How many groups does SMYOC have?

SMYOC has 6 groups:

Choirs in Solomons

  • Youth Choir - called Capella (since 2015)

  • Preparatory Choir - called TrebleMakers (since 2015)

Choirs in Prince Frederick

  • Youth Choir - called Fermata (since 2016)

  • Preparatory Choir - called Allegro (since 2016)


  • Youth Orchestra (since 2013)

  • Preparatory Strings Orchestra (since 2016)

What time of year does SMYOC rehearse?

We divide the year into 2 seasons, broadly aligned to the public school seasons. The first season (the Fall season) runs from August until December each year, the second (the Spring season) from January to June. We take a short break at the end of December until January and a longer break from June to August. In the Fall, the first rehearsal is usually at the very end of August or early September, in preparation for a major performance before the holidays. The first rehearsal of the Spring season is usually at the beginning of January after the public schools have gone back in session. Depending on the ensemble, there may be one or two major concerts over the course of the Spring season, including a performance for all SMYOC participants in the annual Gala. We adjust the concert and Gala dates each year in an attempt to avoid conflicts with other major musical events in the area, such as school musicals and all/tri-county rehearsals and concerts.

When does SMYOC rehearse?

Each group has its own rehearsal times, dependent upon the availability of the Conductor and the facilities we use. Four of our ensembles rehearse on Saturday mornings in Solomons (YO, PSO, Capella and TrebleMakers). Two of our choral ensembles rehearse on Monday evenings in Prince Frederick (Fermata and Allegro). The groups containing the younger children start and end earlier. Rehearsals are 90 minutes for all ensembles except the YO, which rehearses 2.5 hours a week. In the final week or two weeks before a concert performance approaches, additional rehearsal time is usually required; these final rehearsals often must happen outside of regular rehearsal times or require an extension of regular rehearsal times.

What should I do if I cannot make a rehearsal due to a conflict, illness or emergency?

If you need to miss a rehearsal due to a conflict, illness or emergency, please fill out the absence report form and/or contact your Ensemble Manager. It is best to fill out an absence report if it is anticipated absence. If it is a last-minute situation, please phone or text your Ensemble Manager as soon as possible.

Please do all that you can to minimize and find ways around rehearsal conflicts. It is important both for your personal development and for the development of your group that you try hard not to miss rehearsals. Please see our Attendance Policy for further important details about how we handle absences.

How many concerts does each ensemble perform each year?

All ensembles perform at least 3 concerts per year. There are generally opportunities to participate in additional performances, sometimes of a more casual nature, for all our ensemble participants.

I am in a Prep Group and would like to move up to the Youth Group. When may I audition?

Please discuss your desire to advance to a Youth-level ensemble with the Conductor of your current group. All musicians need to audition to move from a Prep level to a Youth level ensemble, and these auditions are usually best done at the start of a new season or concert cycle.

If I have a school music requirement at the same time as an SMYOC rehearsal or concert, does school or SMYOC take precedence?

Your school music requirement comes first; however, Ensemble Managers should be notified as soon as you are aware of a scheduling conflict.

May I invite guests to a rehearsal?

All SMYOC members are encouraged to "bring a friend" to a rehearsal, but we ask that you only invite friends who might be interested in participating themselves and for the purposes of introducing them to SMYOC. Please notify your Ensemble Manager in advance if you plan to bring a friend so that music may be made available for them.

May I bring a snack and a drink to rehearsal?


You may NOT EAT, ever, DURING a rehearsal, and water is the only beverage allowed in the rehearsal space. But you may bring food and a drink other than water to our rehearsals with the knowledge that you may consume them before and after rehearsal and during a break. You will be instructed as to where you are permitted to eat and drink within the facilities since food items must be contained to certain areas only. Remember that SMYOC is a guest in all the facilities we use, and it is critical that we respect the spaces we’re in. When you leave after rehearsal, the areas where you’ve been must be as clean as they were when we arrived - or cleaner!

How did SMYOC get its name?

The Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra was formed in late 2012 by the fabulously amazing Mrs. Julia Nichols. Julia`s vision was to provide advanced musical opportunities to youth in the "tri-county" area i.e. Calvert, Charles and St. Mary`s counties. In September 2014, the Southern Maryland Youth Choir was formed. During Spring 2015, the name of the organization was changed to Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir (SMYOC). The 2 musical groups are jointly managed under a single Board.