Youth Symphony at FUMC-Denton's Fine Arts Academy
Offered through the FUMC-Denton Fine Arts Academy, Youth Symphony of Denton is an exceptional orchestral experience for the music students in the Denton and surrounding areas, offering an opportunity to develop musically while performing standard orchestral repertoire.
“Music, especially classical music, are the letters from God, which God delivered to the great geniuses. Every time I read the letters, I find different meanings. I hope I can share this with the young musicians” —Hank Chang, Music Director and Conductor.
This group consists of the most advanced string, woodwind, brass and percussion players from the area. Students in this group will be able to demonstrate advanced techniques in order to perform the standard orchestra repertoire, including the ability to play in all keys and be strong in shifting skills. Students will experience the different aspects of each music period and will experience the joy of being together and discovering his or her own artistic uniqueness while playing different roles, such as section leader, soloist and ensemble member.
This is the intermediate level string ensemble and students will be able to play in all the standard first-position hand patterns, as well as early shifting into third and fifth position. Students will perform standard musical literature in the string orchestra genre. They will learn various sound qualities while trying out different bowing styles for the works of the composers from different time periods.
This beginning level group is designed to encourage the early development of a student’s musical skills. Students in this group will have had at least one year of instruction and will be able to play in the keys C, D, and G Major. (This is often referred to as High 2 and Low 2 pattern). While having fun through making different musical sounds together, these future performers will gain strong and essential basics of performance.
Auditions are available upon request. Please fill out the audition form and someone will be in touch with you to discuss material and set a date and time
Click on the link that corresponds to the instrument you want to audition for.
Click here for the audition registration form.
Youth Symphony Leaders/Conductors
Damia Cleaver is the mind behind the Youth Symphony, a ministry of FUMC-Denton Fine Arts Academy. She is the Executive Director of the Youth Symphony and conductor/instructor for the Preparatory Orchestra. Mrs. Cleaver has been a private instructor for the past 20 years, and has taught as a private instructor in the school district for the past nine years. She is currently principal violist of the Sherman Symphony Orchestra and occasionally plays in the Richardson Symphony. She loves working with middle school students, helping them have a strong start to their musical lives. With the help of musical assistants, students in the Preparatory Orchestra will be guided in performing with correct technique and will be taught to play with more mature musicality. Mrs. Cleaver is a native of Denton and is married to Victor, who plays percussion, guitar, bass, piano, etc. They have two grown children, Emily and Matthew.
Hyunseok (Hank) Chang, Music Director and conductor for the Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, was educated in violin and viola performance and in orchestral conducting in Korea, Europe and at the University of North Texas, studying with many prominent musicians in each country. His musical career spans 25 years, including playing viola in symphony orchestras, teaching strings at universities, organizing international music festivals and conducting orchestras of different levels. He has recently been conducting Ascolti Korean Chamber Orchestra in his native Korea and has worked for many years with the Sunsim Benedict Youth Orchestra. He very much enjoys working with students and has wanted to start a Youth Symphony in Denton since he moved back to America in 2017. He wants to share his deep love of classical music with the students of the Denton area. Mr. Chang is married to See-Eun, who is a choir director, and they have two violin playing boys, Johan and Daehon, who will be joining us in the orchestra.
Jett Cheek is the Director of FUMC-Denton's Fine Arts Academy. He also directs our Children’s Choirs and leads worship in the monthly “3rd Day” Family Service and “Rusty Bumpers,” the house band for Vacation Bible School. He can also be heard playing piano around the Denton area as accompanist for instrumental and vocal students and Denton Community Theatre. He is now one of the leaders at the Youth Symphony.
Tuition and Fees
Yearly tuition for the orchestras will be paid through the Fine Arts Academy and can be divided into equal monthly payments. Payment can be made by cash, check or monthly automatic credit/debit card charge.
$400 for Symphony and Philharmonic
$250 for Preparatory
$50 Annual Registration Fee (nonrefundable) is due on or before audition date. This fee is per family.
Once a student is accepted in the program, he/she will be required to enroll in the FUMC-DentonFine Arts Academy via the Academy’s online studio management program. This tool keeps track of classes, attendance, tuition charges and payments, and more. Parents will have access to their account via the Parent Portal, which will be made available once the student is enrolled.
Click here to read the Denton Record Chronicle article on our Youth Symphony.