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Who We Are:

NYLSO, the New York Late-Starters String Orchestra, was founded in early 2007, via inspiration and motivation from  The East London Late Starters Orchestra (ELLSO), an award-winning group in the UK. NYLSO is an amateur chamber orchestra for beginning or recently returning adult players of violin, viola, cello, and double bass. We are not a class, but rather a highly committed and enthusiastic group of individuals who want to enjoy the experience of playing serious music in an organized group. 

If you played a string instrument when you were younger and would like to start again, or if you are learning as an adult and would like the chance to play in a group of similar people, then NYLSO is for you! Our goal is to create a fun, supportive, noncompetitive environment for adults 18 to 80+ who wish to participate in collective music-making. 

Participants should have basic music reading skills and a willingness to commit to the group, but are not required to audition. Absolute beginners are welcome, but it is recommended that you have studied your instrument for at least 1 year. 

Click here to learn more about our Beginner Ensemble.


What We Play: 
NYLSO’s primary focus is on classical music with frequent infusions of folk, pop, and some contemporary.


Repertoire is carefully chosen to suit the abilities of the group. The emphasis is on providing a constructive, enjoyable, stress-free experience.


How We Work:
We are a very flexible and friendly group. The only requirements to join are to be an adult amateur string player and to have a healthy sense of humor. We know that New Yorkers are busy people. It is fine to drop in and try us out for a single session, or to come as often as your schedule permits.  


We run in 6-week rehearsal cycles.  New music is chosen for each rehearsal cycle.  At least 3-4 times per year, we invite friends and family for informal, lose-stress concerts on the  6th rehearsal of the cycle.

Group Leadership:
Our professional facilitator serves as coach and conductor, giving guidance to accommodate everyone’s level of play. She has extensive experience in one-on-one teaching and in leading ensembles, and provides us with thoughtful, tolerant, and inspirational leadership. Occasional substitute conductors join in, providing players with valuable experience in working with different approaches and styles. 

Materials You Will Need: 
Your instrument, a portable music stand, and any accessories you require such as a stand light, tuner, extra strings, and rosin. You should have a folder or envelope to keep your music together and a soft-lead pencil with an eraser for writing in changes, dynamic markings, and bar numbers on your score. Sheet music links are emailed to active members a few days prior to term start dates.

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