Welcome to the First Coast Youth Orchestras and Community Music School
The First Coast Youth Orchestras and Community Music School are dedicated to providing the highest quality music instruction for children, adults, and families regardless of background, or experience. We have programs available for after-school, evening and weekend lessons and activities. Youth Orchestra programs run during weekends.
The mission of the First Coast Community Music School is to serve as a non-profit, non degree-granting institution dedicated to bringing high quality professional music instruction to students of all ages, from a broad spectrum of the community in order to enrich the cultural life of the greater Jacksonville Community.
We are able to bring together a faculty of distinguished music professionals that will offer quality individual instruction in orchestral and band instruments, piano and voice. The resources open to us through our partnerships enable us to bring the joy of learning music to you and your family with unique opportunities for everyone from the adult who always wanted to play an instrument, the four year old who is just beginning to relate to and enjoy music, to the budding musical protégé who needs to be challenged to reach her potential. One benefit of taking music lessons at the Community Music School is the camaraderie students develop with one another and their teacher. First Coast Youth Orchestras musicians will find one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Students are truly part of a musical community with many beats and rhythms. There are many opportunities to meet friends with similar interests, which strengthen the enjoyment of music. We are a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and have modeled our program on the standards set by this prestigious organization.
We are also a Founding School of the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, a program that provides a recognized national standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels. The Music Development Program inspires excellence through individual student assessments and allows students to celebrate accomplishment and track their progress with others across the country. It also supports teachers with high-quality and innovative resources. All students deserve the opportunity to celebrate their musical achievements nationally. Join the growing community of teachers, students, and families who are discovering the benefits of the Music Development Program as it enriches their lives.
First Coast Youth Orchestras
The First Coast Youth Orchestras and Community Music School inspires and educates young musicians in the greater Northeast Florida area by providing a rigorous and comprehensive orchestral experience.
Founded in 2004, the First Coast Community Music School this year has established the First Coast Youth Orchestras and seeks to enroll up to 300 young musicians between the ages of 7 and 21 admitted through competitive auditions. The five orchestral ensembles and chamber music program provide high-level musical instruction and performance opportunities including concerts, outreach events, masterclasses, competitions and retreats. Students come from all over Northeast Florida – Jacksonville, the Beaches, St. Augustine, Clay/Nassau/Baker counties, Tallahassee, Daytona, Brunswick and Valdosta, GA and beyond!
Our goal is to create a community of talented young musicians that promotes excellence, standards in artistry, and friendship in an environment that promotes discipline, cooperation and leadership.
Musicians interested in participating in one of our season-long orchestral ensembles audition in May of every season with the season starting in September. Late auditions are accepted throughout the year based on orchestra availability. Please contact the FCYO office for more information.
- Conducting staff has collectively over 60 years of experience working with talented young musicians all over the country
- Orchestral ensembles will perform in some of the best venues in Jacksonville and throughout Northeast Florida
- Musicians in the upper ensembles will receive bi-monthly sectional coaching tailored for their instrument from professional musicians and local music educators
- Opportunities for intensive practice and socializing at retreat events
- First Coast Community Music School’s faculty includes some of the best musicians in Northeast Florida and will be active in coaching our musicians in the FCYO Chamber Music Program and Sectionals
- FCYO and FCCMS raise thousands of dollars each year to fund our generous lesson and tuition scholarship programs
- Competitors in the FCYO Concerto Competition compete for the opportunity to perform with the FCYO Youth Symphony on the Gala concert in May and win a cash award
High School & College/Pre-Conservatory level full orchestra for advanced and pre-professional students of orchestral literature. Weekly rehearsals and in-depth sectionals with professional musicians and conductors, several concerts each semester. YS performs masterpieces from the standard orchestral repertoire at a highly proficient level.
Comparable levels – ASTA Grade 5-6, FOA Grade A
Full orchestra for intermediate and advancing students of orchestral literature. Weekly rehearsals and in-depth sectionals with professional musicians and conductors, several concerts each semester. YP performs unabridged pieces from the standard orchestral repertoire as well as advanced level arrangements with a focus on refining orchestral technique.
Comparable levels – ASTA Grade 4, FOA Grade B, Suzuki Method Books 6-8.
String orchestra for intermediate and advancing level musicians designed to allow musicians to excel and refine orchestral skills. Weekly rehearsals and in-depth sectionals with professional musicians and conductors, several concerts each semester.
Comparable levels – ASTA Grade 3 & 4, FOA Grade C & B, Suzuki Method Books 3-5.
String orchestra for advanced beginner and intermediate level musicians. Weekly rehearsals and in-depth sectionals with professional musicians and conductors, several concerts each season.
Comparable levels – ASTA Grade 2, FOA Grade D, Suzuki Method Books 3-4.
String orchestra for at least 2nd year beginning-level musicians playing violin, viola, cello or double bass. Weekly rehearsals with professional musicians and conductors with emphasis on building a solid technical foundation with possible opportunities for performance as the group progresses.
Comparable levels – ASTA Grade 1-1.5, Grade E, Suzuki Method Books 1-2.