Our Programs

Prep Orchestras


Preparatory String Orchestras

The Kalamazoo Preparatory String Orchestra (Prep Strings) was established in 1980 and is made up of two string groups: the Concert Orchestra and the Symphonic Strings. Under the direction of Audrey Lipsey, students in these intermediate string orchestras work on building repertoire and orchestral playing skills. The PSO promotes interest and nurtures future participation in both KJSO and area music education programs. Membership in the PSO is through audition in the spring. The orchestras meet once weekly on Monday evenings during the school year for a one-and-a-half hour rehearsal and present two concerts per year. As with the KJSO, PSO members do not pay tuition, but are assessed a minimal registration fee and a modest annual fundraising expectation per family, which can be met in several different ways.

Audition Requirements

Kalamazoo Training Orchestra

KTO will not meet during the 20-21 season. Contact us for details. 

Established in 1992, the Kalamazoo Training Orchestra (KTO) offers young area string players an opportunity to reinforce the essential basic skills so important to their success. KTO concentrates on bow-hand and arm use, left-hand position, and technical advancement such as pre-vibrato, pre-shifting, and exploration of bow strokes used in orchestra playing.

The KTO program is carefully designed to provide a solid foundation and support system necessary for success at more advanced levels of participation. KTO students are recommended to the orchestra by area private and school music educators.

The KTO meets Tuesdays from 4:15-5:30 p.m. November through April in Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts’ music room. They perform two concerts per season. Participation in the KTO is 100% free of charge.

Contact Us for Audition Requirements

Preparatory Wind Ensemble

The KJSO Preparatory Wind Ensemble (or Prep Winds) is a small ensemble of woodwind and brass players that functions as a companion group to Prep Strings. In a 5-month season (January-May, with weekly rehearsals on Sunday afternoons), the Prep Winds rehearse separately from, but eventually join with, the Prep Strings to jointly present a concert in early May. The Prep Winds focus on repertoire and the ensemble experience (namely, individual, or near-individual part assignments) that prepare them for orchestral wind playing, and that pointedly do not duplicate the experience of their band programs.  Members of the Prep Winds are encouraged to take private lessons, if not already so enrolled. Through this training, a cohort of talented young wind players are prepared and inspired to eventually audition for membership in the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra. Like all KJSO ensembles, Prep Winds members do not pay tuition, but are assessed a minimal registration fee and a modest annual  fundraising expectation per family, which can be met in several different ways.

Prep Winds Audition Information