Simply Astounding Young Musicians

La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra will amaze you with their enthusiasm and musicianship.
Photo: Jocelyn Connor

Soup & Symphony

Saturday, April 6th, 2019 from 11:30am – 1:30pm
Watch and listen to us rehearse!
At this event we open our rehearsal doors to the public, where they can taste a variety of delectable soups donated by local businesses and bid on an array of donated items in a Silent Auction format.

20th Anniversary concert

Sonic Bloom

Join LJYO for a special 20th Anniversary Sonic Bloom Concert. This celebration edition of the orchestra welcomes all alumni to join for an historic group performance followed by a special reception. Sunday, May 5, 2019, 3 pm at Port Hope United Church.

Please take a look at our NEW 20th Anniversary merchandise. Click Here!

Testimonials from our Alumni. Click Here!


In Memory of Colleen Jenish

“Always in our hearts”

LJYO Concertmaster Colleen Elizabeth Jenish passed away on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018, at the age of 25. Colleen played in LJYO for 6 years and… [Read more]

Come check us out every Saturday during our rehearsals at Calvary Pentecostal Church, Port Hope 9:30 to 12:30. All are welcome.

Call ahead to book a time: 905-885-2977 or contact Jackie Nicholls, President at or 1-866-460-LJYO (5596).

Concert Tickets

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20th Anniversary

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Tamara Mitchell

I was a member of LJYO from 1999-2003 and was honored to act as concertmaster for my final 2 seasons. I feel very lucky to have been part of an orchestra that played at such a high level. I loved getting to play major works such as “Finlandia” and excerpts from “The Four Seasons”, among many others. To this day, Michael Lyons’ coaching and musicality stays with me. I continue to “drop the dot” at every opportunity.

After I graduated from high school, I went on to study music at the U of T as a vocal major. I then completed a B. Ed and M. Ed at OISE and have been a French Immersion teacher for the TDSB ever since. While I miss very much having the opportunity to play orchestral and chamber music, music remains an important part of my life. I teach several courses at Durham Music Camp (with my mom, Laurie Mitchell) in the summers, and I am a soloist at Church of the Redeemer in Toronto. I also sing with other choral groups in the city, including a cute little doo-wop band called “The Redeemers” – check us out!!

Brenda Scott (nee Carkner)

I played cello in LJYO from 2004-2008. Although I currently work as an accountant, I still regularly play cello for community theater productions in the Durham and Northumberland areas.


Courtney Dakers

I was a member of LJYO from 2009-2013 as a flutist. I gained a lot of musical skills through our rehearsals that I used throughout my education in music. As I went on to do an undergraduate degree in Music Education and a Masters degree in teaching, I gained more and more appreciation for my time with LJYO. Just to list a few things: the importance of listening while making music, sight reading skills, learning orchestral repertoire (which makes listening to the Classical FM station enjoyable), knowledge of instruments other than my own, solo instrumental repertoire that was learned for our auditions, making music with the conductor and of course the importance of space (“drop the dot”, as Michael would say). The friendships I had with those musicians whom I met in LJYO still continue today, and I am excited to reunite with them whenever the time arises. The LJYO community is always welcoming to everyone. 

The most important skills that I learned in LJYO were a commitment to practicing and learning to love the challenges put on our music stands. Having positive role models to learn alongside and being given the opportunity to be a role model were benefits that have propelled me forward to a career in music education. LJYO influenced me to see TSO and operas and of course to spread the love for music. I am thankful to have the opportunity for our family to be committed to LJYO (Mom, Dad, Tiffani, Brooke, and Cameron), and I am so excited that LJYO continues to inspire other growing musicians, just as it did for our family.

Charly Phillips

My time with LJYO (2009-2015) was full of musical and personal growth. There was nothing like the feeling of being part of a greater whole that I experienced while playing with this orchestra. Age is no barrier in LJYO, and I cherish the friendships and connections I formed with coaches and members alike. From master classes with renowned musicians to leadership positions, LJYO was full of inspiring learning opportunities that I would not be the same without today.

 I’m currently studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and working as a bioinformatics intern at the Hospital for Sick Children. Music is still a huge part of my life; I’m an active violinist in chamber ensembles, musical theatre pit bands, and orchestras within the University of Waterloo’s music community.

Elaine Harris

I play clarinet. I was in LJYO for two years. I’m now studying clarinet at the University of Western Ontario. I am planning to become a music teacher. I would like to play in the finale.

Freya Kelly (nee Crawley)

I played with LJYO as a violinist from 2003 – 2009. Playing with the orchestra was a wonderful opportunity for me to grow as a player, becoming concert master in my final year, as well as playing the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 as a soloist. I am currently living in Ottawa working as a registered nurse at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. I played with the Parkdale United Church Orchestra from 2011 – 2017 and am currently taking a break to spend time with my 7-month old son, Hudson.

Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

I served as a violin coach for LJYO from 2009 to 2018 and also during that time as LJYO Board member for some 5 years. When I retired from the professional music world and running a violin shop in Ottawa, I really had no immediate plans except to, as they say, smell the roses. The opportunity to coach with LJYO became much more fulfilling than that. It, in fact, gave me an opportunity to pass on a lot of what I had learned myself through decades of professional musicianship. And of course, the reverse also happened. Working with the kids became a new and treasured experience for me. I learned as much from them as hopefully they learned from me. As I have said elsewhere, any musical organization that reaches a twenty-year anniversary is doing something right and thus deserves a standing ovation.

Alexandra Foley-Eby

I was a tuba player with LJYO from 2008-2012 and 2014. I joined the orchestra on the suggestion of Neil Hunter (trumpet coach) and also because my friend, Paige Kreps, was playing percussion with the group. I owe many of my friendships to LJYO, including my boyfriend, who was trombonist from 2009-2012. The added structure, socialization, and mental stimulation were all welcomed. The orchestra taught me how to deal with difficult situations, high expectations, and conflicting commitments. While these might not sound overtly positive, they were valuable lessons to carry over into university.

I certainly remember having fun playing certain pieces, like Lord of the Rings, the Sound of Music, and, of course, pretending to be a string bass for anything by Strauss. I also remember hearing amazing solos, meeting wonderful people, and having some pretty fantastic Saturday mornings. LJYO gave me an appreciation of classical music that I did not have previously. 

I ended up falling in love with science and pursuing it academically. Currently I have a BSc. (Hons.) and my MSc., both in biology. I am also applying to professional school, hoping to achieve my DVM. I still own my tuba (“Tinkerbell”) and I go through phases of playing her, alone or with groups.

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If you are in the mood to sample some of the delicious soups we will be offering at our Soup & Symphony event, drop in to the local restaurants who have generously offered to donate them.

Basil’s Market & Deli Inc. Port Hope
Buttermilk Café,
Dreamer’s Cafe, Port Hope
Ganarascals, Port Hope
Matterhorn Restaurant,
New Massey House Restaurant,
Queenies Bake Shop,
Railside Restaurant,
Shanna’s Kitchen, Gores Landing
The Snug,
Turtle John’s,
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La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra2 weeks ago
Help support a wonderful youth organization!
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