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School of Orchestral Studies

About the School of Orchestral Studies


Skidmore College

815 N Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


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There are two full symphony orchestras that perform in Saratoga each August. One of them, of course, is the Philadelphia Orchestra, which is in residence at the prestigious Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). If you are a talented high school musician, you could become a member of the other orchestra this coming year.

Approximately 90 of the finest public and private high school musicians in New York State are selected through auditions to study and rehearse for a month with the world-class musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra. These high school students comprise the second symphony orchestra in residence at Saratoga. The School of Orchestral Studies, which is co-sponsored by the New York State School Music Association, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the New York State Education Department, offers you not only the truly unique opportunity to work side by side with members of one of the finest symphony orchestras in the world, but also the chance to work for four weeks as an integral member of your own orchestra. In addition, the School of Orchestral Studies provides a string orchestra and a wind ensemble, and a number of other, smaller ensembles.

You will be coached in small groups and in sectional rehearsals, so your access to individual attention will be unmatched. You will rehearse and perform a repertoire that parallels the one chosen by the Philadelphia Orchestra for their summer season. You may attend elective classes in the history, literature, and theory of music. You will attend regular performances at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. As a member of the full orchestra, the wind ensemble, or the string orchestra, you will give concerts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Skidmore College's Ladd Concert Hall. As a member of one of the small ensembles, you will perform at SPAC prior to the Philadelphia Orchestra's concerts. And by the end of the four-week program, you will have had the best musical summer of your life.

Our Faculty

Strings Director
Wind and Percussion Director

Student Profiles

I would tell people to audition for NYSSSA because it's just an amazing experience. My playing advanced so much just being there and I learned new techniques that I still use. I also have stayed in contact with most of the people I met there and I'm happy to call them some of my best friends. 

NYSSSA was by far the best month of my life. It is such a rewarding program and it is the most fun that anyone with a love of music could ever have...It changed my life and it can change yours too.

A Sample Day


Check out what a day at the School of Orchestral Studies is like!