Thunder Bay Symphony
Youth Orchestra
& Junior Strings

How to Join

  1. Call to book a five-minute audition for September 15, 2016.
  2. Prepare one scale and one piece of your choice.
  3. Download this registration packet. (Schedule coming soon)
  4. Bring the completed registration from to the audition.

About the Orchestras

The Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra is non profit organization that provides orchestral training to the youth of Northwestern Ontario. We aim to inspire young musicians and to nurture them as they are introduced to the masterpieces of orchestral music. Through the orchestra, students learn to collaborate with their peers, to be leaders and to be team players. They contribute to our cultural community and build life-long friendships.

Our two orchestras serve a wide range of ages and levels. The Junior Strings, led by Michelle Zapf-Bélanger, is for violin, viola, cello, and bass students who are between eight and fourteen years old. Students should have begun Suzuki Book Three or equivalent.

The Youth Orchestra, led by Thomas Cosbey, is a full symphonic orchestra for students twelve to twenty-five. Students should be working at roughly Royal Conservatory grade five or above. Orchestral instruments include: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion, and harp.

The orchestras perform three main concerts each season: a December concert, a Side-by-Side with the Thunder Bay Symphony, and a final concert in April. The Junior Strings will perform at one of the local elementary schools as part of their Staycation Tour. Students have the opportunity to learn from members of the TBSO during sectionals at numerous times throughout the season.

Weekly rehearsals take place at Hammarskjold High School music room on Thursdays from 4:15 to 6:15 pm (4:15 to 5:15 for Junior Strings). Students are expected to arrive at 4 pm to set-up, tune, and warm up, and to help with tear-down afterwords. Students will take turns bringing snacks for our 15 minute break.


Auditions for the Youth Orchestra and for Junior Strings take place Thursday, September 15, 2016. Students should prepare one solo piece and one scale of their choice. Contact Tom or Michelle to book your five minute audition.

Youth Orchestra

Junior Strings