• William Saroyan Theatre (map)
  • 730 M Street
  • Fresno, CA, 93721
  • United States

This is the big kahuna...the gathering of 300-some young musicians on and off stage at the William Saroyan Theatre on Memorial Day weekend.

Joining us to make the occasion even more exciting will be world-renowned pianist Steven Vanhauwaert, playing the Rachmaninoff second concerto. Yes, the one you all know!

Adding sizzle and pop to this concert will be an explosive (!) performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture (yes, the one with the cannons) played by all three of our orchestras combined. We are definitely going out with a bang this spring!

Show up at the Saroyan today by 4pm! Plenty of seats. Your voluntary contribution of $10-$20 per adult is greatly appreciated!

Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert

Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert


A yearly tradition for the Youth Orchestras, this event gives us the opportunity to showcase our young talent and our community.

Join us for this free celebration of youthful enthusiasm and ability!

From Donald Munro's review of last year's extravaganza:
The Youth Philharmonic Orchestra had just finished up the first half of Sunday’s rousing Memorial Day weekend concert. I could still hear fiery tones of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto resonating in my head. Before walking into the lobby for intermission, I glanced at the stage. It was crowded with the 100 members of the ensemble, which features the oldest and most experienced players among the Youth Orchestras of Fresno’s three groups.
When I returned after the break, there were even more players. Members of the younger Youth Symphony Orchestra and Youth Chamber Orchestra had joined in with the Youth Philharmonic musicians for the second half of the program. And because there wasn’t enough room on the stage to pack one more player in, the members of a fourth ensemble — beginning violinists with the organization’s highly successful Accent on Access program — were squeezed in front of the Saroyan Theatre’s first row on the floor of the auditorium itself. The visual effect was striking: It was as if a sea of young musicians, more than 300 total, had spilled off the stage into the audience.
Even more impressive.
That idea of a concert hall filled to the brim with future players (and, hopefully, enthusiasts) of classical music is a nice way to acknowledge what Youth Orchestras of Fresno is doing to elevate this community’s cultural scene.