About Young People's Symphony Concert Association

A Treasured Part of the Minnesota Orchestra

The Young People’s Symphony Concert Association (YPSCA) is a group of individuals who love working toward the organization’s mission: instilling in young people a deep appreciation of classical music, and encouraging their ongoing engagement with the Minnesota Orchestra.

When YPSCA was founded in 1911, its goal was to support the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts, which were launched that same year. Young People’s Concerts are still central to YPSCA’s role, and many young people first hear the Minnesota Orchestra, in fact, any symphony orchestra, when they attend a Young People’s Concert. Hearing a live performance by the Minnesota Orchestra can awaken a young person’s musical curiosity and lay the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment. Through these concerts, students learn how composers use music to convey ideas, just as authors use text; there are many ways in which composers express their creativity and spark inspiration in young listeners.

2021 Concerto Competition

Dates for YPSCA’s 64th Annual Concerto Competition have been announced. The Preliminary Round will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, 1524 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Final Round will be held at Orchestra Hall on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Additional details, the application and guidelines for students can be found here.

2020 Competition

17-year-old violinist Catherine Carson gives a superb Sibelius performance to win YPSCA's 2020 Concerto Competition. She will perform with the Minnesota Orchestra in Young People’s Concerts in March 2021. For more information about the Competition, click here.

Key Programs

YPSCA carries out its mission through three primary activities.

  • The YPSCA Volunteer Usher program involves many YPSCA members who welcome and expertly guide students — many of whom are visiting Orchestra Hall for the very first time — to and from their seats for Young People’s Concerts.
  • Through the Musical Mentor program, YPSCA donors assist schools that otherwise would not be able to bring students to the concerts, providing busing, tickets and in-school concert preparation for entire classrooms of students.
  • YPSCA also holds an annual competition, the Young People's Concerto Competition, for talented students in grades 7 through 12, for which the top prize includes an opportunity to perform at a future Young People’s Concert with the Minnesota Orchestra.

YPSCA members come from many backgrounds, but all share a commitment to help young people discover the thrill of hearing great music performed by the Minnesota Orchestra. We welcome others who love music and love offering enthusiastic young people chances to make classical music part of their lives. Joining YPSCA is easy. We look forward to seeing you and sharing with you the joy of connecting young people with the Minnesota Orchestra!

Fun Fact

YPSCA, one of the nation’s longest-standing volunteer organizations to support symphonic concerts for youth, turned 100 years old in 2011. View our Centennial Season video here.