Aiken Youth Orchestra

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.

Aiken Youth Orchestra Spring 2021 Schedule

Mon, Feb 1
6:00 – 7:00pm         Ensemble Rehearsals Resume
7:00 – 8:30pm         Orchestra Rehearsals Resume
                                  Rehearsals every Monday until Apr 26

Fri, Mar 12
6:00 – 8:30pm         Fiddlin’ and Fun Workshop with Ellie Jos

Sat, Mar 13
10:00am – 3:00pm Fiddlin’ and Fun Workshop with Ellie Jos (con’t)
3:30 pm                    Casual performance for family
                                   This is a free workshop for members of the music  program but please fill out participation form by Feb 15

Mon, April 5            No rehearsal (Spring Break)

Mon, May 3
7:00pm                     Spring Concert
                                   Ensemble and Orchestra. Concert to be held in the Main Gallery at Aiken Center for the Arts. Attire is Concert Black.

The Arts Center may have opportunities arise for individuals, duos or small groups to perform during the year. If you are interested, please contact Tracy Seconi, Program Director at 803-641-9094 or  It’s a great way to in share music with our community!


Class registration is taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration closes when classes meet maximum capacity. Teaching Artists are unable to admit students who have not registered in advance. Full payment by check, cash or credit card is required to secure a space in a class. There is a $2 processing fee for online transactions.

ACA members receive a 10% discount on most classes, camps and workshops with the exception of music classes.

How to Register

  • Aiken Youth Orchestra: To register, please call 803-641-9094
  • Pick up a hard copy of the registration form at the ACA front desk, complete and return to the front desk.
  • Call us at 803-641-9094 and register over the phone.
  • There is no online registration available for music classes.


A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to qualified children and seniors. Please visit the Scholarships page under for more information and to download the application.

Inclement Weather Policy

It is our policy to close for inclement weather conditions when Aiken Public Schools are closed (listen to local radio/TV bulletins). Call us at 803-641-9094 or check our website/Facebook page for updated information as weather conditions can change during the day. If a class is cancelled due to weather, a make-up class may be arranged.


If you cancel your registration after it has been processed, but at least seven business days before the class begins, we will refund your class fee (less a $10 cancellation fee). If you cancel with less than seven business days’ notice, no refund will be given. ACA reserves the right to cancel classes with low enrollment. If we must cancel a class, we will issue a full refund.