Youth Chamber Connection (YC²) offers chamber music education, enrichment, and community-service 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 7-19) 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!

Registration for the 2019-2020 school year opens August 1. For the best chance of being placed in a chamber group, register by September 15.

We make every effort to place each interested musician in a chamber group, provided there are other students of a similar age, playing level, schedule availability, and appropriate instrumentation.



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.

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.


During September, students will rehearse in temporary groupings, with musicians mixed together at various ages and playing levels, with sessions offered on both Saturday and Sunday. These sessions focus on sight-reading, chamber skills, and learning common repertoire, and will culminate in our first community-service performance event of the school year - a collaboration with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. For this performance, students are divided into temporary ensembles and go out to perform at one of the neighborhood library branches. September is an essential time for our coaching staff to get to know each musician in order to group students into school-year chamber ensembles at the conclusion of the session.

Most groups are formed by the end of September, and will begin a weekly rehearsal schedule in early October.

Schedule conflicts? If your September schedule conflicts with the above, it's not a problem. You can opt to skip the September session and wait to be placed in a group which will begin coachings in October. Provided there are other interested students at a similar playing level, with the same schedule availability as you, we should be able to offer you a spot in a school-year chamber group. 

Not sure you're ready to join a group? You can opt to just sign up for the September Session to test out what chamber music is all about. Then let YC² know by Sept. 22, if you wish to be placed in a school-year chamber group.

Video Requested from All Musicians

YC² welcomes young musicians at all playing levels who have adequate skills for ensemble work. Students are asked to complete the above registration form, plus email a video of yourself playing solo to  Choose something you are confident playing, one to three minutes in length. A casual, home-video is completely appropriate. Ensure lighting is adequate and the students' arms are in clear view (i.e. no music stand blocking). Videos enable our staff do the best job putting groups together and choosing repertoire. Please send the video as soon as possible after completing your registration.

Who should send a video? All musicians including current members of Symphonette, TRYPO, and PYSO - even those in a pre-formed group. This helps our coaches determine the best group placement, as well as repertoire selection. We work hard to place all interested students in a suitable chamber group of students at a similar age, playing level, and schedule availability. Most years, we are able to place 100% of students who register during our placement period. 

Pre-Formed Ensembles

Chamber groups already formed by YC² during a previous year, through your school, orchestra, or elsewhere, who wish to join YC² as a group, are welcome to register. Groups formed within a high-school music program are encouraged to remain together as a YC² group. Each member of the group should register individually and note your preferences in the comments section on the registration form. Additionally, please have one member email Mrs. Cunningham at to discuss your schedule. For the 2019-2020 year, all members of a self-formed group must be individually registered by September 15, 2019. After that date, YC² will complete any partially-formed ensembles with a qualified, registered student on our waiting list.