In the tradition of upholding the excellence of classical music in our community, the non-profit Fremont Symphony is proud to have nurtured thousands of impressively talented young musicians with programs such as the free annual Children’s Concerts, the Young Recitalist Competitions, and the Young Artist Competitions. To further serve our community, the Fremont Youth Symphony Orchestra (FYSO) was launched in September 2016 under the auspices of the Fremont Symphony. FYSO has added vibrancy to the arts culture in our community, as evident from the full house attendance at every concert.

Mission Statement

FYSO provides an encouraging and motivating environment for young musicians to receive quality training and pursue performance excellence through high-quality directions and mentorship of professional musicians. Through a variety of performance opportunities, FYSO seeks to empower young musicians to actively engage in preserving and promoting the arts culture in our community. The Fremont Symphony values the partnership and support of the community to make FYSO a worthy reality that our community can be proud of and enjoy for generations.

FYSO is comprised of two initial ensembles (Intermediate/Bravi and Advanced/Virtuosi). Current members are from elementary, middle and high schools primarily from Fremont and beyond.

Through a variety of performance opportunities, FYSO seeks to empower young musicians to actively engage in preserving and promoting the performing arts in our community. Registration is open to 7- to 20-year-olds who are already enrolled in private music instruction in strings, brass, woodwinds or percussion. All students with a passion to make music are welcome to audition.


Location : First United Methodist Church, Cole Hall
2950 Washington Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94539

2019-2020 Season (9/9/2019- 6/8/2020) Auditions are NOW open!! To schedule an audition click HERE.

For more information call 510-936-0570 or




Judy Lam

Artistic Director


Judy Lam has conducted flute ensembles, chamber groups, choruses, and musicals, many of which featured her original ensemble arrangements. She has performed with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra.

She has received coaching from Jacqueline Pullinger, MBE; Jane Loschen; Hans Jürgen Möhring, former principal flautist of the German Cologne Chamber Orchestra; and Peter Lloyd, former principal flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra. She received her music education from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Since moving to Fremont in 1990, she has been keeping a busy schedule teaching and nurturing a new generation of flautists. She is the Director of Virtuoso International Flute Ensemble, which dedicates their performances to serve the community with the gift of music. She serves as a school band consultant with the Fremont Unified School District coaching young flautists in elementary, middle, and high schools.

She is also the recipient of the 2015 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award.


Grace Lai

Associate Director


Grace Lai holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Flute performance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Lai is on the faculty at West Valley-Mission Community College District, is Music Instructor of Fremont Education Foundation and Flute Coach of La Honda Music Camp.

As an avid performer, she has performed with the multiple Grammy award winning contemporary chamber music group Eighth Blackbird, the Kansas City Musica Nova, the Los Angeles New Century Players, and the Fremont Symphony.

Dr. Lai has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Yamaha Outstanding Musicians Scholarship, the Mu Phi Epsilon Merle Montgomery Grant Doctural, the Mu Phi Epsilon Summer Festival Award, the UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund, and the UMKC Conservatory Women’s Association Anniversary Scholarship.


Merna Morse

String Director


Merna Morse is a pianist, cellist, and retired Fremont Unified School Teacher who taught Social Science at Washington High School, where she served as department head.

She was one of the original cellists in the Fremont Symphony (previously known as the Fremont Philharmonic) and continued as a member for many years.

She also had her own piano studio for some time.


Marcella Schantz

String Ensemble Conductor


Marcella Schantz graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. As a violinist, she has performed in numerous genres: orchestra, opera, ballet, shows, recording, film appearances, pop, rock, backup and more.

Marcella performs regularly with many Bay Area orchestras, including the Fremont Symphony Orchestra, Oakland Symphony, West Edge Opera and California Symphony. In Southern California, she performed with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra for 10 years, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra.

In addition to a busy teaching studio, Marcella has significant experience conducting youth orchestra ensembles and coordinating musical showcase performances.


Amberle Mitchell

Brass Ensemble Conductor


AMBERLE MITCHELL received a Bachelor Degree in Arts/Music Performance from California State University Hayward in Hayward, CA and graduated Cum Laude.

She guest conducted CSUH Percussion Ensemble in 2008 and was the CSUH Orchestra Assistant Director in 2008. She also received a Conducting Graduate Degree from Central Washington University.

Since 2014, Amberle has been a Fremont Unified School District music teacher at Washington High School directing two bands, choir, string orchestra, as well as the band director for the local junior high school.

She also taught band, music appreciation courses and string orchestra in the San Lorenzo Unified School District from 2011 to 2014.