About PYSO

Our Mission

The mission of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra is to teach and inspire excellence through orchestral training, perform in premier venues, and to cultivate audiences for classical music.


The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra:

    • Was founded in 1945 for the purpose of providing educational opportunities and the finest orchestral training for young musicians in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
    • Is an independent youth orchestra in all governing, administrative and financial matters.
    • Has made Heinz Hall (home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra ) its home since the hall in opened in 1971.
    • Rehearses each week (usually Sunday evenings) from September until May.
    • Is comprised of approximately 90 to 100 musicians, whose ages are usually 14-20.
    • Accepts members through highly competitive annual auditions.
    • Utilizes conductors and coaches from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, although they are independently engaged by PYSO.
    • Presents concerts at Heinz Hall, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, Carnegie Music Hall and various outreach locations.
    • Is broadcast regularly on WQED-FM.
    • Has won awards in national and international competition and was selected as one of the top six youth orchestras in the United States to participate in the 2002 National Youth Orchestra Festival.
    • During the European Tour of 2005, PYSO was selected as the first American orchestra and also the first youth orchestra to ever perform at the prestigious Smetanova Festival in the Czech Republic – also was selected as the one and only youth orchestra to perform at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany in the year 2005.
    • Undertook an international concert tour of China in 2008, Italy in 2011, and Central Europe in 2014.
    • Works in collaboration with the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra and the City Music Center of Duquesne University in the Youth Chamber Connection.

PYSO Artistic & Administrative Staff

Francesco Lecce-Chong – Music Director
Craig W. Johnson – Executive Director
Eve Goodman – Assistant to the Executive Director

PYSO Sectional Coaches

Jeremy Black, Violin
Peter SnitkovskyViolin
Meng WangViola
David PremoCello
Micah Howard, Bass
Scott Bell, Woodwinds
George VosburghBrass
Jeremy BransonPercussion
Edward Stephan, Percussion
Gretchen Van Hoesen, Harp

PYSO Board of Directors

Melanie M. LaSota  – President
Heather Pinson, PhD – Vice President
Antoinette Tuma – Secretary
Steven Silberman –
Lawrence D. Breck, Esq.
Frances DeBroff
Christine Gale, Esq.
Ken Gargaro, PhD.
Jerry Gindele
Christina Hapanowicz
Natalie Taaffe Hoffman
Ronald Horner, PhD
Micah Howard
Kimberly Jackson
Carole Kamin
Robert P. Kanters
Anita Potocar
Elizabeth Simpson
Timothy M. Slevin, CFA
Rachel Tabachnick
Susan Haggerson Utech
Joann Vosburgh

PYSO Advisory Board

Marjorie C. Greenberger
Gary P. Hunt
Dr. Michael L. Nieland
Mrs. Sylvia Robinson
Joanne Rogers
Mrs. Eric W. Springer
Harry A. Thompson, II