About SYO

Our History

The Sudbury Youth Orchestra (SYO), founded in 1972, is an award-winning non-profit organization that provides a caliber of orchestral playing comparable to that found in any major Canadian city. Members range in age from 10 to their early 20's. The Orchestra is conducted by Dr. Jamie Arrowsmith who holds music degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BMus), Kent State University (MMus), and Brunel University, London (PhD).

The orchestra is the only musical organization in Sudbury offering musical instruction and experience in the orchestral repertoire for the young.


An award-winning violist and chamber musician whose playing has been described as “absolutely splendid… dancing with emotion,” Dr. Jamie Arrowsmith’s career spans genres and pushes boundaries. His recent work includes collaborations with Asian and Arabic musicians as part of the London, UK-based Notes Inégales improvisation ensemble, and he has appeared at several leading music festivals, including the BRAVO! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Strings in the Mountains Chamber Music Festival, and the Southbank Centre New Music Bienale. In 2014, he was honoured to have joined the distinguished panel of judges for the Guangya Chengdu International Violin Competition in Chengdu, China.

Jamie’s conducting studies include work with such renowned conductors as Neil Varon, Cliff Colnott and Charles Olivieri-Monroe, and he has been a participant in numerous conducting programs around the world, including the Olomouc International Conducting Masterclass where he was a guest conductor of the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra. As the Associate Conductor of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, he has been privileged to lead the ensemble in performances with the Sultans of String and for Sudbury’s first-ever orchestral production of Les Misérables. In 2017, he will again take the podium to lead the orchestra in performances of Haydn, Mozart, and for a presentation of Benjamin Britten’s rarely-performed opera Noye’s Fludde, a work for which the composer intended his whole community to participate. Jamie is also the programming director for the SSO Chamber Music concerts, and is bringing music from the symphony to the community through his educational outreach performances in schools, public spaces, and venues which service some of Greater Sudbury’s marginalized residents. He is also the Music Director of the Sudbury Youth Orchestra and the Sudbury Sound Collective Improvisation Ensemble, a group which invites musicians of all abilities and background to explore their creative potential through open-ended ensemble experiences.

Jamie holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Kent State University, and Brunel University (London), and has won numerous first prize awards as a chamber musician, including the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the MTNA Chamber Music Competition and the Green Lake String Quartet Competition. He has also been honoured by Northern Ontario Business as a 40 Under 40 award winner for community leadership. He continues to enjoy his role as Head of Strings and Coordinator of the Independent Music Production program at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario. 


Brenda Arrowsmith, who has been a faculty member in the music department at Cambrian since 1983, has earned a number of awards over the years, including the 2012 Woman of Distinction award in the arts category from the YWCA Sudbury Community Volunteer Awards and Cambrian’s President’s Award for Excellence. Arrowsmith has also been involved with the Sudbury Youth Orchestra for over 20 years.


JJ Therrien, President (therrienj@live.ca)

Caroline "Ro" Mullen, Vice President (carolinemullen11@gmail.com)

Sylvie Wallis, Secretary (walliss@me.com)

Kirk Duguay, Treasurer (dr.kirk.duguay@gmail.com)

Gillian Schell, Publicity & Member-at-Large (gillian.schell@sympatico.ca)

Brenda Arrowsmith, Communications & Member-at-Large (b-arrowsmith@hotmail.com)

[vacant position], Student Representative

Cameron O'Brien, Social Media (obriencameron20@gmail.com)

MJ Bergeron, Member-at-Large (mbvoyage6@gmail.com)

Lianbo Xu, Member-at-Large (yhsr_x@icloud.com)

Sincere thanks to Tristan Wallis, Christine Pun, and outgoing board members, for their past work with SYO!