CSUN Youth Orchestra

The Symphony

The Symphony is an intermediate orchestra of 70-90 members and plays both standard works and arrangements. Players are expected to have approximately four years or more of experience. Auditions take place through video auditions between July 1 and August 31 of each year.

Elizabeth Blake, Conductor

Elizabeth Blake is a Pasadena native who began her violin studies at the age of three. She earned a Bachelor of Music Performance in violin from Northwestern University in 1989, and moved to Tennessee, where she served as Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras for seven years. During that time, Ms. Blake appeared several times as the featured soloist with the Chamber Orchestra, as well as in frequent performances for the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Music Series and on local radio broadcasts.

In 1997 Mrs. Blake returned to California, where she pursued a freelance performance career. She has toured with Michael Crawford, Yanni, and other international artists, and has performed as principal second violin for the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, the California Philharmonic, the Santa Maria Philharmonic, and the West Coast Chamber Orchestra, as well as in the sections of the New West Symphony and other orchestras throughout the Los Angeles area. She can also be heard on soundtracks for Sony, Warner Brothers and Castle Rock Entertainment.

Ms. Blake began her teaching career in 1981 at the age of 15, giving private violin and viola instruction. While with the Knoxville Symphony, she was an active member of the KSO Youth Education and Outreach Program, bringing classical music into the Knox County public schools. In 2001 she founded the String program at Los Cerritos Middle School in Thousand Oaks, and in 2007 took over the Orchestra program at Westlake High School. Both schools have thriving orchestras, and have received superior ratings at more than 75 festival appearances over the past twenty years.

 Symphony Rehearsal Schedule

Download the rehearsal schedule (PDF)

Rehearsals begin at Noon and end at 3 p.m. Please be seated 10 minutes prior to rehearsal time and warm up and tune carefully. Please have your instrument, music, music stand and a pencil at every rehearsal.