Percussion Ensemble

The Austin Civic Orchestra is happy to announce we are reviving the Pearl Amster Chamber Ensemble program, which highlights chamber music and in-residence experiences for select young musicians in the Austin area. Unlike some youth programs in the area, we have college scholarship money to give to high school students (at least $1K per student)!  

Currently, we are looking for high school-aged percussionists who might be interested in participating. Beginning in late January 2023, the ensemble will attend approximately 6 rehearsals coached by Jordan Walsh, professional percussionist and educator in the Austin area. 


  • Participants must:
    • Live within 60 miles of the Capitol building in Austin
    • Be 14-18 years old
    • Play a percussion instrument
    • Indicate an interest in auditioning by filling out this form:  Percussion Ensemble Interest Form
      • This includes listing a band director or private teacher for us to contact for a recommendation.


  • Based on the interest and the nominations, ACO Music Director, Lois Ferrari will narrow the finalists to 2-3 per spot  
  • These finalists will perform in a live audition before a panel of judges on January 7 at a central Austin location
  • The ensemble will rehearse on most Tuesday evenings from January 24 through February 21 at a central Austin location
  • The culminating performance will be part of the ACO’s Black Voices concert on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 7:30 pm at the Alma Thomas Theater at Southwestern University’s Alma Thomas Theater.  The dress will be on Friday, February 24 in the evening.

Scholarship Details:

  • Our scholarship funds are invested with and managed by the Austin Community Foundation  
  • The members of the percussion ensemble will receive scholarship money sent to their college or university of choice 
  • A major in music is not required 
  • Members have until their 21st birthday to claim the scholarship funds 
  • We are hoping to award at least $1000 for each member of the ensemble

The deadline to indicate interest in auditioning is December 3, 2022.
Please help spread the word to percussion players and teachers you may know. We look forward to making chamber music with our talented youth from the Austin area!

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