Houston Youth Symphony's core program is made up of four orchestras for various skill-levels, led by a professional conducting staff. With almost 300 young musicians participating each season, the four orchestras are described as follows:
The Symphony is a full-sized orchestra geared towards the advanced player. Repertoire includes music comparable to university and professional levels. The Symphony is led by Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Michael Webster, recipient of the 2011 American Prize in Conducting -- Youth Orchestra Division.
The Philharmonia is a full-sized orchestra for the intermediate/advanced player. Literature choices are designed to expose students to a diversified selection of orchestral music. The Philharmonia is led by Conductor Michael Isadore.
The Sinfonia is a full-sized orchestra that allows intermediate string players to build upon techniques learned in the String Orchestra and offers young woodwind, brass and percussion players an entry-level orchestra experience. The Sinfonia performs intermediate-level symphonic repertoire and is led by Conductor Hector Aguero.
Weekly rehearsals prepare the musicians for three public concerts held at Rice University's Stude Concert Hall each season. Rehearsals are enhanced by sectional coachings for each orchestra conducted by leading professional musicians from the Houston area with additional workshop and master class opportunities by visiting artists.