Green Mountain Youth Orchestra


Founded in 1987, the Green Mountain Youth Orchestra (GMYO) accepts musicians of all ages and levels. Talented musicians from the VT/MA/NY tri-state area rehearse weekly and perform two to three times a season. The GMYO represents the fulfillment of founder Ellen Sager's longtime goal of reestablishing a quality string and orchestral program in the area. Director Patrick O'Connell welcomes musicians of all talents and ages to join the GMYO. The Orchestra is the only one of its kind to accept amateur adults as well as youth into all levels of the ensembles. 


For the 2018–19 academic year, the GMYO is comprised of three performance groups:

Repertory String Ensemble for string players who are still developing their skills. The group works on string orchestra repertoire while refining scales, theory and tone production. The Repertory Strings perform two to three times a year. 

Senior String Ensemble for string players who are in the Symphonic Orchestra; Senior strings have sectional rehearsal on the symphony orchestra repertoire and added string orchestra repertoire. 

Symphonic Orchestra is comprised of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion that rehearse and perform standard and original concert works. Jurassic Park, William Tell Overture, and 1812 Overture are a few of our recent works. GMYO has performed with other youth orchestras as well as the Sage City Symphony.



All three groups meet on Wednesdays. All rehearsals, unless otherwise specified, are in the Mount Anthony Union Middle School Band Room in Bennington, Vermont. Information on membership dues and applications can be found on our Fees and Forms page. Any string, woodwind, brass or percussion musician interested in playing with the orchestra is welcome to contact Patrick for more information. No auditions are required. 

About the director

Patrick O'Connell

Since completing his undergraduate and graduate music studies, at Ithaca College and Yale University respectively, Patrick O’Connell has enjoyed an active musical life in the Capital and Tri-State Region of Vermont, New York and Massachusetts.

Patrick is a regular member of the Berkshire Symphony and Glens Falls Symphony Orchestras and principal bass of the Berkshire Opera Festival. He has performed with Vermont Symphony, Boston Chamber Orchestra,  Capital Repertory Theatre, Proctor's Theater, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. He has enjoyed performing solo and chamber recitals, and has joined orchestral tours of South-East Asia, Panama and Guatemala.

In addition to an active performing schedule, Patrick is an enthusiastic music educator who believes music is an essential aspect of a well-rounded education and the living of a full life. He directs the wind ensemble at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, teaches double bass at the College of Saint Rose, coaches with the Empire State Youth Orchestra and, on occasion, conducts symphony orchestra rehearsals at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has served as adjunct faculty at the College of Saint Rose, Union College and was on faculty at the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy. Patrick has delivered presentations at music education conferences and is privileged to be the elementary string director at Bethlehem Central Schools. He has written and performed compositions for double bass and has had the honor of having his original piece performed by the renowned soloist, Nicholas Walker, around the country and in Australia.

Patrick resides in upstate New York with his wife, Jessica, and their two children Ambrose and Dolores.