Upcoming Concert

May 9, 2018

Symphony Space

Alumni Profile

I took part in the NYYS Composition program during its 48th, 49th, 50th, and 51st seasons (2010-2014).

Composition Staff

Associate Director


The New York Youth Symphony's Composition Program, formerly known as "Making Score," is the first series of workshops in the country for young musicians to explore the world of composition and orchestration. Students between the ages of 12-22 who have a sense of curiosity and a taste for musical adventure are invited to apply. 

The program is directed by Dr. Kyle Blaha, who succeeds founding director Derek Bermel and Anna Clyne. Tim Mauthe is the Associate Director of the program.


The Composition course includes workshops, held from October through May. The sessions explore the musical thought of a wide variety of composers, with a focus on instrumentation and orchestration. Examples are drawn from the vast classical repertoire and a range of musical traditions from throughout the world. Using tools such as study scores and orchestration books, the course aims to cultivate the students' own voices through class discussion, written exercises, and free composition.

Sessions have been led by composers and musicians, including John Corigliano, Maria Schneider, Stephen Sondheim and Michael Torke. Click here to see a complete list of NYYS Composition Guest Artists. Special thanks to ASCAP for their continued support of the Composition Program by hosting our composer workshop sessions, and to BMI for hosting the tutorials.

Practical Opportunities

In addition to workshops, students have opportunities to work directly with musicians to have their compositions performed.

Orchestration Reading
Each year, students compose new works for various ensembles, such as a string quartet, woodwind quintet, percussion trio, or clarinet ensemble. Orchestration Reading is a unique opportunity for five students to compose original works for chamber orchestra, read by DeCoda, comprised of Alumni of the Carnegie Hall/Juilliard Academy, performing side-by-side with the principal musicians of the New York Youth Symphony's Orchestra. Joshua Gersen, music director of the NYYS Orchestra will conduct the readings. Pulitzer Prize winning composer Melinda Wagner will act as the mentor composer for the session. 

Composition Date Concert
At the annual Composition Date concert, original student compositions are performed by members of the New York Youth Symphony's Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Apprentice Conducting programs.


Click Here to view the schedule of rehearsals

Guest Lecturers

Guest lecturers scheduled for the 54th season will be announced in July.

Entrance to the program is determined through personal interview with the Directors. Interviews are held annually in September. Please check the auditions section of our website for application and audition information.


Composition Video

Composition Audio

Elijah Shiffer