Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra in China

SRSYO in front of the giant billboard advertising their concert in the He Luting Concert Hall of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music

The Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra (SRSYO) is one of the oldest continuous youth orchestras in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1959 as the Sonoma County Junior Symphony, in 1994 the organization became an education program of the professional Santa Rosa Symphony. Today, the SRSYO is a premiere pre-professional performing ensemble.


For its 2015 tour, the SRSYO set its sights across the Pacific Ocean to China. This was the orchestra’s second tour with ACFEA (its first was to Germany and the Czech Republic in 2009). For the concerts in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai, Music Director Richard Loheyde prepared a variety of symphonic works by Chinese, North American and European composers. A particular highlight came during the orchestra’s first stop in Beijing, where the prominent Chinese composer Wang Xilin worked with the group in rehearsal for their performance that evening of the Torch Festival movement from his Yunnan Tone Poem.


SRS Executive Director Alan Silow commented, “Although the travel, rehearsal and performance schedule was fairly arduous, the students and chaperones alike all said that it was a fabulous once-in-a-lifetime experience. The concerts were really well attended and enthusiastically received by the Chinese audiences. ACFEA took very good care of every detail of our travel, concert schedule and sightseeing adventures.”


Added Jane Shelly, SRSYO Education Outreach Coordinator, “I had a wonderful time on tour in China! Thanks to all the wonderful chaperones and staff who made this tour so successful. ACFEA provided us with such great tour guides and travel managers! Thanks for such a fun trip.”