Salem Youth Symphony



SYSA History by Henry Strobel

This excellent history of Salem Youth Symphony was compiled for the 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005, and can be found on Henry Strobel’s website.


SYSA 60th Anniversary Video by CCTV

Youth Symphony Concerto Competition Winners

The tradition of an annual concerto competition began in the first seasons of the Salem Junior Symphony. In April, 1956, cellist John Gibbons and pianist Ron Potts performed the first concertos with the (then) Salem Junior Symphony. A variety of instruments are represented by the concerto winners in those first four decades. For the past twenty seasons, Larry Garrett has supervised this annual concerto competition open to Youth Symphony members. The winner receives a cash prize of $500 and experiences the teamwork of soloist with an orchestra of peers. The result is memorable to soloists, orchestra, and concert audience!


Competition Winners during Larry Garrett’s 20 Seasons

1998    Toshihiro Kosak, trumpet
1999    Nelly Kovalev, violin
2000   Duet: Barry garrett, clarinet, and Jesus Cruz, flute
2001    Megan West, oboe; Tatiana Miller, violin
2002   Andy Vo, piano
2003   Melissa Thayer, viola
2004   Trevor Robinson, bass; Travis Nutsch, cello
2005   Bryce Schmidt, trumpet
2006   Joey Howe, cello
2007   Sean O’Neal, violin
2008   Patricia Cardona, flute
2009   Emily Potter, flute
2010   Andrew Ponec, cello
2011   Zachary Gulaboff-Davis, piano
2012   Sierra Schmeltzer, flute
2013   Sarah Kim, violin
2014   Hyrum Kohler, viola; Christian Miller, piano
2015   Erik Hammerquist, cello
2016   Marah Christenson, flute; Damon Zavala, viola
2017   Duet: Ishaan Sethi and Samuel Hayes, clarinets

Competition Winners under the direction of Jon Harris-Clippinger

2018   Israel Perez, flute