July 31, 2021
Symphony Orchestra
Membership Requirements 
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.

Ricky Pringle

Mr. Pringle is the Director of Orchestras at McCallum High School. The enrollment of the orchestra has more than tripled 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 the country's best concert venues including The National Cathedral, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Mr. Pringle studied double bass and holds Bachelor of Music and Music Education degrees from LSU in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Mr. Pringle continues to perform as a double bassist around Central Texas as well as maintaining a private studio of double bass students. Mr. Pringle appeared in the November 2012 issue of Strad magazine. 

Contact: MrPringle@AustinYouthOrchestra.org

Garth Gundersen
Mr. Garth Gundersen is 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.

Mr. 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.

The Symphony Orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings of the fall and spring semesters, 7:15 - 9:00 P.M. at Austin High School

Stephen F. Austin High School
1715 West Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX, 78703
(use East side entrance)

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