The primary goal of the YAAOrchestra is to teach students how to find collaboration and passion in their musicality.

Led by Music Director, Kristofer Sanz, the YAAOrchestra is open to orchestral and instrumental students ages 14-19 from the Maryland, Virginia and DC areas.

A unique symphonic ensemble, our program focuses specifically on studying and performing fully-orchestrated works of music-theatre, including large scale musical theatre, opera, oratorio and dance. 

YAAOrchestra students are introduced to the vast vocal-orchestral repertoire while focusing on the unique relationship between orchestra and singers. Students are provided with the opportunity to regularly collaborate with their singer peers, as well as to be mentored by professional composers, vocalists and instrumentalists from professional symphonies and stages (see Mentoring Program below).

Many of our alumni have gone on to study at prestigious universities including Juilliard, Peabody, Cleveland Institute of Music, Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan, Penn State, CCM (Cincinatti), NYU, Baldwin Wallace, Northwestern, Rice, Indiana, and UMD. These students and their families often credit Young Artists of America at Strathmore for preparing them for college and their musical careers beyond.

Learn more about what our students say about our program here.

Schedule & Location

The YAAOrchestra meets weekly for rehearsals at our YAA@CabinJohn campus in Potomac, MD and runs from September 2019 through March 2020.

View our rehearsal and performance schedules here:

View larger YAAOrchestra calendar here.

Learn more about our Campuses.


Recent innovative programming has included staged theatrical concerts of large scale musical theatre as well as unique productions that have been devised for and have received their world premiere with Young Artists of America.

Most recently, our world premiere of Young Artists of America: The Songs of Tim Rice filmed for PBS (Maryland Public Television) was nominated for three EMMY® awards and won an Emmy® for Best Lighting.

Please review our Current and Previous seasons for a full listing.

Mentoring Program

Students have the unique opportunity to work closely alongside leading professional mentors both in rehearsal and performance. Recent mentors have included Anthony McGill (New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera), Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin), Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Bridges of Madison County, Songs for a New World)and many more

Learn more about recent Mentors and upcoming opportunities to work with Guest Mentors .


Auditions for the YAAOrchestra take place in September for the season. Seating for strings takes place at the first rehearsal in September.

All of our YAAOrchestra students must audition to be accepted into the program.

Please visit our Auditions page for more information about upcoming auditions.


Please visit our Tuition page to find out cost and to register for this program.