We welcome musicians of all ages and experience levels in our orchestras to help them excel, grow, and perform.

The TYSA Orchestras

Tacoma Youth Symphony

Tacoma Youth Symphony (TYS) is a pre-professional symphonic orchestra for advanced high school and college musicians. This orchestra performs music of all styles from the standard professional orchestral repertoire. Conducted by the TYSA Music Director, Dr. Paul-Elliott Cobbs, this nationally renowned orchestra performs three concerts in downtown Tacoma, the Discover Music Concert for elementary school audiences, and the popular Costume Concert featuring music from the big screen!

Tacoma Junior Youth Symphony

Tacoma Junior Youth Symphony (TJYS) further develops the skills of string players and is TYSA’s first fully immersive symphonic experience for woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians. Conducted by Mr. Joe Dyvig, TJYS performs two public concerts, as well as an annual community performance at the ever-popular Victorian Country Christmas.

Tacoma String Philharmonic

Tacoma String Philharmonic (TSP) engages string students in building advanced string techniques in a collaborative setting while tackling challenging repertoire. Under the baton of Dr. Anna Jensen, TSP provides exciting performances twice each year and an additional annual community performance.

Tacoma Wind Philharmonic

Tacoma Wind Philharmonic (TWP) welcomes emerging woodwind, brass, and percussion students with at least one year of playing experience. The TWP students develop their skills with coaches for their specific instrument and work on wind ensemble literature with conductor John M. Wetherington. TWP performs two concerts each season as well as an annual community performance.

Tacoma String Symphony

Tacoma String Symphony (TSS) is our entry-level string orchestra that explores a wide variety of engaging and dynamic repertoire while learning ensemble and teamwork skills. Under the baton of Ms. Karen Helseth, TSS provides public performances twice each year and an annual community performance.

TYSA Adjunct Programs

Tacoma Youth Brass Choir

For high school and college-aged brass players interested in the practice and performance of traditional and contemporary brass ensemble literature.

Chamber Ensemble Program

A unique leadership-building program for students from each of TYSA’s performing ensembles.

TJYS Cello Choir

Led by Karen Hemming, this ensemble for TJYS cellists meets most Saturdays to rehearse.

Music Theory

TYSA offers a wide range of music theory classes designed to deepen students’ understanding of the language of music, including note-reading, harmony, music history, and more! 

TYSA’s Touring Orchestra

Touring is a part of a music student’s education. Over the years, TYSA students have had multiple opportunities to present their artform across the United States and Europe. Stay tuned for future tour announcements!


Help Us Continue Transforming Lives

Whether you donate, volunteer, or sponsor, your contribution will help us continue to provide the highest quality music education and preserve a rich cultural experience.

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