Penrith Youth Orchestra

The Joan, Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) and Penrith Symphony Orchestra (PSO) launched the new Penrith Youth Orchestra in May 2018. The evolution of the Penrith Strings ensemble, the program combines the expertise of professional musicians from the ACO and PSO and runs over three weekends per school term, with students performing alongside their mentors in regular concerts.

The Penrith Youth Orchestra program develops orchestral skills in young musicians in Western Sydney and provides a pathway towards other opportunities such as membership of PSO or, for some, a career in music. PYO students are mentored by ACO and PSO musicians and present concerts performing alongside their mentors throughout the year at The Joan. They are also given tickets to ACO and PSO concerts and performances at The Joan. Our aim is to inspire the next generation of musicians and music lovers.

The PYO Program also encompasses primary school music programs that provide access to music education and create long-term pathways towards participation in the Penrith Youth Orchestra. This includes the ACO Music & Art Program delivered at St Marys North Public School and Penrith Public School, and the ACO Foundations Program at St Marys North Public School.

Project Background – Penrith Strings

In early 2015, an exciting new youth strings program started up.Emily-Blanch-874441553-WEB

Now in it’s third year, this partnership program between Penrith Symphony Orchestra (PSO), The Joan and the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) has been successfully taking step towards the creation of a youth orchestra affiliated with Penrith Symphony Orchestra.

The long‐term vision is to build orchestral skills in young musicians in Western Sydney, and a pathway towards other opportunities such as membership of Penrith Symphony Orchestra or, for some, a career in music.

Students receive coaching and mentoring by expert string players from PSO and the ACO, the focus being on ensemble‐playing and rehearsal skills, building towards joint performances playing alongside professional musicians from the ACO.

The program is designed to complement and extend students’ individual lessons and practice, whether they learn privately, at school or at Penrith Conservatorium of Music here at The Joan.

Workshops and rehearsals for secondary and advanced primary orchestral string players are held each school term, mostly on Sunday afternoons.


Brian Kjim-Lauratet – Penrith Youth Orchestra Coordinator


Phone: +61 2 4732 8686 


Visit PYO’s site »


This project is supported by the Crown Resorts Foundation through the Western Sydney Arts Initiative and the Packer Family Foundation.