About Us!

Violin bow

Our mission:

The mission of the Vail Youth Symphony is to encourage, inspire, and nurture young musicians through quality orchestral experiences; cultivate members’ social and emotional skills; promote the value of music education in all forms; and strengthen the community at large.

Our Board of Directors:


Lisa Brown

Vice President

Jared Hughes


Janei Evans


Allison Minch

Board Members

Whitney Olson

Alice Vierra

Our Artistic Staff:

String Orchestra Director

Shalaigh Merrill

Chamber Orchestra Director

Jennifer Bliss

Assistant Director

Randy Schneeberger

Symphony Orchestra Director

Adam Jones

Our Orchestras:

Rehearsals are typically held every Monday night from 6 – 8 p.m. throughout the school year. Location for regular rehearsals are at Mica Mountain High School.

There will be no rehearsals on non-school days, according to the Vail School District Student High School Calendar.

String Orchestra

The String Orchestra is open to beginning through intermediate players. They should have at least one year of experience with their instrument. While no previous “ensemble” experience is required, it is highly encouraged that students have played in, or are currently enrolled in a school orchestra. Students focus on improving essential musical skills such as note reading, rhythm, intonation, and expression. By building these essential skills, the members of the String Orchestra will develop a quality orchestral sound. Members of the String Orchestra play in all concerts and have opportunities for outside performances.

Chamber Orchestra

The Chamber Orchestra is open to intermediate through advanced players.  While enrolled in the Chamber Orchestra, students will focus on more advanced rhythms and time signatures, fine-tune intonation and shifting on their instruments, play in more difficult key signatures, and develop musicality and expression within a group setting.  Students will learn how their individual playing contributes to the orchestral sound, and how to develop awareness of melody, harmony, counter-melody parts.  Members of the Chamber Orchestra perform in all formal concerts and have opportunities to play in other community performances.

Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra is a full symphony including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. This ensemble serves our most advanced students. Students continue to hone musical skills through performance – repertoire is carefully selected to improve skills such as rhythm, intonation, expression and techniques specific to their instrument. Members of the Symphony Orchestra perform in all formal concerts and have opportunities to play in other community performances.