Rappahannock Youth Symphony


Welcome to the website of the Rappahannock Youth Symphony, which serves the Rappahannock River region, including the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, Caroline, Culpeper, Orange and Westmoreland.  We have 4 ensembles from the beginning to the advanced levels.

Mission Statement

The primary purpose of the Rappahannock Youth Symphony is to provide young dedicated musicians the opportunity to develop advanced ensemble and performance skills that will enable them to grow to their fullest potential as musicians and performers.  The RYS is dedicated to nurturing young talent and enriching the community through the performance of music.


The Rappahannock Youth Orchestra was founded in 1996 by Mrs. Deborah Tripp as a 501(c) 3 organization, with the idea of offering an additional challenge to the more advanced player.  The orchestras were founded as a supplement to the school programs and served to raise the standard of playing in public, private, and home schools.  Since 1996 the RYO/RYS has given opportunities to young people from the ages of 8-18 (in the Greater Fredericksburg Area) to excel in the performance of community concerts.  The young people become members who enjoy both the educational and social benefits that RYS extends to them.  These members especially enjoy meeting other young people with similar interests and talents. 

The RYS Experience

How does the RYS benefit young musicians?


  • Improves instrumental sight-reading and performance skills
  • Develops discipline through committing to home practice and attending regular rehearsals
  • Creates an atmosphere of professionalism in which to grow musically
  • Exposes students to high-level cultural experiences and resources
  • Fosters cooperation and community spirit through music
  • Provides a safe environment for self-expression, the development of social skills and self-confidence 

How does the RYS benefit the community?

  • Brings high quality performances to diverse audiences throughout the greater Fredericksburg region
  • Offers all young musicians the opportunity to participate regardless of financial status
  • Provides community with well trained musicians and music teachers
  • Maintains status of only non-profit orchestral program in the area that focuses exclusively on elementary, middle and high school aged students
  • Lowest youth orchestra tuition in the state of Virginia
  • Supplements and enriches public, private and home school music education programs
  • Provides access to string education for students in schools with limited programs
  • Attracts families to the availability of a local youth symphony program


Primo Orchestra (Beginner & Intermediate Strings Only), conducted by Ms. Katie Martino

The Primo Orchestra is a beginner level string orchestra open to students who have played for 1-2 years. Students are typically in 4th-7th grades.

Repertory Orchestra (Advanced Intermediate Strings Only), conducted by Mr. Tom McDonald

The Repertory Orchestra is an inte rmediate level string ensemble for students who have played for at least 2 years. It is designed to improve technical skills and ensemble playing.  Students are typically in 7th-10th grades.

Symphony Orchestra (Advanced Full Orchestra), conducted by Mr. Aaron Noe

The Symphony Orchestra is an advanced full orchestra for experienced strings, winds, brass, and percussion.  Students are typically in 8th-12th grades.