Skip to main content

Youth Orchestra

Welcome to the Idaho Falls Symphony Youth Orchestra Program

See our youth activities, family programs, and orchestral opportunities below. 

Congratulations Kai Durtschi

Season 74 IFSYO Concerto Competition Winner

Kai Durtschi began playing violin at the age of four. He has been passionate about performing and listening to classical music ever since, and is excited by the challenge of learning a complex and difficult piece.
Music is a language that moves him and he never tires of it. He will even listen to classical music while working out at the gym! This is his 5th year with the Idaho Falls Youth Orchestra and his 2nd year playing with the Idaho Falls Symphony. He attended the prestigious Interlochen Academy for the Arts last year, where he worked with world class teachers and musicians. While studying at Interlochen, Kai had the opportunity to travel to New York City and play alongside the New York Philharmonic.
He is currently a sophomore at Idaho Falls High School and is interested in studying pedagogy and violin performance after graduation.  In his free time, Kai enjoys Mixed Martial Arts, a competitive chess game, weight lifting, and chamber music. 




Idaho Falls Symphony Youth Orchestras

The Idaho Falls Youth Symphony was founded in 1989 by conductor Eric Wenstrom as the Eastern Idaho Youth Symphony and was later incorporated into the Idaho Falls Symphony Society. Today the program is comprised of two exceptional ensembles: the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony Orchesta and the Preparatory String Orchestra. The purpose of the youth symphony program is to provide young musicians a positive, educational, and fulfilling experience as members of a full orchestra.

The Idaho Falls Symphony Youth Orchestras, as they are now known, also seek to enhance area school music programs by providing an experience that will challenge the students’ developing musical skills. Each years we hold an annual concerto competition for student soloists, we have commissioned new works for full orchestra, and threough the years have featured noted guest artists.

Idaho Falls Symphony Preparatory String Orchestra

The Idaho Falls Preparatory String Orchestra was founded in 2019 to respond to the number of string students in the community with an interest in performing with the Youth Symphony. During its inaugural season, under the direction of Idaho Falls Symphony violinist Annalee Kelly, the group started with roughly thirty-six students.

Now the students are back in person under Annalee’s baton! The ensemble is designed to focus on building technique and ensemble skills, and to strengthen the musical and interpretation skills that are essential to the advanced Youth Orchestra.

IFS Youth Orchestra (IFSYO) Music Director Christine Hutchings

Preparatory String Orchestra (PSO) Conductor Annalee Kelly

Education Manager Melanie Mallard

Support for the Idaho Falls Symphony Youth Orchestra Program comes from these generous supporters:

The William J. and Shirley A. Maeck Family Foundation

The Idaho Commission on the Arts with support from the National Foundation for the Arts

Idaho Environmental Coalition

Idaho National Laboratories managed by the Battelle Energy Alliance

Carrie & Christian Shull

Carol Ormond