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Young People's Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1935, is the oldest independent youth orchestra in California and the second oldest in the nation. Many YPSO alumni are internationally distinguished musicians and prominent community members. Our current 105 members, ages 11 to 21, represent 25 cities and five counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. We charge tuition and offer need-based scholarships. Our mission is to guide young musicians to achieve excellence within an orchestral setting. We provide an educational environment that fosters accomplishment, serves as a cultural resource for the community, and builds future audience by instilling a passion for music. We encourage young people to become exemplary musicians, and young musicians to become exemplary people. Music Director/Conductor David Ramadanoff, in his 21st season with the orchestra, leads a team of master teachers who provide specialized sectional coaching each week, addressing technical and musical issues. Students are admitted to the program through a competitive audition process. The season begins in September and ends in June, with an international or domestic tour every other year. The orchestra has received critical acclaim locally, as well as in China, Australia, and New Zealand. A tour to Alaska is planned for June 2010.