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 breadth of 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. While serving as the Associate Conductor of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra for four years, he lead the ensemble in several performances, most notably a show with the Sultans of String as well as Sudbury’s first-ever orchestral production of Les Misérables, and presented Benjamin Britten’s rarely-performed opera Noye’s Fludde, a work for which the composer intended his whole community to participate. Jamie was also the programming director for the SSO Chamber Music concerts, 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 a PhD from Brunel University (London, U.K.). He 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 and was a recipient of the Joan Mantle Trust Community Award. He continues to be in demand as a performer, and as an adjudicator for music competitions.


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.


Caroline "Ro" Mullen, President 

MJ Bergeron, Vice-President  

Sylvie Wallis, Secretary 

Reggie Ruffo, Treasurer 

Gillian Schell, Publicity & Member-at-Large 

Brenda Arrowsmith, Communications & Member-at-Large

Magalie Malette, Student Representative

Ada Le, Member-at-Large 

Jessica Peng, Member-at-Large 

Qian Zhu, Member-at-Large 

To contact a member of our board, please email: