Youth Orchestra (FSYO)


For students ages 13-21 in public school, private school, or home schooled, 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, Tuba, Percussion

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


We currently have openings for the following instruments:

Oboe | Bassoon | French Horn | Trombone | Viola | Cello

If interested in participating, please fill out the application form. Tuition will be determined once we have received the application.

Application Form



Required Application Fee – $25

Remaining Tuition for Participation in TWO Ensembles – $225

Remaining Tuition for Participation in ONE Ensemble – $175

Tuition for the year is outlined above. Application Fee and Tuition are non-refundable.  If a student does not pay their required application fee, they will not be scheduled a seating audition. This will result in the student being placed in the back of their respective section for Concert Band or String Orchestra, and will NOT be eligible to participate in Full Orchestra.

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

For the complete year schedule, click here.

Seating auditions will take place at the beginning of the year to determine seat placement, but 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 Julia Atkins, Director of Artistic Operations and Marketing, at jatkins@fayettevillesymphony.org


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.

Email: monicathiriot@gmail.com


FSYO is Supported By:

CCFLogo box and name 2013

FayAcad_torch_PMS 281

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What ages can participate?

  • Any student who is ages 13-21 may participate. Younger students are eligible based on teacher recommendation and instructor discretion.

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, 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. We are not limiting the number of strings in Full Orchestra at this time, however the maximum number of woodwind and brass participants allowed in Full Orchestra are: 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 tubas, 5 percussion, 1 piano (when needed), and 1 harp (when needed).

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.

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 under the event of an illness, family emergency, school conflict, or religious reasons. However, please note that missing too many rehearsals in a given semester could make your continued participation in the program 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.

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 application fee and/or tuition on time?

  • The application fee is due with the application, but no later than the application deadline. Should we not receive the application fee by the application deadline, you will not be scheduled for a seating audition. This will result in you still being allowed to participate in FSYO, but you will be placed in the back of your instrument’s section in either Concert Band or String Orchestra and will not be allowed to participate in Full Orchestra. Failure to pay the remainder of the tuition by the appropriate deadline will result in you being dismissed from the program until tuition is paid.

Can I pay the remaining 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

About the FSO “Music Nerd” – Joshua Busman

Joshua Kalin Busman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he teaches courses in music history and music theory. A native of Knoxville, TN, comes to North Carolina from just over the Great Smoky Mountains. In 2009, he graduated summa cum laude from Middle Tennessee State University with a B.M. in Music Theory and Composition. He completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, successfully defending his dissertation in April 2015. His research focuses on the intersections of music and religious practice, and over the past several years, Dr. Busman has presented his research at a host of regional, national, and international conferences and published work in “Sounding Board” from Ethnomusicology ReviewThe Avid ListenerMAKE Magazine The Other Journal, and The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, as well as in edited collections from Routledge Press and Lexington Books  He currently serves as the president of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Southeast and Caribbean Chapter as well as the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Religion, Music, and Sound study group. When he isn’t reading, writing, or researching, Joshua likes to play guitar and hang out with his wife, son, and hound dog at their home in Fayetteville.

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 performs 6-8 concerts during any given season performing both at Methodist University and Fayetteville State University. Partnerships with other arts agencies include collaborative performances with Cape Fear Regional Theatre, chamber concerts at St. John’s Episcopal Church, as well as a military appreciation concert held over Memorial Day Weekend. The Symphony brings music to the schools and the community by performing educational concerts, as well as having its own Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra and Summer Music Camps.

sign up for our e-mail

Follow Us:

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

Office Location:
308 Green St., Suite 200
Fayetteville, NC 28301
P: (910) 433-4690
F: (910)433-4699
Office Hours:



Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra

308 GREEN ST., SUITE 200
Fayetteville, NC 28301


Website designed by Biz Tools One