Young People’s Philharmonic

The Young People’s Philharmonic consists of seventy-five to eighty-five committed string, woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians from middle and high schools across the Lehigh Valley and Western New Jersey.

They perform entirely from original symphonic scores under the direction of Kenneth Bean, who has earned degrees in music performance and music education from the Oberlin Conservatory and Jackson State University.  Maestro Bean also conducts the Philadelphia Young Musicians Orchestra as well as the the Symphony in C Youth Orchestra in Haddonfield, NJ.

Students must master their own parts and, by playing and listening in rehearsal, learn how their parts contribute to the composition as a whole.  This provides a deeper understanding of the underlying structure of the music and the background material required for college or conservatory music study.

Our students rehearse once weekly for 2 ¼  hours and have several sectional rehearsals per year with professional coaches appropriate for their instrument. Each student receives over 65 hours of instruction per year.

In addition to two formal concerts per year, the orchestras have a special relationship with area schools as a result of the school concerts they perform each year.  School tours to different local districts each year enable the young players to share their music with their young contemporaries.  Peers bringing music to peers is our critical difference!

One highlight of the spring semester is the Senior Concerto Competition. YPP members who are high school seniors may audition in front of a panel of professional musicians, playing one movement of a concerto of their choosing from memory.  The winner performs the concerto with the orchestra at the Spring Concert. The attraction of a concerto has been a very successful addition to our Spring Concert program.