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Renton Youth Symphony Orchestra

Click here to watch videoThe Renton Youth Symphony Orchestra Board was established in the fall of 1986. Co-sponsored by the City of Renton, the RYSO offers an opportunity for students to participate in an organized music program. The mission of the Renton Youth Symphony Orchestra is to provide a challenging musical experience for the youth of South King County. The non-profit organization was created to give talented young musicians opportunities to play in a full orchestra with a professional director. It was the intent of the organizers to offer the program close to home and to keep the cost low.

A prerequisite to becoming a member is that the student must also participate in a school music group. RYSO hopes that through the orchestra experience, young musicians can improve their playing skills and gain an insight into the joy of participating in and listening to music. RYSO is pleased to see some of these young people go on to further musical studies and performing groups, with hopes that they will be involved in music throughout their lives.

Renton Youth Symphony Orchestra Director’s Biography

Alexei Girsh is the Renton Youth Symphony Orchestra Music Director. Maestro Girsh, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, has had an international career working with youth and radio-television symphony orchestras. As a concert performer and teacher, he received his bachelor's degree and professional diploma from Glinka Music College, his master's degree in conducting from Glinka Conservatory and Ph.D in opera and symphony conducting from Moussorgsky Conservatory.

Girsh aspires to continue a chamber music group for musicians who want to play solos, duets, trios or quartet music. In addition, to teaching orchestration, conducting and composition, he often guest conducts all over the Pacific Northwest including the Mahler Northwest Festival. He is the founder and artistic director of the Concert Opera of Seattle, Music Director of the Eastside Symphony and Conductor of the Boeing Concert Band. 

Debut Orchestra

The Debut Orchestra began in the fall of 2013, is for younger developing musicians.  Instruction is geared to prepare students for RYSO.  Musicians with at least one year of instruction are invited to join the Debut Orchestra. 

Debut Orchestra Conductor's Biography

Mike Chen, Debut Orchestra Conductor, is dedicated to cultivating young musicians.  Although born in Taiwan, he grew up in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area.  He has  B.A. in Music  and History and a Masters degree in Teaching from the University of Washington.  Over the years he has mastered several instruments, including the flute, euphonium , and violin. He also plays viola and trombone. 


Rehearsals are held during the school year on Monday evenings at Carco Theatre, 1717 SE Maple Valley Highway, Renton.


Both orchestras perform concerts.  All concerts are held at Carco Theatre 3:00pm. For ticket information, call 425-430-6700.


Auditions for RYSO and Debut Orchestra are held at Carco Theatre in January and September. To be eligible, students must be in grades five through twelve and use their orchestra instrument as participating members of their school's musical ensemble. If their school does not have a program, we welcome their involvement. 

Board of Directors

  • Renee Dawson, President
  • Jentra Smith, Vice President
  • Edith Steed, Secretary
  • Cynthia Burns, Member at Large
  • Diana Hagen, Member at Large
  • Irma Englis, Member at Large
  • Sarah Mallos, Member at Large

Registration Information

For more information, call the Renton Community Center at 425-430-6700 or register online.