Youth Chamber Connection (YC²) offers chamber music education, enrichment, and performance opportunities to members of Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras (TRYPO), the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO), City Music Center of Duquesne University (CMC), and other interested young musicians. YC² is administrated by TRYPO staff. All musicians (approx. ages 7-20) are welcome to apply, regardless of your affiliation. Our goal is to expose as many students as possible to the joy of playing chamber music!

YC² offers chamber music programs appropriate for the serious to casual musician. Browse the descriptions of our programs below, and we encourage all new and returning students to enroll in time to participate in our September Session.

Education Track

  • Designed for intermediate and beginning-level musicians - including members of Symphonette, Intrada, CMC, and other young musicians regardless of affiliation.
  • Work with a professional coach for 45 minutes weekly on recital repertoire. Coaches include faculty of CMC, TRYPO coaching staff, and other area music educators. 
  • Coachings are scheduled every Saturday, October through mid-May (holiday weeks excluded).
  • Perform in Winter and Spring recitals at Duquesne's PNC Recital Hall or in CMC Performance Class. 
  • Additional, optional, performance opportunities are available including performing pre-concert in the Heinz Hall lobby for the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.
  • Included in your tuition is enrollment in our Community Connections Mini-Track (see below), participation is optional. 

Performance Track:

  • Designed for advanced-intermediate and advanced musicians - including members of YPO and PYSO, plus other interested young musicians regardless of affiliation.
  • Rehearse weekly for 90 minutes - 45 minutes with a professional coach and 45 minutes rehearsal with your group - preparing recital repertoire. Most coaches are members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
  • When possible, rehearsals are scheduled to coordinate with students' orchestra rehearsal (if applicable), October through mid-May (holiday weeks excluded):
    • on Saturdays at Duquesne University for YPO-level members
    • on Sundays in Downtown Pittsburgh for PYSO-level members
  • Performance Track students are expected to complete at least four performances each year; additional, optional, performances are available. 
  • Student groups have performed at special events at Heinz Field, the City-County Building, Benedum Center, the Governor's Mansion in Harrisburg, LaRoche College, Carnegie Museums, Phipps Conservatory, and Chatham College. 
  • Groups have performed on KDKA-TV, WQED-FM, and Saturday Light Brigade Radio.
  • Included in your tuition is enrollment in our Community Connections Mini-Track (see below), participation is optional. 

Community Connections Mini-Track:

  • Designed for students at all levels - beginning through advanced.
  • Community Connections is offered for no additional charge to all Education and Performance Track members, or you can register exclusively for this opportunity.
  • Students are invited several times each year to participate in a special community performance event - each will include pre-event coached rehearsal time. 
  • Students will prepare common repertoire, strengthen sight-reading skills, and have several opportunities to share their gift of music with the Pittsburgh community.
  • Advanced-level members will also be offered additional, optional, opportunities to perform with a pick-up chamber group or sub into a Performance Track group.
  • Community Connection members are encouraged to participate in a minimum of two performances.

Visit Schedule: Community Connections for schedule information. 

September Session

NEW THIS YEAR: All new and returning students at all levels, including members of PYSO and TRYPO, are encouraged to participate in our three-week September Session. Rehearse in small and large group chamber ensembles preparing repertoire for a community engagement performance on Saturday, September 23, at one of several Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh neighborhood branches.

  • Rehearsals will be held Sept 9, 16, and 23, at Duquesne University:
    • Late morning for Performance Track-level musicians 
    • Early afternoon for Education Track-level musicians 
  • See Schedule: September Session for details. 
  • Attendance is included in your $25 Registration Fee. Complete the September Session, and earn $25 discount off your Education or Performance Track tuition! 
  • Register for one of the school-year tracks listed above, or register just for the September Session to try it out!
  • At the conclusion of the September Session, Education and Performance Track groups will be formed. Participation in the September Session is recommended for all students interested in being matched into a chamber group for the school year.

Placement Auditions

YC² welcomes young musicians at all playing levels. We ask all incoming and returning students to sign up for a Listening Time to play 1-2 minutes for a YC² coach. This will help our coaches get to know your playing, or hear what you've been up to since last school year.

We have scheduled Listening Times on:

  • Saturday morning, September 9,16, and 23, 2017, at Duquesne University.
  • Click here to sign up for a Listening Time. Timeslots are 20-minute windows, students will be taken in order of arrival. 
  • Come prepared to play for 1-2 minutes a solo piece of your choosing. 

If you are unavailable one of those times; but you are attending September Session, a coach will pull you out one day to play for them (come prepared). If you aren't attending September Session and can't make one of the above listening times, then please submit an audition video by midnight September 24, 2017. [Click here for details and to submit your video.] 

Pre-Formed Ensembles

Pre-formed ensembles are welcome to register and audition, but YC² reserves the right to request a group subdivide if it appears all members are not at a similar skill level or teachability, or if all members of the pre-formed ensemble are not able to agree on a set weekly meeting time.

Partially-formed ensembles are also welcome (for example, a trio desiring a cellist to join them); and we will make every effort to assign someone to fulfill that missing part, or suggest other ensembles which are a good match for you.

Ensembles wishing to remain together from the previous school year should inform YC². YC² staff will consult with the group's coach, parents, and each member to ensure that another year together will provide a good educational experience for each member of the group.

Disclaimer: YC will make best efforts but may not be able to match all interested students into a chamber group due to the unavailability of a suitable match - while rare, when it does occur it has been primarily due to students' schedules.