Membership in the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra is open to all interested students in the eighth grade and above who qualify through the audition process. String students from schools with orchestra programs must be a member in good standing in their school orchestra. Wind and percussion students must be members in good standing in their school band programs. Membership in the AYO program is contingent upon return of the membership acceptance form with the school orchestra/band director's signature verifying that the student is a member in good standing in the school orchestra/band program.
William Dick was the recipient of the 1994 Elizabeth Green Music Educator of the Year award from the American String Teachers' Association. He has also been named “Director of the Year” by the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and is the recipient of the Music of the Heart Educator Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. For twenty-seven years he was on the orchestra faculty of the Austin ISD. During that time he instituted the Fall Festival for Strings, the AISD Best of Class Solo Recital, and conducted the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has presented sessions and conducted at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conventions, the American String Teachers' Association Conventions, and at numerous state music conventions. Mr. Dick is a registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Since retiring from the Austin ISD, Mr. Dick has been on the faculties of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, the 'Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois.
Tamara Dworetz is earning a Masters in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Texas - Austin where she is Co-Conductor of the UT University Orchestra and Assistant Conductor for the Austin Symphony. She serves as Cover Conductor for the UT Symphony Orchestra and assists and conducts staging rehearsals for UT Butler Opera Center productions. Tamara participated in the International Conducting Workshop and Festival in Bulgaria with Larry Rachleff and Donald Schleicher, and she was one of 5 conductors selected to participate in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra's Conducting Masterclass with MSO Chief Conductor, Arthur Arnold.
Tamara has guest conducted the Indiana University Brass Choir, Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) Brass Ensemble and UT Symphony Orchestra and led rehearsals for the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra and UT Symphony Orchestra. She has had the opportunity to work with musicians from the Netherlands Philharmonic, Bulgaria's New Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver, Victoria, Austin and Moscow Symphonies. Previously, Tamara was the Director of Orchestras at Lakeside High School and the Philharmonia Conductor for the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta. She holds a Masters in Music Education from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Music Education from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.
The Symphony Orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings of the fall and spring semesters, 7:00–9:00 P.M.