The Acadia Regional Youth Orchestra (ARYO) string program offers instruction in violin, viola and cello, and an orchestral program consisting of string orchestras of different levels, for students ages 10-25, along with a Fiddle Group open to all ages. ARYO rehearsals and clinics take place at the Festival Theatre Building on the Acadia University campus on Main Street in Wolfville. Acadia University students are welcome to join us for this program!

Following an invitation from the Acadia University School of Music, the Horton Community Youth Orchestra program (HCYO), which had been run out of Horton High school for the past three years, moved to the Acadia University School of Music as of September 2018 and is now known as the Acadia Regional Youth Orchestra. ARYO operates alongside the Annapolis Valley Honour Choir and the Acadia Youth Band, very successful ensembles using the Acadia School of Music facilities as well.

ARYO is a Nova Scotia registered not-for-profit society.

Our defined objectives are as follows:

  1. To provide string music education and to promote string music in the Annapolis Valley
  2. To promote string and orchestra music in local and regional school programs
  3. To associate with the province of Nova Scotia’s post-secondary Music Education program through the Acadia University School of Music
  4. To collaborate with other musical groups in the Annapolis Valley Region
  5. To promote and preserve the Nova Scotian heritage of fiddle and folk music through instruction and performance

Dr. Gillian Smith serves as conductor of the ARYO Orchestra and teaches our violin and viola clinic, Elizabeth Sircom works with our Introductory Orchestra and is the instructor of our cello clinic, and Allison Ernst and Keara Leibovitz have worked with our Fiddle Group. Dr. Christoph Both of the Acadia University School of Music is our School of Music liaison and advisor.  Other ARYO instructors will be announced in the coming months.

The ARYO program takes place on Tuesdays. The violin/viola clinic and cello clinic run from 3:30-4:30 pm (3:45-4:30 pm for high school students) and the Beginner Orchestra, Fiddle Group and ARYO Orchestra run from 4:30-5:30 pm.

The ARYO instruction and orchestral program fee is $150 per student (20 instruction weeks per year, September-April), and the Fiddle Group fee is $50 per term (2 terms per year). In addition, students may rent instruments from ARYO at a preferred rate of only $100 per year for violins and violas, and $150 per year for cellos, plus $50 security deposit.

We really hope you will consider joining us at ARYO!  Our first three years at Horton High School and this past year at Acadia were very successful, and we are very much looking forward to continuing our mission of offering the opportunity to learn string instruments and to play in string and full orchestra to as many students in the Annapolis Valley region as possible.

You are welcome to contact us with any questions or for more information at aryostrings@gmail.com.