Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony Orchestras

Spring 2023 Concert 

May 5, 2023 6:30pm

South Parish Congregational Church Augusta

and live-streamed on Youtube

Check out this Spot-Light article on

KVYS senior Breckon Davidson

from his local newspaper: the Town Line

Join our Orchestra! 

Auditions for New Members take place in February 2022

Go to the Audition Page or Download the information sheet for details

To sign up for an audition, you will need to fill out the form 

Current Members: Please go to the Schedule page for more information.

Donate to KVYSO!

We Thank our Sponsors for the 2022-2023 Season

McKee Law, Oak Grove School Education Foundation, Kennebec Savings Bank

Recent Concerts


The preparatory string ensemble, Kennebec Valley Youth Orchestra conducted by Dan Keller, will perform selections from  Warlock's "Six Italian Dances", Ewazen's "Four Royal Dances", Haydn's St. Anthony Chorale and an arrangement of "Stairway to Heaven".

Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony is conducted by Jinwook Park. The young students and mentors under his baton will enthusiastically bring to life the great drama, beauty and joy of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture and Symphony #4.

KVYSO Spring 2022 Concert

KVYO string orchestra, conducted by Dan Keller 

KVYS, conducted by Jinwook Park 

with music by Mozart and Faure

 Sophia Scheck and Aiden Montmeney, soloists 

Sunday, May 15, 2022


South Parish Congregatinal Church

August, Maine

Livestreamed at:

Biographies of Graduating Seniors (Spring 2022)

Anna Berkes, cello

Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, Anna Berkes spent her elementary school years in Florida where she started to play cello at the age of five. Upon moving to Maine in 2016, she began taking private lessons with Noreen Silver in Bangor. In addition, she played in the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra, moving to the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra in the 2020-2021 season as the principal cellist. Anna earned high honors as well as numerous awards for academic excellence during her high school career, receiving an award for musical excellence in the One Act festival in Mount Blue High School in the year 2019. Upon graduating fromWinthrop High School a year early in 2021, Anna entered the University of Maine at Orono in order to earn a Bachelor of Music in Performance, becoming the principal cellist in the University of Maine Orchestra.

Additionally, Anna is a proud recipient of the Anna Bereziuk and Lindley Wood Prize for musical ensembles as a member of the JAKS quartet as well as the Summer Cello Prize in the Young Stars of Maine competition in 2021. Anna received an Honorable Mention in the Bangor Concerto Competition for High School Students in the year 2021. She has been a long-standing musician in the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Program for Maine Students and has also been a part of New England Music Camp (NEMC) for the summers of 2020 and 2021. In the 2021 session, she was principal cellist for the NEMC Symphony Orchestra and a semifinalist in the NEMC Concerto Competition, receiving the title “Honor Musician” at the end of her camp, awarded to her because of her expressive playing.

Anna loves learning languages and about other cultures as she is trilingual in Hungarian, English, and Spanish. She also enjoys drawing and painting, spending time with her family and pets as an avid animal lover.

Catherine Estes, violin

Catherine Estes is 17 years old and a senior in high school. She has been taking violin lessons from Linda Theriault for over 9 years but has been surrounded by music her whole life, with four older siblings practicing piano, two younger siblings humming, and family members performing in Colby chorale concerts. In addition to solo pieces and orchestral music, Catherine enjoys playing fiddle tunes. Her second favorite instrument, which she sometimes plays, is the piano, and she sings with her family on special occasions. She and her family live on a hill overlooking Messalonskee Lake and have homeschooled their whole lives. Catherine loves game nights at home and playing soccer with her friends. She is planning on studying music performance at Cedarville University in Ohio this fall.

Catherine has enjoyed participating in the Maine All State Music Festival, DaPonte String Quartet HS Workshop, Mid Maine Youth Orchestra, and various Pineland Suzuki School classes and events in addition to KVYSO, but she also loves informal chamber music weekends with her friends or jam sessions with her siblings. She has been blessed to study with Jin for the past 6 years, and she’s very thankful to him, Betsy, Lori, and everyone else who makes KVYSO possible. She’s going to miss all of her orchestra friends next year!

Anya Mazaris-Atkinson, flute

Anya is a senior attending Gorham High School. She has played the flute since the 4th grade and loves playing all different kinds of music. Anya plays in her high school’s steel band, sings as a chamber singer, and used to play in the jazz band. Anya is currently studying with Nicole Rabata. She has played in principal chairs in All-State, District 1 Festival, and Portland Youth Ensembles. She has also received awards and placed in competitions including Bay Chamber Young Prize Stars of Maine, Bangor Symphony Orchestra High School Concerto Competition, and the USM Youth Ensemble Scholarship. Anya is very excited to attend Boston University in the fall, where she will major in flute performance.

Congratulations Anya!

Joshua Rosenthal, violin

Joshua Rosenthal began his early violin studies with Suzuki teachers Kaity Newell and Betsy Kobayashi and currently studies with Lynn Chang at NEC Prep. He is a member of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra under Benjamin Zander, with whom he will embark on a tour of Greece in June 2022. In addition, Rosenthal is a member of the Mozart Mentors Orchestra, is rotating concertmaster of the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra and previously served as concertmaster of the NEC Youth Symphony for the 2019-2020 season. He has appeared as a soloist with the Portland Community Orchestra and the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra and has been featured twice on NPR’s From the Top. An accomplished chamber musician, Rosenthal was the 2019 recipient of the Martin Guterman Chamber Music Scholarship at NEC and has attended the DaPonté String Quartet High School Workshop, the Bay Chamber Envision Workshop from 2016-2021, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont in the summers of 2019 and 2021 and will begin studying at Boston Conservatory in the fall of 2022. In his spare time, Rosenthal collects CDs and records, builds servers, and enjoys going on hikes.

Biographies of Soloists

Aiden Montmeney, violin

Aidan is a homeschooled junior in high school from Pownal, Maine. Coming from a highly musical family, he has been playing the violin for over 10 years, currently under the tutelage of Katherine Liccardo. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Aidan moved to Maine with his family in 2016, where they built the beautiful house they now live in with their cuddly Siberian husky. When he was 6 years old, Aidan attended a live performance featuring a violinist. He then surprised his mom by telling her he wanted to play too. In December of 2011, Aidan received his first violin for Christmas, a petite quarter size. Ten years, four private teachers, and a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears later, Aidan is planning to pursue violin as career path, after he graduates in 2023. In 2020, Aidan won the summer strings prize through Bay Chamber’s Young stars of Maine program. Later that year, he proceeded to win first place in Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s concerto competition. When not immersed in musical or scholastic study, Aidan enjoys socializing in any way possible, though a good book can often arrest his attention for hours at a time.

Sophia Scheck, viola

Sophia is a sophomore at Waterville Senior High School. She started violin lessons at the age of 4 and tried other instruments including cello and piano. For several years, she studied violin and viola with Pineland Suzuki School under Joanna Nelson and Betsy Kobayashi. Her current instructors are Colin Wheatley for viola and Sophie Davis for violin. Over the past few years, she has won several awards, the most recent being the Anna Bereziuk and Lindley Wood Prize for Ensemble Endeavors as a violist in the JAKS quartet through Bay Chamber’s Young Stars of Maine program. Sophia plays in many ensembles for weddings, funerals, and other gigs.  She is violist in the Pineland Suzuki School quartet, violinist and violist in Capital Strings as well as principal violist of the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony. Sophia enjoys playing some solo repertoire on her violin.  However, her passion lies with the sound of the viola.   Attending concerts, both as a participant and viewer has inspired her to become the best musician that she can be.  In her free time, some of her other favorite things include playing soccer and snuggling with her cat and dog.

KVYSO Fall 2021 Concerts

KVYO string orchestra, conducted by Dan Keller 

KVYS, conducted by Jinwook Park 

 Elgar's Introduction and Allegro for string quartet and orchestra with Josh Rosenthal, Catherine Estes, Sophia Scheck, and Anna Berkes, soloists.  

Mozart's Symphony #40

Recorded in front of a live audience December 2021

Check out this video about our orchestra and its impact on students in central Maine.

KVYSO Spring 2021 Concerts

Part 1

KVYO string orchestra, conducted by Dan Keller plays Vivaldi and Game of Thrones.

KVYS, conducted by Jinwook Park performs Tchaikovsky and Spring and Summer from The Four Seasons with Catherine Estes and Aidan Montmeny, soloists.  

Part 2
KVYS, conducted by Jinwook Park performs  Bach's Badinerie, with Kai Gillespie, flute solo, Autumn and Winter from The Four Seasons with Sophia Scheck and Joshua Rosenthal, soloists, and John Ireland's Downland Suite.

Recorded May 2021

Making beautiful music while staying safe

KVYO (left) and KVYSO (below) rehearse with safety in mind! Each student has their own stand, and all are wearing masks and fans in the windows provide ventilation.

KVYS is rehearsing for a concert that includes virtual wind players. Musicians are recording the views from their stands for Faure's Pavanne.

We are grateful for Grant Support from the Elsie and William Viles Foundation and from the Maine Arts Commission and to Concert Sponsors McKee Law and U Maine Augusta!

Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony Orchestras offer an outstanding enrichment opportunity for middle and high school musicians. With our convenient University of Maine at Augusta location, the rehearsals are accessible to students from Readfield to Brunswick to Lewiston/Auburn, the Mid-Coast & beyond

The Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony is modeled on professional orchestras, playing a wide variety of original orchestral compositions, including full concertos in both the fall and spring programs. KVYS is conducted by the energetic & inspiring Jinwook Park, who performs, directs, and teaches in Boston and at Colby College.  Did you miss our December 2018 concert?  Here's part of Beethoven's No. 1, which was our featured full-length work.

The Kennebec Valley Youth Orchestra is an equally exciting option for developing musicians conducted by Daniel Keller. KVYO plays some original compositions and some arrangements; they typically join KVYS for one piece each program.  Curious about the KVYO performance in the December concert?  Here's "The Jester," from Eric Ewazen's Four Royal Dances that were our centerpiece for the concert.

KVYSO is very aware of how busy young Maine musicians can be! We schedule rehearsals in the evening to accommodate after-school commitments, and take a break during the majority of the Mid-Maine Youth Orchestra season so that musicians can play in both ensembles.  We meet in a central location that minimizes travel time for area youth and families. 

It is very important that KVYSO musicians continue their connections with their school ensembles, as KVYSO is meant to be supplemental. We also highly recommend that students receive private instruction, and can help connect students with local music teachers.  

Rolling auditions are available throughout the year; to schedule, contact our Education Director, Betsy Kobayashi.  We also hold auditions in February, May, and September.  Download an audition and registration form and return via email to Betsy Kobayashi.

For more information, email!

Special thanks to our 2018 Fall Concert Sponsors:

Special thanks tor our 2019 Spring Concert sponsors:

Thank you to all who attended our first concert and supported KVYSO!  

Photos, Video available on Facebook.