The Bowling Green Youth Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra open to students from 6th-12th grade who play an orchestral instrument and have at least two years of experience on their instrument. The BGYO plays classical, movie, musical, pops, and other types of symphonic music. The BGYO is conducted by Dr. Brian St. John, Baker Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at Western Kentucky University.

Rehearsals are Monday afternoons from 4:30–6:00 PM.

The participation fee for BGYO is $130 per semester, per student.

Admittance is by audition only. To set up an audition time, please contact Dr. Brian St. John at


Auditions are required for the Youth Orchestra.

Contact Dr. Brian St. John at WKU to inquire about auditions:

Students auditioning for BGYO must play a two or three octave scale of your choosing and two to three minutes of your favorite solo or piece.

Dr. Brian St. John | Youth Orchestra Conductor

Dr. Brian St. John is the Baker Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky where he conducts the University Orchestra and WKU String Ensemble. Prior to his appointment at WKU, Dr. St. John was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of orchestras at the . At UE St. John directed the University Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble and taught conducting and composition courses. During his years in Evansville, Dr. St. John was also Assistant Conductor for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director for the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Earlier in his career Dr. St. John spent 13 years in Boulder County, Colorado, where he was Resident Conductor for the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Longmont Youth Symphony and Music Director for the Niwot Timberline Symphony (now the Boulder Symphony Orchestra). In addition to conducting hundreds of concerts in that span, St. John wrote and premiered seven original ballets, a piano concerto, a concertino for string bass and orchestra and a double concerto for mandolin, mandola and strings. Additionally, he co-founded two arts organizations which are still in operation in Boulder County and even taught public school strings for four years! Brian began his professional career as the Assistant Conductor for the State Ballet of Missouri (now the Kansas City Ballet) and Assistant Conductor for the Philharmonia of Kansas City.

In addition to his position at Western Kentucky University, Dr. St. John is conductor and Music Director for the Bowling Green Youth Orchestra. BGYO is a full orchestra comprised of 50 young musicians drawn from six counties in southern Kentucky.

Dr. St. John holds a bachelor’s degree in viola performance and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from Arizona State University. At ASU Brian was an assistant conductor for the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra as well as a conductor for the ASU Sinfonietta. While in Arizona, St. John also served as Music Director for the North Valley Chamber Orchestra and was adjunct faculty at Paradise Valley Community College; both in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Brian St. John’s 8th ballet, The Little Mermaid, was filmed by PBS television station WNIN in Evansville, Indiana, and was broadcast over regional PBS stations. It was premiered by the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and was fully produced and staged in the spring of 2014.

Dr. St. John is an active clinician, having led orchestra clinics in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and has guest conducted a run of Nutcracker Ballet performances with the Phoenix Symphony and Ballet Arizona.

He is married to Western Kentucky University Ballet Artist-in-Residence Christa St. John.

Bowling Green Youth Orchestra In Partnership With