The Stamford Orchestral Institute, a New Program for Students, to Hold Auditions Aug 30 and 31

Stamford Orchestral Institute students

Photo from the Stamford Orchestral Institute on Facebook

Stamford Orchestral Institute students

The Stamford Orchestral Institute, a new orchestral program whose mission is to develop essential life skills through music, is now actively looking for young musicians who are interested in developing and expanding their musical skills.

Auditions will be held Aug. 30 and 31 for the SOI’s inaugural season. Apply here.


— an announcement from the Stamford Orchestral Institute


SOI’s programming features orchestra, chamber music, workshops, and social events. The nonprofit organization is based at the King School in Stamford.

Stamford Orchestral Institute June 2018

Photo from the Stamford Orchestral Institute on Facebook

Students in the Stamford Orchestral Institute performing with the Hilltop Music Collective Orchestra in June.

SOI pairs groundbreaking orchestral training with an innovative music curriculum that fosters team building, inclusion and leadership skills to the students of Stamford and the surrounding areas.

The SOI is led by the dynamic conductor Tristan Rais-Sherman, acclaimed violinist Chié Yoshinaka, and Barbara DiFranco — one of the Fairfield County’s most renowned and experienced string teachers.

DiFranco has taught Strings and Orchestra in Norwalk Public Schools for 42 years. She is a member of the Fairfield County String Teachers and currently Chairs the 6/7 Orchestra.

Rais-Sherman is one of the most sought after young conductors in tri-state area, and is known for his vivid and dynamic music-making. He has appeared with orchestras across the world and the United States, including in St. Petersburg, Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

In addition to founding the Stamford Orchestral Institute, he is assistant conductor of the Syracuse Opera and orchestra conductor of the Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center in Manhattan. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and the University of Michigan, where he studied under Kenneth Kiesler.

Stamford Orchestral Institute students

Photo from the Stamford Orchestral Institute on Facebook

Stamford Orchestral Institute students


Yoshinaka is well known as a performer and teacher all over the United States and abroad. She is an acclaimed private teacher in the Stamford area and she spends her summers working with underprivileged students in Asia. She is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and New York University where she studied with Peter Winograd and Neil Weintrob.

Rais-Sherman,  Yoshinaka and DiFranco specialize in developing leadership qualities and creating engaging learning experiences for their students.

“The Stamford Orchestral Institute represents a new approach to musical training. Our mission is to develop essential life skills through music. When I was growing up and playing in youth orchestras, what stuck with me the most was the friends and the memories I created,” Rais-Sherman said.

“In this spirit, I wanted to create a youth organization that not only gives orchestra rehearsals, but small ensembles, workshops, and social events as well. Our goal is to build a community of friends through music.”

For more information or to sign up for an audition, please visit the Stamford Orchestral Institute online or call 203-548-7709.

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Jaafar Tazi

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