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Go to the calendar page to see detailed schedules for each ensemble.

Preparatory String Orchestra (PSO)    

The Preparatory String Orchestra is the first level of string ensemble of the RFYO program. Students learn how to make music as an ensemble with each section playing independently. This is also designed to be the perfect next step for students graduating from the AMFS Beginning Strings program or Chamber Lab. Ages generally range from late elementary through middle school, but there are no limits of ages for each ensemble.

Three Locations for PSO:

Riverside Middle School in New Castle, Thursdays 4:15 PM -5:15 PM

Third Street Center in Carbondale, Tuesdays 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Aspen Middle School, Wednesdays, 4-5PM (updated 8/25)


The Camerata is a full orchestra with strings, winds, brass and percussion and is the intermediate/advanced level ensemble of the RFYO program. Students play full orchestra repertoire and are at a level where they are learning to shift, play vibrato, and play more complex music. Solo or soli opportunities are offered for students who wish to audition for them durin the year. Students in this ensemble are mostly in upper middle and high school. Students enjoy hearing a full orchestral sound playing with nearly 30 other student musicians. Students in this ensemble are dedicated young musicians who have previous ensemble experience and regularly practice 45 minutes or more at least 4 days per week. The Camerata meets in one central location in the valley. This gives students the opportunity to play with a larger ensemble.


Carbondale, Third Street Center, Tuesdays, 5:30-7:00 PM

(Winds, brass and percussion players may at times only attend 5:30-6:30 if there is a strings only piece to be rehearsed during the last half hour)


Student learn bluegrass, blues, jazz, pop tunes from all eras along with exploring improvisation and music theory. Explore the non-classical side of string playing. Sidewalk Strings meets on Tuesdays at the Third Street Center before or after RFYO Camerata rehearsal (look for an exact schedule by August). Students take part in both Sidewalk Strings and Camerata. Sidewalk Strings also collaborates with other arts organizations and plays in community settings such Mountain Fair, Día de los Muertos, and Farmer's Markets. JamCamp is the summer version of Sidewalk Strings -more info here.


New in 2022, the RFYO Musica starts new 5th grade students at Cactus Valley Elementary School in Silt. Students are provided with violins and all other materials and participate in a tuition-free program for the first year. This program takes place on Friday mornings (CVE is on the 4-day school week) and happens alongside a literacy/art program as part of the Creative Roots Collective. Second year Musica students continue after school on Thursdays at Riverside Middle School in New Castle and then can graduate on to play in the Preparatory String Orchestra as soon as they are ready! 


  • Instrument and all necessary accessories (shoulder rests, cello end-pin straps, etc...)

  • Music in a binder



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