony and has 15 years of experience conducting secondary, university, and honors-level orchestras all across the country. In addition to his extensive professional work, he also has served on the college faculties of the University of Michigan, Kent State University, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra Conductor Chair is made possible by a generous gift from The Symphony Guild of Charlotte.


The Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras are composed of two groups--the flagship ensemble, the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO), and the training orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony Youth Philharmonic (CSYP). Membership in both is by audition. The CSYP engages primarily students in grades 4-9, and the CSYO, students in grades 8-12.

Access to the Charlotte Symphony

Sectional coaching is provided by Charlotte Symphony musicians, including but not limited to the Concertmaster and musicians holding principal and chaired positions.

Music Director Christopher Warren-Green makes regular visits to work with both orchestras.

CSYO musicians will have the opportunity to perform side-by-side with members of the CSO.

For more information about this program, please contact: Chelsea SingerYouth Orchestra Programs Manager, 704.714.5131