The Cape Youth Orchestra program brings talented young musicians of all ages and skill levels from Cape Cod and southern New England together to perform under the direction of professional conductors, musicians, and educators from the Cape Symphony, Conservatory, and Boston area. Centered on fostering joy in instrumental and orchestral playing, the youth orchestra program provides young musicians with enriching musical experiences that strengthen their musicianship and create lasting memories.

Program Highlights:

  • Annual performances throughout the Cape and New England region
  • Music collaborations with Conservatory programs and other performing arts organizations
  • Sectional rehearsals with musicians from the Cape Symphony and Boston
  • Chamber music opportunities and performances throughout the region
  • Season tickets for Cape Symphony's Masterpiece concert series
  • Access to masterclasses and select special events
  • A dedicated and enthusiastic team of teachers and administrative staff
  • A lifetime of musical and personal memories

Four Ways to Play:

CYO Philharmonia - Advanced high school symphonic orchestra (grades 9-12). Regular rehearsals at Cape Cod Community College, Mondays, 5:30-7:45pm  |  Register

CYO Chamber Strings - Intermediate string orchestra (grades 5-8 with 2+ years experience). Regular rehearsals at Cape Cod Community College, Mondays, 5:30-7pm  |   Register

CYO Debut Winds - Intermediate middle school wind and brass (grades 6-8 with 2+ years experience). Regular rehearsals at Cape Cod Community College, Mondays, 5:30-7pm  |   Register

CYO Debut Strings - Beginner string orchestra (grades 1-5 with 1+ years experience). Regular rehearsals at Cape Conservatory / Barnstable, Wednesdays, 4:15-5:15pm. No audition is necessary to participate in Debut Strings.  |   Register 

Placement Sessions - August 26 & 27

Inviting all dedicated & motivated student musicians to join the Cape Youth Orchestra program for the 17|18 academic year!  A 10-minute audition will be held with each student during the afternoons of August 26 & 27 (for new and returning musicians). We will ask each student to prepare an excerpt of music to perform at the session, which will help us place the student in the most appropriate ensemble. We also accept video auditions. 

Contact the Conservatory with any questions!  |  508.362.2772.

Program Leadership:

Christopher Schroeder, Cape Youth Orchestra Music Director/Conductor
A Boston-based musician, Christopher Schroeder is a catalyst for social change through music. As a conductor and music educator, Schroeder works with musicians of various skill levels, ages, and backgrounds to bring communities together, inspiring ensembles to achieve their highest level of musicianship. His aspiration is that each musician grows to develop character traits that transcend rehearsal spaces, empowering them to make a difference in themselves and their communities. Having begun his career as a performer at Walt Disney World, creating a synergy with the audience through entertaining and participatory programming has continued to be an essential ingredient in each of his performances. 

In addition to the Cape Conservatory, Schroeder established and conducts the wind ensembles at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in greater Boston, he established the brass program at Keys for Kids in Lexington, guest conducted the Boston Youth Philharmonic Wind Ensemble, and collaborated with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra on their summer music series. In 2013, Schroeder was recognized as a Top 10 Finalist for the “Best of US” national search to recognize and celebrate the unsung heroes that make America great.  

David Gable, CYO Chamber Strings and Debut Strings Music Director/Conductor
David Gable holds degrees in violin performance from the University of Michigan and Boston University, and a Master of Education degree from Antioch/New England Graduate School. He studied violin with Paul Makanowitzky, Joseph Silverstein, Ivan Galamian and Ronald Copes. Since 1988 he has been on the faculty of the Waldorf School of Cape Cod, where he initiated and developed the instrumental and choral music programs. When not teaching and performing locally, he has served as an advisor and evaluator for teachers and music programs in schools around New England. During the past several summers he has traveled to Wilton, New Hampshire to teach music courses for classroom teachers.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Doriss, CYO Debut Winds Music Director
Elizabeth "Betsy" Doriss has been the principal oboist of the Cape Symphony for several years. In addition to her orchestral performances, she has appeared in many regional and national venues as a soloist.



Jung-Ho Pak serves as Artistic Advisor to the Youth Orchestra. He is the Artistic Director of the Cape Symphony & Conservatory and Conductor of the Cape Symphony. His background as a musician, performance/conducting experience and 25 years of teaching experience have helped shape the vision, format and infrastructure of the Youth Orchestra. He will continue to serve in an advisory capacity.

Stephanie Weaver, Executive Director of the Cape Conservatory, brings decades of experience as a musician, educator and lecturer, along with the resources and connections of the Conservatory, to the team.

Michael Dunford, Cape Youth Orchestra Percussion Coach. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Michael has performed throughout New England with jazz, blues, and classical ensembles. He currently performs with the band Clä da Bossa Nova, and has been teaching percussion since returning to the Cape a decade ago.   


Musicians must be in good standing within their school music programs; private lessons with outside instructor or Conservatory faculty member is strongly encouraged.


Rehearsals Sept. 11 through May 13, 2018
(No rehearsals during school vacations and holidays)


CYO Brass, Saxes & Drums Ensemble:
Aug. 12: 
Hyannis Art Shanties (Hyannis Harbor)
Aug. 13: Pops by the Sea

CYO Program:
Dec. 6: 
State House Performance
Dec. 16 or 17: Community Concert (TBD)
Dec. 18: Fall Concert @ Cape Cod Community College
Feb. 16: Shelter from the Storm Performance @ Cape Cod Community College (TBD)
April 30: ArtSpring Concert @ Cape Cod Community College
May: Season Finale (TBD)
May 21: Placement auditions for the 2018|19 season

Financial aid scholarships are available for qualified students