About OCYS

Orange County’s Official Youth Orchestra

For 50 years, under the batons of founding Music Director Emeritus John Koshak and Daniel Alfred Wachs, the Orange County Youth Symphony (OCYS) traveled the world representing Orange County’s best young adult musicians in performances in Austria, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and at the United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Our many prestigious performances have included US and West Coast premiers by composers such as Mark-Anthony Turnage and Kurt Schwetsik, and a season-long project with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, culminating in a documentary entitled Beethoven’s Ninth: Journey to Joy that was selected by PBS SoCal for multiple broadcasts.

Our diverse roster represents student musicians from nearly 50 high school and college programs, from San Clemente to Fullerton and beyond. The Orange County Youth Symphony community of young musicians and their families is particularly committed to advancing and sharing the intercultural love of orchestral music.

We serve as music ambassadors to each other and to our local schools, districts, and cities.

In 2017, OCYS officially integrated with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. This extraordinary relationship provides our musicians with exciting opportunities to engage with some of classical music’s most celebrated artists, such as violinists Ray Chen, Midori, Sarah Chang, and the Kronos Quartet.

OCYS’ acclaimed Concerts for Fifth Grade programs at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall have provided music education for more than a million students over 25 years.

Just in time for the celebration of its 50th season in 2019 -20, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County announced both the appointment of Johannes Müller Stosch as the new Music Director and Conductor of OCYS and the premiere of the Orange County Youth String Ensemble, a new performance group under the direction of Cathy Olinger.

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County, OCYS, and OCYSE look forward to bringing you what promises to be a fantastic season of making great music together!