CMS Orchestras & Ensembles

Community Music School orchestras and ensembles are structured to enhance students’ skills beyond individual performance and to support the education process in school music programs. CMS orchestras and ensembles meet during the academic year at the CMS Center on the main campus at Webster University.


Applications are now open to audition for the 2021-22 season.

Download the Orchestras & Ensembles 2021-22 brochure.

CMS orchestra

Average age: 7-10 years

String Ensemble

Beginning String Ensemble. Emphasizes reading and ensemble skills. Members must have a thorough knowledge of first position, letter names of notes, and have good left- and right-hand playing positions and ability to play in tune.Application to audition for 2021-22 String Ensemble

Average age is 9-14 years

String Orchestra

Intermediate String Orchestra. Emphasizes ensemble playing and literature. Bowing techniques include off-the-string playing, playing at the frog. Violinists need knowledge of third position, 1st violinist - occasional fourth and fifth position. Cellists required to shift. Strong preparation for YPCO. Application to audition for 2021-22 String Orchestra

Students through high school

Young People's Concert Orchestra (YPCO)

Full Orchestra. Emphasizes development of ensemble skills, intonation, rhythm, and sight reading, performs original and arranged orchestral literature. Past repertoire includes Die Fleidermaus Overture-Strauss (ed. Kennedy), Finale to Symphony No. 5-Shostakovich (arr. Bulla), and An American in Paris Suite-Gershwin (arr. Whitney). Application to audition for YPCO

Students through high school

Young People's Symphonic Orchestra (YPSO)

Advanced Full Orchestra. Performs orchestral literature in its original form. Past repertoire includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Bizet's Symphony No. 1, and movements from Copland's Rodeo. All members are eligible and invited to audition for the YPSO Concerto Competition. Application to audition for YPSO


Students through high school

Young People's Orchestra Percussion (YPOP)

Percussionists for the YPCO and YPSO ensembles; one-on-one/small-group coaching; large ensemble rehearsals; emphasizes fluency, proficiency and technique on orchestral percussion. Application to audition for YPOP

Students in grades 8 - 12

Webster University High School Jazz Ensemble

Webster University, well-known for its innovative jazz studies program offers a program for rising young jazz musicians to work on improvisation, ensemble interaction, and personal musicianship. This program is administered in partnership with the Community Music School.