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Greenville Business Magazine

Spartanburg Philharmonic Announces New Youth Orchestra

On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, the Spartanburg Philharmonic officially launched its newest music education opportunity—the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Seeing the need for more music education opportunities for teenagers in Spartanburg County, several Philharmonic staff and board members came together to create a community in which musically-inclined teenagers can thrive.

The first of its kind in the Spartanburg County, the Youth Orchestra will bring together the best 8-12th grade instrumental players to perform at least three concerts per year. Students participating in the Youth Orchestra will have the opportunity to connect with professional musicians from the Spartanburg Philharmonic and other like-minded youth.

Helen Tipton, Spartanburg District 7 orchestra teacher and chair of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Education Committee, says, “As a music educator, having this youth orchestra in our immediate community is not only a logical next step for our students, but a wonderful collaborative opportunity for musicians and music educators as well. Embarking on this project with this amazing team has been the highlight of my year.”

The Youth Orchestra will be led by Converse College Professor Dr. Susana Lalama. Lalama is an assistant professor of music education and conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Converse College. When not conducting the Converse Wind Ensemble, Lalama teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in instrumental music education and conducting and supervises student teachers in instrumental music.

It’s an experience of a lifetime. It’s a chance for students to play with musicians of similar interests and take their musicianship to the next level, says Lalama when asked what she’d most want prospective orchestra members to know before auditioning.

Auditions will be held at Converse College in the Blackman Music Building. Woodwind, brass, and percussion auditions will be on May 18th, 2019 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Auditions for strings will be held on May 19th, 2019 from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. There is a $25 audition fee. More information regarding auditions, tuition scholarships, rehearsals, and concert schedules can be found at