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Youth Orchestras

Orchestra Opportunities for Young People
The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra (LSYO)

The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra (LSYO) provides rich training and performance opportunities for high-school aged musicians, while the LSYO String Ensemble and String Sprouts serve children 5 to 13 years of age. Aspiring young musicians can pursue their musical dreams with weekly rehearsals, weekly wind sectional rehearsals and monthly string sectional rehearsals.

Directed by professional musicians, we provide these young musicians with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of performing in a symphonic group. Their progress and achievements are showcased at concerts held each fall and spring. Other performance opportunities are provided for small ensembles throughout the year.

Michael Giel
Michael Giel

Michael Giel, is the Director of the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra.  He also is Director of Orchestras at Dunwoody High School, has been a high school orchestra director for 16 years and received his Bachelor of Music Performance and Bachelor of Music Education from Valdosta State University, where he was a student of Karin Addis and Matson Topper. In 2008, he completed a Master in Music Education from the University of Georgia. In addition to his extensive classroom experience, Michael is on the faculty of the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival, which provides a comprehensive chamber music-focused experience to pre-college students. Michael also served as the Orchestra Director for the Georgia Governors Honors Program at Valdosta State University from 2008 to 2014 and has been a clinician for the Dekalb, Fulton, and Cherokee county and Atlanta Public Schools orchestra festivals.

Outside of conducting in the classroom, Michael has also served as the Principal Conductor of Capitol City Opera in Atlanta, GA since 2010 and recently joined the faculty of the California Piano Concerto Festival in 2014 as the Associate Conductor.

As a violist and violinist, he has performed with several orchestras in Georgia and Florida including the Savannah Philharmonic, Gwinnett Philharmonic, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Ocmulgee Symphony, Gainesville (GA) Symphony, Albany (GA) Symphony, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, Rome (GA) Symphony, Atlanta Pops Orchestra, Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, Da Salo Solisti Chamber Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony, and the Central Florida Symphony. In the modern music arena, Michael has performed with and for artists such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Il Volo, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Manilow, Michael Bolton, Evanescence, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Sarah Brightman, Lindsay Stirling, and Il Divo.

Michael is a native of Atlanta and lives in Brookhaven with his wife Catherine who is a concert pianist and the Music Director of Capitol City Opera. In his spare time, Michael is an avid tennis player and outdoor enthusiast.

LSYO String Ensemble

Sam Lee has been a part of the LaGrange music community since January of 1990 when he played in the first concert of the LaGrange College – Community Orchestra which became the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra later that year.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Violin Performance from Columbus State University and a Master’s of Music Theory from Georgia State University. He studied violin under Oliver Steiner.

In the Fall of 1996, Mr. Lee began teaching Strings at LaGrange Academy. He is the founding conductor of the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, which originally began under his direction, as an affiliate of the Lafayette Society for Performing Arts, in 1997. He has played in many regional orchestras, including the Columbus Symphony, Carroll Symphony, and LaGrange Symphony, as well as being a regular free-lance musician. Mr. Lee frequently performs as violin/viola soloist, including many engagements with the Choral Society of West Georgia. He currently is the Director of the String Ensemble of the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, and teaches Strings at LaGrange Academy as well as for the LaGrange Symphony Youth String Program.

Mr. Lee is a native of Atlanta and currently resides in East Point, Georgia.

Sam Lee

LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra News

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The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Michael Giel, during their annual side-by-side with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. 3/19/2024 Alan Lee Silva’s “The Code”.

A remarkably good concert. Graduating seniors honored. Great professionalism in such young musicians in both the String Ensemble and the LSYO.

An evening worth more than words can say. Champion role modelling, mentoring, lifelong learning, new discoveries, and a great deal of inspiration – a truly harmonious event!

The repertoire is impressive! Don't miss the Spring Concert of the LSYO and String Ensemble Monday 3/25/24 at 7:30 in Callaway Auditorium.
This concert is all about harmonious inspiration, lifelong learning, and new discoveries with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra!

A concert appropriately named INSPIRE. Filled with talent of all ages, mentorship, energy, diligence, and musical expression.

The LSO presents a series of music education concerts to 2000+ 3rd graders from Georgia and Alabama...

Each year the YAC contestants perform before nationally and internationally recognized judges. This year’s competition was for piano and the first place winner will perform with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra on March 19th during their INSPIRE concert.

The symphonic highlight of this concert will be a beautiful symphony completed in 1934 by African American composer William Dawson (1899-1990), an Alabama native who attended Tuskegee Institute. After completing a master’s degree from the Ameri…

See a video snippet from this concert along with reading all about this joyful event with full stage and full house!
The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra performs "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane, arrangement by Calvin Custer, during the Jolly Jingles family holiday event.
Get ready for some wonderful holiday entertainment on Tuesday December 12th at 7:30 PM in Callaway Auditorium with the JOLLY JINGLES Family Holiday Celebration Concert.
The May 2023 LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra and String Ensemble Spring concert was a wonderful program full of impressive talent. From beginning to end, the program was very professional. Thought and care went into this concert.

We Have a Space for You!

We would love for you to be a part of our network of students, teachers, and volunteers.
Contact us to find out more about how our program works and how you may be able to help.  We offer lessons, concerts, camps, and more!

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