Youth Orchestra (FSYO)




Scroll down for information on how to apply!


For students ages 13-21 in public school, private school, or home school, who have experience playing one of the following instruments:

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone

French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba



Perks of Joining FSYO

Play alongside students from other schools

Receive instruction from professional musicians

Perform a joint concert alongside the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra

Receive complimentary student tickets to FSO concerts

Special social events with members of FSYO only


Want to hear recordings from our latest concert?? Scroll down to listen!




Application Form 

Completed applications may be sent to Kathryn Moore, Patron & Communications Manager, by email at kmoore@fayettevillesymphony.org.


PLEASE NOTE: All members will be placed in at least one ensemble – no one will be turned away from participating in the program. Full Orchestra membership is by audition only, and is limited to the following: 12 first violins, 12 second violins, 8 violas, 8 celli, 4 basses, 4-5 flutes, 4-5 oboes, 4-5 clarinets, 4-5 bassoons, 4-5 saxophones (when needed), 4-5 horns, 4-5 trumpets, 4-5 trombones, 2-3 tubas, and 5 percussion.



Tuition for Participation in TWO Ensembles – $200

Tuition for Participation in ONE Ensemble – $150

Click here to pay tuition

Tuition for the remainder of the year is outlined above. Tuition is not refundable. 

The tuition helps cover the costs of hiring professional musicians to come and work with the students, purchasing and copying music, administrative work, as well as marketing materials such as the printing of programs, posters, flyers, etc.

Tuition can be paid online by credit card OR by check made out to the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.


Rehearsals are every Sunday at Fayetteville Academy

Concert Band Rehearsal: 4pm-4:50pm

String Orchestra Rehearsal: 4pm-4:50pm

Full Orchestra Rehearsal: 5pm-6pm

No one will be turned away from participating in the program. Everyone who applies will be placed in at least one ensemble.


For any additional questions, read our FAQ section down below, or email Kathryn Moore at kmoore@fayettevillesymphony.org



FSYO Full Orchestra


FSYO Concert Band


Meet the Faculty!

Dr. Larry Wells, FSYO Director and Conductor


Dr. Larry Wells holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Washington State University (1990). He holds a Master of Science in Teaching Music from Portland State University (1996), and completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Trumpet Performance/Wind Conducting from the University of North Texas (2006). His dissertation is entitled Construction Applications, Practices, and Techniques of Natural Trumpets; A Comparative Analysis of Baroque and Modern Era Trumpet Construction Methods.

Currently, Larry holds the Union-Zukowski Endowed Professor of the Fine Arts position at Methodist University as the Professor of Music and the Director of Instrumental Studies/Trumpet. Prior to his appointment at Methodist, Larry taught for one year at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and three years at Southwestern Oregon Community College.

In addition to teaching, Larry is the music director for the Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra. Previously, Larry was the General Manager and Associate Conductor for the 500+ member Metropolitan Youth Symphony in Portland, Oregon. Larry also spent four years working for the David. G. Monette Corp. building custom trumpets for notable players such as Wynton Marsalis, Manny Laureano, Terrance Blanchard, the late Adolph Herseth, and Maynard Ferguson.

As a performer, Larry holds a position in the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and the Carolina Philharmonic. In addition, he has played numerous times with the Cape Fear Regional Theater, North Carolina Symphony, Portland Opera, the Oregon Symphony, the Eugene Symphony and Opera, and the Salem Chamber Orchestra. While at the University of North Texas, Larry played with the UNT Symphonic Band, UNT Baroque Orchestra, and the UNT Opera Orchestra. He has performed with Marie Osmund, The Moody Blues, Mannheim Steamroller, and as a guest musician with the Jordanian National Symphony in Amman, Jordan.

As a soloist, Larry completed a recital tour in Italy during the summer of 2013. During that tour he played in Bologna, Florence, and Trent. In May of 2014, Larry recorded his first CD, using repertoire from the Italy tour along with some added material.

Larry regularly serves on the faculty of various summer camps and festivals. These include The Methodist University “Summer Jam”, the Fayetteville Symphony’s “Summer Music Festival”, The Presbyterian Music Association’s “Montreat Camp”, and The Oregon Coast Music Festival.

Outside of music, Larry’s interests include playing golf, woodworking, and exploring New Orleans with his wife Tracey and three children: Pruette, Harrison, and Daulton.

Email: lwells@methodist.edu


Mrs. Monica Thiriot, FSYO String Coach

Monica Thiriot, Director of Strings Education at FSO, began playing the violin with the Suzuki Method when she was 6 years old. She graduated from all 10 levels by the time she was 14, and two years later, she received her first Suzuki training to become a teacher. As her private studio grew, she received additional Suzuki teacher training from John Kendall, and Jeanne Grover. One of her favorite things to do is to put together groups where youth can create music together and perform throughout the community. Her groups have performed at many festivals, fundraisers, and other community events in New York (West Point Youth String Club), Maryland (Suitland Strings), North Carolina (Hope Mills/Fayetteville area), and Texas (San Antonio). She is excited to return to Fayetteville and work with the Fayetteville Academy and Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra in creating a new youth program for this area. Monica graduated from the University of Utah where she was able to study music and receive her degree in Elementary Education. She is in her 3rd season of playing the violin with the Fayetteville Symphony, and has 4 children who also play the violin. Her family can be seen around town performing for the Arts Council, the LaFayette Society, and at different fundraisers.


FSYO received start up funding from Cumberland Community Foundation and is Supported By:

FayAcad_torch_PMS 281

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What ages can participate?

  • Any student who is age 13-21 may participate. Younger students are eligible based on teacher recommendation and instructor discretion. For students who are not quite ready for youth orchestra we have our String Sinfonietta program which may be a better fit.

What instruments are involved?

  • Any student who plays one or more of these instruments may participate: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, and Percussion.

Does it matter what school I attend?

  • Nope! FSYO is open to any and all students who are interested whether you attend public or private school, or are home-schooled.

Do I need to live in Fayetteville to participate?

  • No. FSYO is open to any student who lives in the greater southeastern North Carolina area. This includes, but is not limited to, Cumberland, Ft. Bragg, Moore, Hoke, Scotland, Robeson, Sampson, Bladen, Columbus, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Duplin, Onslow, Wayne, Johnston, and Harnett counties.

Is an audition required?

  • A seating audition is required at the beginning of the year in order to accurately place you in an ensemble, however you will not be turned away from participating in the program. All participants will be placed in at least one ensemble. If a seating audition is not completed, you will be placed in the back of your section.

If I participate in FSYO, will I be able to play in all the ensembles?

  • Concert Band is limited to Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion participants only, and String Orchestra is limited to Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass participants only, but you will be placed in at least one of these ensembles depending on your instrument. Full Orchestra participation is by audition only, and participation in this ensemble will be determined on how well you do in your seating audition at the beginning of the year. The maximum number of participants allowed in Full Orchestra are: 12 first violins, 12 second violins, 8 violas, 8 celli, 4 basses, 4-5 flutes, 4-5 oboes, 4-5 clarinets, 4-5 bassoons, 4-5 saxophones (when needed), 4-5 horns, 4-5 trumpets, 4-5 trombones, 2-3 tubas, and 5 percussion.

I’m a saxophone player and I know there isn’t a lot of music available for saxophone in Full Orchestra – will I still be eligible to participate in Full Orchestra, or just Concert Band?

  • When a piece of music requires saxophone in Full Orchestra, you will be eligible to participate in Full Orchestra so long as you have completed a seating audition. However, there is no guarantee that we will have music for saxophones in Full Orchestra every semester, so you may only be needed for Concert Band depending on the repertoire that has been picked. We do our best to pick repertoire ahead of time so we can accurately tell you what ensembles you need to be present for.

Do I need to be a member of my school band or orchestra in order to participate?

  • It is highly encouraged that students who participate in FSYO participate in their school music program as well. If your school does not offer a music program, then this requirement is waived.

I’m in my school’s marching band, and we have a lot of practices during the fall which might make it hard for me to participate in FSYO. Can I still participate in FSYO if I have to miss a few rehearsals due to marching band conflicts? Or should I wait until the spring?

  • Though we understand the marching band season is a big school commitment during the fall, we still expect musicians wanting to participate in FSYO to attend what they can in the fall if they are in their school’s marching band. We prefer not to have students join mid-year. FSYO rehearsals are scheduled on Sundays in order to avoid most marching band conflicts and many other school commitments. We are willing to work with each student individually, on a case-by-case basis, to figure out the best solution so that they can continue to participate in both. Should a musician have concerns regarding this matter, please have them discuss with the FSYO Director at their earliest convenience.

When and where are the rehearsals ?

  • Rehearsals will be held on Sundays at Fayetteville Academy (3200 Cliffdale Rd., Fayetteville, NC 28303). Concert Band rehearses from 4pm-4:50pm, String Orchestra rehearses from 4pm-4:50pm, and Full Orchestra rehearses from 5pm-6pm.

How many concerts does the youth orchestra perform in a season?

  • At least three concerts a season: a winter concert in December and a spring concert in May, as well as a side-by-side concert with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.

Where do I park for rehearsals?

  • You should park in the Fayetteville Academy parking lot directly off Morganton Rd.

What is the attendance policy?

  • Attendance to all rehearsals and concerts is required. Absences are only excused in the event of an illness, family emergency, school conflict, or for religious reasons. However, please note that missing too many rehearsals in a given semester could cause your continued participation in the program to be under review. Participation in a music program is very much like a sport in that it’s a team game and we need all players present as much as possible. Should you miss more than 3 rehearsals in any given semester, whether excused or unexcused, your status in the program may be under review at the Director’s discretion.

How much does FSYO cost?

  • A $25 application fee is required with the application. After the application fee, the remaining tuition for participating in TWO ensembles for the year is $225, and the remaining tuition for participating in only ONE ensemble for the year is $175 for the year. Tuition is reduced for January applications.

When is the application fee and tuition paid?

  • The application fee must be received with the application form. The remainder of the tuition is due no later than October 1st. Failure to pay the application fee will result in not being scheduled for a seating audition. If the application fee is not received by the application deadline, you will therefore be placed in the back of your respective section and will NOT be eligible to participate in Full Orchestra. The remaining tuition must be paid in full no later than October 1st. Installment plans are available if you prefer to pay the remaining tuition in 2 installments.

Is financial aid available?

  • Yes. Please indicate on the application form if you would like to be considered for Financial Aid and send your most recent year’s tax return to Christine Kastner, President/CEO, at ckastner@fayettevillesymphony.org. Financial aid is limited and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What happens if I don’t pay the tuition on time?

  • Failure to pay tuition by the appropriate deadlines will result in you being dismissed from the program until tuition is paid.

Can I pay the tuition in installments?

  • Yes, we offer a non-negotiable installment plan at the beginning of the year. The plan allows you to pay the remaining tuition in 2 installments.


































Featured Musician

Randolyn Emerson – Violin


Randolyn Emerson, violin, begins her ninth year with the Fayetteville Symphony (completing her first season under the conductorship of Harlan Duenow).  Born into a rich and varied musical environment – her mother was a member of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir – Randolyn was singing for audiences by age two. After finding her mother’s old instrument in a closet, however, eight-year-old Randolyn fell in love with the violin. 

Randolyn graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music degree, having studied violin with Oscar Chausow, longtime Utah Symphony concertmaster, and voice with Betty Jean Chipman.  Her university experience included a six-week European tour with the university’s A Capella Choir, where she soloed both as a solo violinist and a solo vocalist with the choir in historical venues such as Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, the organ loft (above the grave of composer Anton Bruckner) of St. Florian Cathedral in Linz, Austria, and Venice, Italy’s polyphonic St. Mark’s Basilica. By means of a generous scholarship, she also received excellent orchestral training at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, under the tutelage of Maestro Maurice Abravanel, Artistic Director of the Utah Symphony for more than thirty years.

Relocating to North Carolina in 1988, Randolyn became active in many area orchestras, including the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Greensboro Symphony, North Carolina Theatre pit orchestra (25 years and counting), Tar River Orchestra, and the Raleigh and Durham Symphonies, wherein she served as each orchestra’s assistant concertmaster (and where she met her viola-playing husband, Paul).  For ten years, Randolyn was also privileged to be an extra violinist with the North Carolina Symphony.  Operas, ballets, choral oratorios, traveling Broadway shows, recordings of Robert Ward compositions, and even concerts with modern artists such as Rod Stewart, Regis Philbin, Bobby McFerrin and Clay Aiken – over the years, Randolyn’s played for them all.  She’s even made forays into fiddling, recording a CD with the bluegrass band Sweet Potato Pie and serving as a last-minute concert substitute with Lorica, the Celtic ensemble formed by WRAL-TV’s Bill Leslie.

Aside from music, Randolyn has put to good use her Master of Business Administration degree from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, by establishingherself as a professional family history researcher and writer.  Her greatest joys, though, are always found in her faith and in her family:  sons Erik and Daniel and her always-supportive husband, Paul.


To Educate. To Entertain. To Inspire.

The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1956 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is a professional, regional orchestra whose mission is to educate, entertain, and inspire the citizens of the Fayetteville, North Carolina region as the leading musical resource.  Praised for its artistic excellence, the Symphony leads in the cultural and educational landscape for Fayetteville and the southeastern North Carolina region.

The Fayetteville Symphony typically performs 8 concerts during any given season performing both at Methodist University and Fayetteville State University. Partnerships with other agencies include collaborative performances with Cape Fear Regional Theatre, chamber concerts at St. John’s Episcopal Church, as well as the city’s annual Independence concert with fireworks. The Symphony brings music to the schools and the community by performing educational concerts, as well as having its own Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra, after school strings and summer music camps.

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Fayetteville, NC 28301
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Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra

308 GREEN ST., SUITE 200
Fayetteville, NC 28301


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