Youth Orchestra and Chamber Strings

The benefits of music and music study are well documented, increasing everything from teamwork skills to discipline to creative problem solving. The NGSO is committed to outreach education programs that enhance these skills among local students. Our youth programs, the Newark-Granville Youth Symphony and the Chamber Strings are a big part of upholding that commitment.

The Newark-Granville Youth Symphony was formed in 2005 and is in its 13th season. The NGYS brings together gifted young musicians from throughout east central Ohio and provides them an opportunity to study and perform a broad range of orchestral repertoire in a supportive collegial environment. The Newark-Granville Youth Symphony is committed in helping students develop their musical skills to their fullest potential, strengthening our region’s existing school music programs, and inspire cultural awareness and appreciation of music in our community.

The NGYS has been active in our community and also the music community. In 2010 the NGYS was the only youth symphony chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for the National Capital Music Festival. In 2009, the NGYS was selected as a featured performing ensemble at the Ohio Music Educators Association State Convention. The NGYS has also performed with the Central Ohio Youth Ballet at the Midland Theater in Newark, Ohio, bringing together dance and live music for the first time in the region. In 2007 the orchestra performed onstage side-by side with the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture under the direction of Timothy Weiss.

Many of the NGYS students also perform in the East Central and South Central Regional Orchestras, OMEA All-State Orchestra and All-State Band, The Youth Philharmonic of Central Ohio, the Columbus Youth Symphony, and community orchestras such as the Knox County Symphony and the Westerville Symphony.

The Newark-Granville Chamber Strings was formed in 2011. This young string orchestra shares the mission of the NGYS in offering students opportunities to develop their musical skills at a challenging level.

Support Us

Youth Orchestra Information

Membership Form Medical Form Handbook

NGYS 2019-20 Schedule NGCS 2018-19 Schedule


Saturday, May 12th, 2018
at OSU/COTC Campus Reese Center
Please call 740-501-0461 for more information

Newark- Granville Youth Symphony

For grades 9 – 12
The following instruments will be accepted:
flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, tenor saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, timpani, violin, viola, cello, string bass, piano, and harp

Newark –Granville Chamber Strings

For Grades 4 – 9
The following instruments will be accepted:
violin, viola, cello, and string bass

Sue Larson

Susan Larson is the founder and artistic director of the Newark-Granville Youth Symphony. From 2006 to 2010 Ms. Larson was Director of Orchestras for the Newark City Schools in Newark, Ohio. In 2009 her string orchestra, the Newark High School Sinfonia, was awarded first runner up for the National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center. This honor earned her orchestra a front page story in the New York Times and an invitation to the White House. The Newark-Granville Youth Symphony was then chosen to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center in 2011 and for the Ohio Music Educators Association Convention in 2009. Susan previously taught for 15 years as Director of Orchestras for the Bexley City School District, during which time her orchestras also won national recognition and invitations to perform at the White House, London, England, and at international orchestra festivals. The Bexley Elementary Honors Orchestra and Middle School Orchestras, under the direction of Ms. Larson, were also chosen to perform for the Ohio Music Educators Association Convention in 1994 and 1998.

Ms. Larson has been a clinician and conductor for school ensembles throughout Ohio. She has served on the board of the Ohio String Teachers Association , is a member of the National Conductors Guild, the Ohio Music Educators Association and the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Susan currently is a violin and chamber music instructor for the Denison University Suzuki Program. She has also served as conductor of Women in Music Symphony Orchestra and as music director for productions at Otterbein College, including the award winning West Side Story.

As an active professional violinist, Susan has performed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Light Opera, Westerville Civic Symphony, the Blossom Music Festival, and the Si Yo Chamber Music Society. She has also performed on stage with Barry Manilow, Barry White, the Electric Light Orchestra, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Moody Blues, and Gene Bertoncini. Ms. Larson is currently a member of the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra.

Susan Larson earned her BS in Music Education and violin performance at Kent State University, with violin studies under Ma Si-Hon and Stephanie Sant’Ambrosio. Her graduate work has been at The Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin, with conducting studies under Marvin Rabin, Norman Leyden and Russel Mikkelson.

Mark Haven - Newark-Granville Youth Symphony Director - interim

From 1999-2013, Mark was Director of Orchestras for the Zanesville City Schools. Previously, he was orchestra director for the East Muskingum School District in New Concord, OH from 1993 - 1999. Mr. Haven has studied violin with Gerald Barnell, Yenoin Guibbory, Eric Rosenblith (New England Conservatory of Music, Boston), Evelyn Read (University of Vermont, Burlington) and John Lindsay (Crane School of Music, Potsdam).

Locally, Mark has performed as concertmaster and section violin 1 with the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra and the Welsh Hills Symphony under Bill Boggs. Recently, Mr. Haven has given complete performances of violin sonatas and concerti by Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Faure as well as playing solo or first violin in complete performances of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat, Beethoven’s Archduke Trio and Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major. In 2002, Mr. Haven founded and directed the Zanesville Chamber Players at Ohio University, Zanesville where he has served as adjunct instructor of violin and viola. The ensemble gave two complete performances of the Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 4, 5 & 6 of J.S. Bach. Mr. Haven is an active member of the Zanesville Thursday Music Club and performs in the orchestra as concertmaster each year in the annual Messiah performance in Zanesville. Prior to 1993, Mr. Haven performed extensively as soloist and chamber musician in the New England area and with orchestras including the Portland Symphony, the Vermont Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of Northern New York.

In 1993 Mark completed a Master of Music in Violin Performance and String Pedagogy from the Crane School of Music of the State University of New York, Potsdam where he graduated with distinction.

Mark is married to Lisa Stein Haven who is associate professor of English at Ohio University Zanesville. He has a sixteen year old daughter, Emerson Ann who plays piano and doublebass. In his spare time, Mark enjoys carpentry, cooking and Macintosh computers.

Chris Lape - Newark-Granville Chamber Strings director

Christopher Lape is currently Director of Orchestras for Newark City Schools, where he is responsible for string instruction in grades 6-12 at Wilson Middle School and Newark High School. In addition to his responsibilities in Newark, Mr. Lape serves as Music Director of the Newark-Granville Chamber Strings. In the summer, he assists Dr. Robert Gillespie as a faculty member of the OSU Summer Morning Strings Workshop. He also works closely with string teachers from around the country as an administrator for the Ohio State String Teachers Workshop.

Mr. Lape performs extensively throughout the Central-Ohio area. He is a founding member of the Bryden String Trio and plays with the Sterling String Quartet. He has performed with the Springfield and Westerville Symphonies, and is currently principal viola in the Newark-Granville Symphony.

Mr. Lape earned his Master’s degree in viola performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning dual undergraduate degrees in violin performance and music education. In addition, he completed performance studies as a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School.