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Olathe Youth Symphony prepares for annual winter concert

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The Olathe Youth Symphony Orchestra perform at a previous concert. 

This weekend 200 middle and high school students from around the community will perform in their annual winter concert as part of the Olathe Youth Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras. The free concert, which is at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, will be held at Olathe South High.

“The Philharmonic Orchestra is playing two numbers as is the Symphony Orchestra.  I think one interesting note is that the Symphony plays actual music written by the composer just like the KC Symphony, so the music is difficult,” the OYS board of directors president Alison Banikowski said in an email.  

The two orchestras will also combine for one final number called A Festive Fanfare, which will “ring in the holiday season,” she said. 


The group was founded in the community in 1992 “to provide advanced musical opportunities for its young, talented musicians” beyond what’s available in school music programs, Banikowski said. 

“While OYS students are involved in music at their schools, participating in an extra musical experience like OYS affords so many opportunities,” she said. “Most of the time there are band groups and string groups, both not combined groups so OYS provides that experience for students. We also like to say that students involved in a group like OYS develop discipline, teamwork, character, brain power, and a sense of accomplishment.” 

The OYS also hosts a spring concert. In 2022, it will be held at Olathe South on April 3. More information is available here. 


Most of the students who participate are enrolled in the Olathe school district, but some come from other school districts, the parochial school system or homeschool as well, Banikowski said. They practice every Monday evening at Olathe South. 

Students audition yearly to participate, and the next round of tryouts are in May. She said the orchestra is hoping to add band and string players for the next season. Individuals interested in auditioning or getting more information about the orchestras should email

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