Houston Matters

The Houston Youth Symphony turns 75

One of the oldest youth orchestra organizations in the U.S. gets older!


Conductor Michael Webster leads the Symphony, the top orchestra in the Houston Youth Symphony


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Over 400 young musicians occupy the orchestras of the Houston Youth Symphony, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2023.

The ages of the participants range from 7 to 19 years of age, and they are placed among five different ensembles based on an audition process.

This Sunday (May 7, 2023), those ensembles will perform their final concerts of the season at Rice University, with a special 75th anniversary concert from the highest level ensemble, the Symphony, performing Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with special guest pianist Jon Kimura Parker.

In the audio above, Houston Matters’ Joshua Zinn visits a Houston Youth Symphony rehearsal and talks with Executive Director Amy Chung, Symphony musicians Sandhya Mahesh and Luis Urdaneta, and conductor Michael Webster.

Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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