Robertson Youth Orchestra

Robertson Youth Orchestra provides the opportunity for male and female musicians who have achieved technical standard AMEB 5-7 or equivalent to refine orchestral performance skills whilst interacting in a monitored social environment.

Acceptance to the RYO is subject to the conductor’s approval at an audition.

Rehearsals are held weekly on Wednesday evenings during school term.

Members of the RYO must be of Secondary School or University age.

History of Robertson Youth Orchestra

Robertson Youth Orchestra is the intermediate of four ensembles which comprise the Heidelberg Orchestras Inc (HOI).

HOI grew out of an original orchestral forum named Heidelberg Youth Orchestra, which was founded in the 1970’s by Alma Robertson, a Heidelberg violin teacher. Since that time, the RYO has evolved into an ensemble for intermediate level orchestral players whilst the JSB enables young string players to develop and acquire essential orchestral and music performance skills. The HSO caters for individuals of advanced standard.

About the Conductor

Michael Harvey is Head of Performing Arts at Marymede Catholic College, South Morang. He graduated from The University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Education and has taught music in secondary schools for over twenty years.

Michael studied Trumpet with Reg Walsh, Geoffrey Payne and John Schmidli and plays with such groups as Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Cheltenham Light Opera Company and Funk Tank. He studied conducting with Roland Yeung and Dr Rob McWilliams and has been Conductor/Musical Director for many productions.

What players think of RYO

“RYO gives you the opportunity to perform as a professional group in proper venues.” Micha

“It’s good fun and a great social experience mixing with people of the same age.” Sam

“Camp was fantastic! It included an old pool, steel jungle, gym and free shake vending machine. Some activities included bushwalking, swimming, volleyball and running around on the oval. We learnt heaps including how to pluck softly. Plus heaps of new friends were made” Afifa, Laura, Francis, Caitlin, Tracey

I always enjoy orchestra rehearsals. We enjoy being with our musical friends and play great music, which sounds very good.” David

General Information


Each player is required to pay an annual membership fee. Details are available from each orchestra manager. Download membership form here.


Concerts are usually held at the Performing Arts Centre, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School. This venue enables players to learn professional pre-performance skills and to experience performing live in an quality acoustic venue. Its auditorium seating provides excellent viewing for the audience. There is easy access for disabled or elderly patrons


RYO is managed by Heidelberg Orchestras Inc (HOI) , a non- profit organization. The Board of Management of HOI includes parent representatives from the orchestra in addition to the standard officers required.


RYO rehearses every Wednesday during school term in the St James Parish Centre, Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe from 6.45 to 9pm.


New members are required to audition to enable placement within the orchestral group. Placement is at the discretion of the Conductor and Orchestra Manager. Individuals are asked to prepare a short piece and be prepared to sight-read music. No accompanist is required.

Contact Details

Simply call the Orchestra Manager, Ann Robinson on 0425 701 248 for more information or to visit a rehearsal. Or download membership form here

What’s Expected:

RYO members are expected to attend all rehearsals, concerts, and other playing events. Orchestra members depend on each other to maintain a standard of excellence, and successful rehearsals and concerts require each player’s full participation and dedication.