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

Many performance opportunities with members of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra throughout the year.


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


Application Form 


PLEASE NOTE: All members will be placed in two ensembles – no one will be turned away from participating in the program. Orchestra placement is by audition.


Tuition for Participation for the 2019-2020 school year – $250

Click here to pay tuition

Tuition is for the full 2019-2020 school year. 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. Financial aid is available for qualified families.


Rehearsals are every Sunday at Fayetteville Academy

Concert Band Rehearsal: 4pm-4:50pm

String Orchestra Rehearsal: 4pm-4:50pm

Orchestra Rehearsal: 5pm-6pm

No one will be turned away from participating in the program. Everyone who applies will be placed in two ensembles.


Auditions will be held the last 2 weeks of August and first week of September.  Specific dates with sign up information will be posted by the end of June.
FSYO String Auditions:

All STRINGS:  Please come prepared to play the first 2 pages of the Mendelssohn String Symphony No. 1 in C major (first movement).  Be prepared to play it as close to this recording tempo as possible keeping all of the notes clean.  Make sure you listen to different recordings and try to play along.  A good practice technique is to slow down the speed of the youtube video and practice with it.  The judges will specifically be listening for those who are able to keep the notes even and controlled.  (Practice with a METRONOME)  

Specific information for Violins:
You may choose either the first or second violin part.  Choose the part that you feel the most comfortable playing.  This DOES NOT determine which orchestra you will be assigned.  Those who have only been playing for a couple years or who are not comfortable shifting above 3rd position should choose 2nd violin.  If you would like additional advice as to which part to learn, please call the symphony offices and ask for Ms. Monica Thiriot.


Violin I FSYO 19-20

Violin II FSYO 19-20

Viola FSYO 19-20

Cello FSYO 19-20

Bass FSYO 19-20

Flute FSYO 19-20

Oboe FSYO 19-20

Clarinet FSYO 19-20

Bass Clarinet Music 07.17.19

Saxophone FSYO 19-20

Trumpet FSYO 19-20

French Horn FSYO 19-20

Bassoon FSYO 19-20

Trombone FSYO 19-20

Euphonium FSYO 19-20

Tuba FSYO 19-20


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 two ensembles. 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. Orchestra placement is by audition ; all students will be placed in one of our orchestra ensembles.

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 Orchestra, or just Concert Band?

  • You will be able to participate in Orchestra so long as you have completed a seating audition. We will be selecting repertoire so that you will be able to participate in orchestra.

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 Orchestra rehearsals are 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?

  • Tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is $250. There is a 10% early bird discount until July 1, 2019.

When is the application fee and tuition paid?

  • Tuition is due 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
    Deborah Teasley, President/CEO, at dteasley@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 tuition in 2 installments.


































Featured Musician

Nicole Wendl – Violin

nwendlNicole Wendl is an actively performing violinist based in the Triangle area and a recent graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has been found performing on stages across the United States and Europe and was a founding member of the Giannini String Quartet.

She has performed in orchestras across the country including the Charleston Symphony, Port Charlotte Symphony, and Space Coast Symphony. On stage, she has appeared with leading artists including Idina Menzel, Clay Aiken, Kansas, Alan Parsons, Supertramp, and Irish Tenors, and with Florida State University’s Symphony Orchestra she can be heard on the Naxos label recording of Ellen Taffe Zwilich’s Millenium album.

Currently on administrative faculty as Resident Director at Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Nicole works closely with Artistic Director, Kevin Lawrence and Business Manager, Barbara Lawrence to ensure smooth running of the decade-old festival. She has been performing for the last 10 years at venues ranging from weddings to corporate events. Complementing her busy freelance schedule, Nicole has also enjoyed sharing the gift of music with others through teaching. As a guest clinician, she has consulted with many schools to facilitate orchestral and chamber music workshops and has taught with the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra and the Florida State University Summer Music Camps, and the continues to maintain a growing private studio.

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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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 302
Fayetteville, NC 28302

Office Location:
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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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