Membership in the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra is open to all interested students in grade 9 and above who qualify through the audition process. String students from schools with orchestra programs must be a member in good standing in their school orchestra. Wind and percussion students must be members in good standing in their school band programs. Membership in the AYO program is contingent upon return of the membership acceptance form with the school orchestra/band director's signature verifying that the student is a member in good standing in the school orchestra/band program and payment of the tuition fee.
Garth Gundersen has recently been named the Head Band Director at James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas. The Bowie High School Band is a large 6A program in south Austin with 5 Concert Bands, 3 Jazz Bands, 3 Steel Drum Bands, 2 competitive Winter Guards, and the James Bowie Outdoor Performing Ensemble. Mr. Gundersen directs the Outdoor Performing Ensemble, Wind Ensemble and coordinates all ensembles within the Bowie Band Program. The Bowie Band is a consistent UIL Sweepstakes winner, has won the Sudler Shield multiple times and is a consistent BOA and UIL State Marching Band finalist.
Prior to Bowie, Gundersen taught for 16 years as the Director of Bands at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas. Gundersen started the band in 2003 at the opening of the school. Under his direction, the Hendrickson High School Band was a consistent UIL State Marching Band participant, BOA finalist and UIL Sweepstakes winner. Under Gundersen’s direction, the Hawk Band performed at Midwest in Chicago, WIBC in Seattle, and The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Gundersen earned his Master’s degree in Music Education and Conducting from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Jerry Junkin, Bob Duke, and Paula Crider. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Louisiana State University, where he studied with Frank Wickes and was the drum major of the Golden Band from Tiger Land. Prior to becoming the band director at Hendrickson High School, Gundersen was an assistant at Westlake High School and became the first Band Director at W. Charles Akins High School in Austin.
Gundersen is a frequent adjudicator and clinician. He is a member of TMEA, TBA, TMAA and Pi Kappa Lamba. Mr. Gundersen resides in Cedar Park, Texas with his wife, Kim, and their boys, Aiden and Reese Gundersen.
Ricky Pringle is the Director of Orchestras at McCallum High School. The enrollment of the orchestra has more than tripled orchestra during his time at McCallum High School. Under his baton, string ensembles consistently earn UIL Sweepstakes awards. Ricky Pringle with the McCallum High School orchestras have had several performances at some of our country’s best Concert Venues including The National Cathedral, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Ricky Pringle studied double bass and holds Bachelor of Music and Music Education degrees from LSU in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Ricky Pringle continues to perform as a double bassist around Central Texas as well as maintaining a private studio of double bass students. Ricky Pringle appeared in the November 2012 issue of “Strad” Magazine.
William Dick was the recipient of the 1994 Elizabeth Green Music Educator of the Year award from the American String Teachers' Association. He has also been named “Director of the Year” by the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and is the recipient of the Music of the Heart Educator Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. For twenty-seven years he was on the orchestra faculty of the Austin ISD. During that time he instituted the Fall Festival for Strings, the AISD Best of Class Solo Recital, and conducted the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has presented sessions and conducted at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conventions, the American String Teachers' Association Conventions, and at numerous state music conventions. Mr. Dick is a registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Since retiring from the Austin ISD, Mr. Dick has been on the faculties of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, the 'Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois.
The Symphony Orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings of the fall and spring semesters, 7:00–9:00 P.M
Stephen F. Austin High School
1715 West Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX, 78703