The Annual ECSO Instrumental Competition  provides a wonderful opportunity for instrumentalists through the age of 25 to win cash prizes as well as appear with the orchestra in a subscription concert. This year's finals were scheduled to take place on March 14, 2020 at 1pm at Connecticut College, but has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. Stay tuned for updates about the rescheduled date. 

The competition is open to instrumentalists including pianists with no minimum age requirement through the age of 25. Contestants vie for cash prizes and the chance to perform with the ECSO in a subscription concert. The finals are open to the public free-of-charge. Families are encouraged to attend this afternoon of performances by young talented musicians. Complimentary refreshments are served while the judges retreat to chambers and make their selections.

Eastern Connecticut Symphony Youth Orchestra and Strings Ensemble 

The ECSYO and Strings Ensemble is undergoing its second session, and is welcoming new members. If you are new to our programs, please email us to schedule a time to meet our conductors. If you cannot attend on this date, please contact us at to schedule a time. Students please come prepared with a short musical selection to help us determine your skill level. Join us at Northeast Academy Elementary School - 115 Oslo St, Mystic, CT. 

Thank you for your interest in the ECSYO programs. We are embarking on another year of fun! For the 2017/2018 season, we will have two opportunities for young musicians! The Youth Orchestra accepts students from grades 8-12, who play string, woodwind, brass, and percussion. We also offer a Strings Ensemble program for students in grades 4-8. 

In July 2015, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Youth Orchestra (ECSYO)  appointed Kathleen Anderson as its Music Director. Kathleen (Kate) Anderson comes with a wealth of experience in music performance and education in the state of Connecticut. Currently, Anderson is the Director of Music at Tourtellotte Memorial High School in Thompson, where she conducts three performing ensembles and teaches classes in piano, guitar, music technology, and music theory. With thirty years of violin performance experience, Anderson was a member of the University of Connecticut Orchestra studying directly under Dr. Theodore Arm and Peter Sacco and has recently worked with the newly formed Northeast Connecticut Community Orchestra in Ashford under the direction of Yaroslav Tereshchenko. Anderson recently completed her Master's degree from the Univesity of Saint Joseph - Master's of Arts in Education: Multiple Intelligences through the Arts, Summa Cum Laude.

Upon notification of her selection Kathleen Anderson had the following statement: "I am ecstatic to be selected to direct the ECSYO. I am looking forward to invigorating and building the ECSYO into an ensemble that promotes, preserves, and encourages student musicians to pursue not only their musical talents, but also an appreciation of orchestral music. It is vital that our society continues the legacy of the orchestral genre through this type of authentic learning experience, as well as sharing it with our surrounding eastern Connecticut community members."

Our Strings Ensemble is conducted by Mrs. Shannon Stevenson. Mrs. Stevenson currently teaches music for Groton Public schools and serves as the strings conductor for their elementary schools. She earned her BS in Music Education ( 2000) and BFA in Music (2000, Magna cum Laude) from the University of Connecticut. In 2005, Mrs. Stevenson earned a Master in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. Through her strong leadership, our Strings Ensemble continues to grow in size and talent! 

We would like to thank Northeast Academy Elementary School for hosting our rehearsals this year. Rehearsals will continue to be held on Monday evenings. Youth Orchestra musicians rehearse from 6:30-8:30pm, and the Strings Ensemble will meet from 6:30-8:00 pm. 

The ECSYO is a special program. We are striving to inspire our students to reach beyond the musical experiences offered in school programs, to expose them to the possibilities in the world of musical arts. Throughout the year, we offer multiple opportunities to interact with the professionals from the ECSO. Perhaps some of our students will continue pursuing music in college, or in careers involving musical performance. But even if they do not, we all know that music builds strong minds in the areas of mathematics, logic, and memory. It is our sincere hope that through their involvement with ECSYO, our students will gain a strong work ethic and a deep love of music. 

Our Usher Program  exposes students from area high schools as well as cadets from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to our concerts and gives them volunteer opportunities to satisfy their school requirements. These young people go through organized training and are required to sign contracts indicating their availability and commitment to the concert dates. If you are a high school student and would like to be part of the Student Usher Program, send us an email @

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony has available a wide selection of musical groups from its member roster. A duo of harp and flute, a brass quintet, a woodwind quintet, a ragtime group, or a swing band are some of the possible combinations which can be contracted through the Symphony for all kinds of events such as weddings, receptions, and parties. Ensemble work gives employment to the musician and greater visibility for the Symphony.

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Contact Us:

Eastern Connecticut 
Symphony Orchestra
289 State Street
New London, CT 06320

Phone: 860-443-2876

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Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
Britten: Peter Grimes: Sea Interludes (4), Op. 33a
Vaughan Williams: Symphony no 1 "A sea symphony"
Mahler: Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"
Tchaikovsky: Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique"
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod
Verdi: I lombardi
Shostakovich: Symphony no 5 in D minor, Op. 47
Nielsen: Symphony no 4, Op. 29 "Inextinguishable"
Elgar: Concerto for Cello in E minor, Op. 85
Beethoven: Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 36
Snider: Disquiet
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms
Wagner: Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin
Smetana: The Moldau
Prokofiev: Symphony no 5 in B flat major, Op. 100
Liszt: Les préludes, S 97
Sibelius: Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 43
Elgar: Nimrod from Enigma Variations
Strauss: Four Last Songs
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40
Berlioz: Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9
Wagner: Die Meistersinger, prelude
Elgar: Coronation Ode, Op. 44
Holst: The Planets, Op. 32/H 125
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op. 35
Wagner: Overture to Tannhäuser
Novacek: Intoxication
Mussorgsky: The Great Gate of Kiev
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Coolidge: Pioneer Dances
Copland: Suite from Our Town
Ravel: Rapsodie espagnole
Lowden: Armed Forces Salute
Kern: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Tchaikovsky: Hamlet Overture, Op. 67
Dvorak: Symphony no 7 in D minor, Op. 70/B 141
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 6
Dvorak: Symphony no 9 in E minor, Op. 95/B 178 "From the New World"
Gershwin: Overture to Girl Crazy
Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 "Death and Transfiguration"
Mozart: Mass in C major, K 317 "Coronation"
Price: Concert Overture No. 2

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Additional Support

The ECSO operates with additional support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.