Now in Our 6th Season

Check out our 2022 Winter Concert on YouTube here!



This season, the CCOYO has again decided to keep our concert admission free to all.
We are grateful for the ongoing and generous support of our community!

donate to CCOYO



Established in September 2017, the CCOYO’s mission is to provide a high-quality symphony orchestra experience for youth in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.



Membership is open to all young orchestral musicians (all instruments) who play at an advanced level in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes Region. Read through the audition requirements and general information before contacting us to ensure you can meet the requirements for participation in the CCOYO. Thanks to all musicians who participated in our recent auditions!


Upcoming Events

CCO Youth Orchestra Chamber Music Recital
& Bake Sale Fundraiser
Saturday, March 25 at 7pm
First Unitarian Church, Ithaca
Free admission, donations gratefully accepted.


Spring Concert (FREE Admission. Donations gratefully accepted:  click here.)
Saturday, June 10, 2023 | 4:00pm | Ford Hall at Ithaca College
W.A. MOZART: Overture from The Abduction from the Seraglio
GEORGES HÜE: Fantasy for Flute and Orchestra
     featuring CCOYO Concerto Competition Winner Keith McGill


Follow Us

YouTube: CCO Youth Orchestra

   Instagram: @ccoyouthorchestra    

  Facebook: CCO Youth Orchestra


General Information

The CCOYO rehearses on Sunday evenings from 7-9pm at Ithaca High School.

Participation Prerequisites
All CCOYO members must participate in their school music program unless none is available.

The cost for participation is $400 per year, payable in installments. A limited number of scholarships will be available to students who demonstrate financial need.



2023-2024 Season Auditions
Strings: Monday, May 22, 2023 (evening, location TBD)
Winds, Brass, & Percussion: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 (evening, location TBD)

Instrument openings
All strings (especially Viola & Cello), Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, French horn, Trombone, Piano/Keyboard, & Percussion

Audition Guidelines
View audition guidelines here.

Audition Requirements
For the audition, each musician will prepare:
– Scales (see the guidelines for your instrument’s specific requirements)
– One or two short solo selections that contrast expressive, cantabile playing with fast, technical passagework.
The piece(s) must be equivalent to NYSSMA level 5/6.
– Students will be presented an unfamiliar orchestral excerpt in the audition room to play at sight.
Each audition will take 5-10 minutes.
Solo works are to be performed without piano accompaniment.
The audition committee will listen for musicality and expressiveness, tone quality, pulse and rhythm, technical ease and intonation.

Audition Application
Check back soon for our 2023-24 audition application!

Application Fee
The $20 application fee can be paid via check (mailed or in-person at the audition) or online.

  • Pay by mail: Checks should be made payable to “Cayuga Chamber Orchestra.” In the memo field, please write “CCOYO Audition” and the musician’s name on your check before mailing it to: Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, 110 N. Tioga Street, Ste. 302, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Audition Questions
Please direct all questions to


CCOYO Member Handbook

Already a member and need a copy of the handbook? Click here to view our 22-23 handbook.


Meet the CCOYO Conductor

Known throughout the Americas for her dynamic energy and passionate work with young musicians, conductor and violinist Kirsten Marshall is the Director of the Orchestral Program and violin faculty member of Ithaca Talent Education, as well as Interim Conductor of the Cornell Chamber Orchestra. She also is Visiting Lecturer in Suzuki Pedagogy at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Marshall received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with majors in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy. Ms. Marshall holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University, with an emphasis in strings.  Her conducting studies were with David Einfeldt (Hartt School of Music), Carl Topilow and Louis Lane (CIM).  She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society.

Ms. Marshall has conducted the 2016, 2014, 2012 and 1998 Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas at the biennial Suzuki Association Conferences, as well as conducting the faculty orchestras for the youth piano soloist in both the 2008 and 2010 conferences.  She has also been a featured conductor at Suzuki institutes and All-State festivals across the United States and New Zealand, including most recently Alabama and California All-State.  An avid supporter of contemporary music, Ms. Marshall co-commissioned and premiered a new sonata for violin and piano by Robert Paterson. Her own work as a composer and arranger for string orchestras includes Capriccio dell’ombra and Osker’s Song.  She has conducted and produced two premiere string orchestra pieces on a CD released by Ithaca Talent Education (Bach to the Future).

Ms. Marshall is an active violinist in the Ithaca area and is a member (David and Lesli Sagan chair) of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. She is frequently sought after as a clinician at Suzuki institutes and workshops across the United States.  Her high-energy style blends humor and passion, engaging players at the highest level for riveting performances.



CCOYO Administration

Youth Orchestra Staff
Kirsten Marshall, Conductor
Jeannette Marie Lewis, Operations Manager

Youth Orchestra Advisory Committee
Sarah Cummings, Chair and Treasurer
Paul Acosta, CCO Board Representative
David Kraskow, CCO Board Representative
Varya Siegel, Parent Representative
Jennifer Wansink, Parent Representative
Anna Cummings, Student Representative
Crosby Woods, Student Representative


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