Former youth orchestra leader starts new program

Maestro Scott Gregg

Maestro Scott Gregg

A new music education program for youth was recently established by Maestro Scott Gregg, former music director of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras. The ensemble program, First Coast Youth Orchestras, will cater to young musicians age 7 to 21.

Gregg will conduct the program as a division of the First Coast Community Music School, a nonprofit educational institution founded in 2004 by Gregg and local philanthropist James Winston, according to Administrative Director Tami Chacon, and Camille Clement Gregg, director of marketing and development.

The First Coast Youth Orchestras will enroll up to 300 students, playing in five levels of ensembles covering a diverse range of abilities, starting with the youngest string players in Debut Strings and progressing through Intermezzo Strings and Aria Strings. More experienced players will join the two full orchestra programs. The Youth Philharmonic will be for advancing Middle and High School instrumentalists and the Youth Symphony for advanced High School, College, and Pre-Conservatory students. A chamber music program will be offered for musicians in its top two orchestras.

Gregg will conduct both the Youth Symphony and the Youth Philharmonic and serve as Artistic Director of the FCYO. 

Maestra Judith Steinmeyer

Maestra Judith Steinmeyer

“The enthusiasm this project has generated in student musicians all over the First Coast, along with the 60-plus years of combined experience our conducting staff has had nurturing a culture of excellence in young musicians, and the potential for innovative programming between the School and the Youth Orchestras is going to be a powerful combination. The most successful youth orchestra programs across the country are independent of any parent symphony and I’m looking forward to testing how far we can grow,” said Gregg.

Serving alongside Gregg will be Maestra Judith Steinmeyer, another veteran of area youth ensemble programs as well as an accomplished teacher. Steinmeyer will take charge of the Aria Strings.

“I was honored when asked to join the FCYO team. I could not pass up the opportunity to work with advancing string players in this newly formed organization,” said Steinmeyer.

FCYO’s season will run from September through May with regular rehearsals on the weekends. The season will consist of four concerts, with the Inaugural Concert being presented on Saturday, November 18, 2017, at the University of North Florida’s Lazzara Concert Hall.

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