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Posted June 7, 2012

Arts & Culture

KWS Announces Expanded Youth Orchestra Program

Kitchener/Waterloo - The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony announced an expanded Youth Orchestra Program with the addition of a new ensemble and a new ensemble conductor.

New in 2012/13, the Youth Orchestra Program will include the Youth Concert Band. This ensemble, led by Trevor Wagler, combines winds, brass and percussion, and is open for young musicians at medium to advanced skill levels. This ensemble was formed after local high school music teachers expressed a desire for a program aimed at their advanced students. Trevor Wagler, who has been involved with the Youth Orchestra Program since 2004, is a professional French horn player, composer/arranger, teacher and conductor of the Waterloo Concert Band.

The KWS is also excited to announce the appointment of Allene Chomyn as conductor of the Youth Sinfonia. Ms. Chomyn, a violinist with the KWS, has been involved with the Youth Orchestra Program for two years as conductor of Preludium Strings and is eager to meet the challenge of leading a new ensemble.

Replacing Ms. Chomyn as conductor of Preludium Strings is Ella Weber, a graduate of the Youth Orchestra Program. Ms. Weber was Concertmaster of the senior Youth Orchestra for several seasons, and was a Youth Orchestra concerto competition winner. She has completed a Music Education Degree at Wilfrid Laurier University and has been teaching in her own violin studio for over four years, as well as directing the Kitchener Collegiate Institute String Ensemble and volunteering in local elementary schools. Most recently, Ms. Weber has been teaching group violin lessons at the Laurier String Academy.

"We are eager to welcome Ella to the Youth Orchestra Program as conductor of Preludium Strings,” stated Evan Mitchell, KWS Assistant Conductor. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and musical experience to the program and I very much look forward to working with her."

From its formation in 1966 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Junior Symphony, the KWS Youth Orchestra Program has grown into a nationally recognized orchestral training program for young musicians. Today, the Youth Orchestra Program consists of several ensembles in progressive levels: Preludium Strings (introductory ensemble), Youth Strings (junior ensemble), Youth Sinfonia (intermediate strings), the Youth Orchestra (senior level, full orchestra), as well as the new Youth Concert Band. Members are also encouraged to participate in the comprehensive Chamber Music Program under the tutelage of the Bremen String Quartet.

Auditions for the 2012/13 Season run May 28 - June 9, 2012 at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts. A second round of auditions will take place in September, 2012. Audition details can be found at

Young musicians can also become involved with the Symphony during the summer by attending one of our popular day camps: My First Music Lesson (ages 6-12) or Summer Strings (age 9-15). Each camp combines instruction from professional KWS musicians with fun activities spread throughout the day. For more details please visit

The KWS would like to thank the following for their Support of the Youth Orchestra Program: Season Sponsor: Sun Life Financial, Manfred and Penny Conrad for their support of Youth Sinfonia, and Keiko and Charles Belair for their support of Youth Strings.

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