Since 2002, the Aiken Center for the Arts has supported the development of the Aiken Youth Orchestra (AYO), which gives over 50 area students the opportunity to participate in a strings and orchestral program.
Aiken Youth Orchestra Auditions are held twice per year with the program expanding to include many different instruments. Many of the Aiken Youth Orchestra’s participants continue their musical careers in college and beyond. All are welcome to audition with a minimum of one year experience on strings. Woodwind, brass and percussion must be at high school level. Orchestras meet one evening a week during the school year, at the Arts Center.
Concerts are held several times per year. Special appearances have been made at Hopeland Gardens during their free summer concert series, the Etherredge Center prior to the Symphony Augusta performances, Redcliffe Plantation and at various other community events. The season concludes with a concert at the Arts Center.
This year the orchestras will be under the direction of Adam DePriest and Angela Shaw. Mr. DePriest holds a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance and a second Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting. He is the founder, artistic director and conductor of the Aiken Civic Orchestra. Mr. DePriest was a member of the Aiken Youth Orchestra from 2002 through 2007. He also teaches strings instruments throughout the CSRA. Ms. Shaw holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education and teaches strings in the Aiken-Augusta area. Both instructors have extensive performance experience.