Making Music for 50+ Years!
1965: The Yakima Youth Orchestra gets its start as a small string ensemble, led in a Suzuki style, by a local music teacher, Evelyn Herman, and is sponsored by the Yakima School District. The program is eventually led by Rich Riggs.
1972: The Yakima Symphony Orchestra (YSO) offers the group tax-exempt status as a YSO Committee. We continue, today, as a subsidiary of the YSO. A member of our Governing Committee serves on the YSO Board.
1972 – 1997: The YYSO is conducted by Douglas Nott, John Duff, Brooke Creswell and then Dennis Clauss.
1993: The Yakima Junior Strings forms as a precursor to YYSO.
1996: With a full complement of instruments, our name officially changes to the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra (YYSO).
1998: Christy Baisinger serves as the Conductor of the YYSO, while the Governing Committee conducts a search for a new Conductor.
1999: Carol Alexander becomes the Conductor of the YYSO, serving through spring of 2011.
1999: The Yakima Junior Strings changes its name to the Yakima Ensemble for Strings (YES!).
2001: A Wind Ensemble forms, but is not sustained long-term.
2007: After performing for many years in schools, churches and other public settings, the YYSO and YES! perform on the Capitol Theatre stage in Yakima, Washington. This is an unparalleled opportunity for our students to perform in a professional performance environment.
2011: Bruce Walker assumes the baton of YYSO. Christy Baisinger is the conductor of YES.
2015-16 Season: 50 Years!