Longmont Youth Symphony
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About the LYS

The Longmont Youth Symphony  is committed to serving the young musicians of the St. Vrain Valley and surrounding areas. The LYS provides a resource for young musicians to further develop and excel in their musical abilities through the guidance of professional leadership and direction. By doing so, we enable our youth to entertain, educate, and expand appreciation of music within the community.

Acceptance into our Orchestra and Ensembles is by audition only.


  • Public Concerts, including ones with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra and the Boulder Symphony Orchestra

  • Challenging music, designed to help every student grow

  • Exposure to a broad sampling of musical repertoire

  • Programs for younger musicians, in the Longmont Youth Strings Ensemble and Longmont Youth Wind Ensemble.

  • Retreats, picnics, and fun!

Our Ensembles


Longmont Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Longmont Youth Symphony Orchestra is an honors symphony orchestra (including string, wind, brass and percussion instruments) for advanced student musicians. Rehearsals take place on Saturday mornings throughout the school year from 9:00am to 11:45am. Six performances per year, including side-by-side performances with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra and the Boulder Symphony Orchestra as well as joint concerts with our other ensembles.


The LYSO Offers:

  • Public Concerts, including side-by-sides with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra and Boulder Symphony Orchestra

  • Challenging music, designed to help every student grow

  • Exposure to a broad sampling of musical repertoire

  • Retreats, July 4 Concert in the Park, picnics, and fun!


Longmont Youth Strings Ensemble and Wind Ensemble

Our program is a rewarding opportunity for players to expand and develop their musical abilities. Students are taught by professional musicians; they are also inspired and mentored by the more advanced student musicians who are members of the Longmont Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Challenging musical repertoire will help students to rapidly increase their skill level as they enjoy interacting with their musical peers. Typically, our students take private music lessons and are members of their school orchestra program. Our ensembles are an excellent opportunity for students to enrich their school music education and gain more performance experience. Many Ensemble students progress and move on to audition for our full youth symphony orchestra.

The Longmont Youth Strings Ensemble consists of the following instrumentation:

  • Violin I/II

  • Viola

  • Cello

  • Bass

The Longmont Youth Wind Ensemble is a wind and brass orchestra with the following instrumentation:

  • English Horn

  • Bassoon

  • French Horn

  • Trumpet

  • Trombone

  • Baritone (Euphonium)

  • Tuba

  • Percussion

  • Flute

  • Piccolo

  • Oboe

  • Clarinet

  • Bass Clarinet

  • Alto Saxophone

  • Tenor Saxophone

  • Baritone Saxophone

Our Directors

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Mr. Yin-feng Keynes Chen

Director, Youth Symphony Orchestra

Mr. Yin-feng Keynes Chen, an award-winning musician, is an active concert violinist, conductor, and music educator.

He began his violin studying at the age of four, entered Chongqing School of the Arts at age 10, then the prestigious Shanghai Music conservatory at age thirteen. Mr. Chen received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder). He was also selected as the first violinist of CU Boulder’s Graduate String Quartet in Residence.

Currently, Mr. Chen holds positions as the Concertmaster of the Boulder Symphony since 2012; the President, violin instructor, Chamber Ensemble Coach at the Flatirons Strings Academy in Boulder, Colorado since 2005; and he is also the Music Director of the Longmont Youth Symphony in Colorado since 2007.

Besides performing regularly during the past many years as a violinist with most of the regional major orchestras, he also was the Executive Director at the A Mid-Summer Day’s Dream summer music camp from 2004-2015; Artistic Director and Chamber Music Director of the Boulder Youth Symphony for five years; Conductor of the Colorado Youth Symphony’s Philharmonia Orchestra for five years; Conductor of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra for one year; principal violin instructor at the Englewood Arts for Three years.

In the summer of 2010, Mr. Chen lead a successful youth symphony tour in China for 18 days and visited eight different cities and performed at major concert halls and at many schools in China. In addition to performing concerts there, Mr. Chen was invited to conduct chamber music master classes at the following schools: the famous China Central Music Conservator, Beijing; the prestigious China Music Conservatory, Beijing; and the South-China Normal University, Guangzhou. In recent years Mr. Chen has been frequently invited to conduct lectures and master-classes in various music institutions and schools mostly in Guangzhou and Sichuan provinces in China. Since 2017, Singapore has been added to this list as well.

Mr. Chen has received many prestigious titles and awards through out his musical and educational career. He was awarded as the Artist of the Year of the Twenty-Eighth Annual Multicultural Awards in the Front Range area in 2016; First Prize winner in the 2002 Bruce Ekstrand Music Competition and its Audience’s Award with his former quartet-Nacht Quartet; Performance Teaching Assistant at CU Boulder; winner of both the State and Regional division of the Music Teachers’ National Association Music Competition in 2001; First Prize winner of University of Colorado’s Concerto Competition in 2000; the recipient of the Denés Korómzay Chamber Music Award in 1999.


Mr. Robert Stahly

Direcetor, Youth Strings Ensemble

Robert Stahly is an active musician in Colorado establishing himself as a teacher, conductor, sound engineer, and cellist. At Longmont High School, Mr. Stahly tripled the size of the orchestra program, created Music and Stage Technology classes, and teaches AP Music Theory. In 2016 the Chamber Orchestra was selected to perform at the State Music Educator Conference (CMEA). This very same year Mr. Stahly was recognized as a top educator in the Saint Vrain Valley School District. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Stahly spent eleven years working with the Loveland High School Marching Band in a variety of capacities: Tuba Instructor, Assistant Director, Sound Engineer, and Lead Visual Instructor. He is the conductor of the Longmont Youth Symphony String Ensemble, and is a frequent guest conductor and clinician.

As an instrumentalist Mr. Stahly has performed in six countries with a variety of ensembles playing cello, tuba, or bass. He continues to perform with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, as well as guest performances and studio recording. A 2008 graduate of Colorado State University, Mr. Stahly received degrees in Music Education, Tuba Performance, and a String Pedagogy Certificate. Since then, he has continued to study at programs such as the CU Conducting Workshop, Conductors Institute at Bard College, MSU Conducting Symposium, Eastman School of Music Conducting Workshop, and CCM's Opera Bootcamp.


Mr. Anthony Kading

Director, Youth Wind Ensemble

Anthony Kading is a Graduate Assistant and Masters in Music Education student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Beginning his career in Music Education in 2004 studying Music Performance and Composition at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Mr. Kading actively composed and presented clinics and workshops on his music for High School and Middle School Concert Ensembles, as well as Marching and Jazz Ensembles. This passion for how students are shaped by absolute music and the compositional process lead the way for Mr. Kading to pursue a formal career in Music Education in 2007. He since has taught a variety of Beginning, Middle School, and High School Bands in Sun Prairie and Fort Atkinson Wisconsin, while maintaining active involvement as a composer and clinician in area schools, the Wisconsin and Mid-American Marching circuits, and the Wisconsin Jazz Educators Network. The development of curiosity and creativity through music has brought Mr. Kading to pursue further education at CU. Tony currently resides in Golden, Colorado with his daughter Eleanor and wife Abigail Kading, who is the Music Educator for Euclid Middle School Bands in Littleton, Colorado.