Welcome to ISO!

We are a series of tiered orchestras ranging from beginners to pre-college level musicians. Here at ISO, we pioneer forward-thinking teaching methods coupled with classic technical foundations. Providing a student experience which is unmatched, we are delivering ensemble-based learning during the COVID-pandemic.

Despite the challenges of the spring 2020 season, we accomplished a ground-breaking virtual performance, Playing For Hope, complete with collaborations between students and world-renowned musicians, giving our students an unparalleled musical experience. ISO players continued to learn through virtual rehearsals/sectionals, online master classes, and cutting-edge recording software. We were proud that the performance donations supported not only ISO scholarships but were shared with Food Bank For New York City. “Care Packages” of student performances were dedicated to New York City’s essential workers and included a world premiere of a piece commissioned by the incredible musician and composer Earl McIntyre.

We move forward for our fall 2020 season with improvements in the online learning we developed this spring that will likely need to continue partially or completely virtually. We realized that, as our world and lifestyles have changed this year, the future of music performance and practice will inevitably have a virtual component. To adapt, ISO has formulated our curriculum around real world situations that will give our students the ability to thrive in whatever form they pursue their musical endeavors.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, and with guidance from local authorities and the governor’s office, we will continue to keep ISO’s state of learning fluid. As always, our primary goal is to teach music in a safe and collaborative manner while maintaining an authentic rehearsal/ensemble experience. We look forward to having our players join us in this new adventure. Further plans for ISO’s reopening in September will be released as soon as more information becomes available.


Barry Stern and Page Silverman-Primm
Acting Co-Executive Directors and
Conductors of the ISO Symphony and Concert Orchestras

ISO Partners with Food Bank For New York City for “Playing for Hope” Benefit Concert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New York City…The InterSchool Orchestras of New York (ISO), a nonprofit organization, is having an online Playing for Hope Benefit Concert on May 15th at 7:30 p.m. Fifty percent of the net proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank For New York City. We are asking for a $20 donation to support the concert. This donation will provide 50 meals to a New Yorker and provide financial aid for students to keep studying music. ISO serves nearly 300 students in four orchestras and provides a nurturing environment where all children can realize their personal best, achieve high artistic standards, and share music with the community. Generous financial aid and scholarships ensure that every child can participate. To RSVP for the benefit concert, visit How to donate: Donate online at or send a check to ISO, 121 W. 27th Street, 902, New York, NY 10001. Download the full press release  

Winter Celebration at Symphony Space Features ISO Collaboration with Mingus Dynasty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Young musicians from InterSchool Orchestras of New York present a Winter Celebration featuring a collaboration with Mingus Dynasty and Renée Manning The Winter Celebration concert features the four levels of orchestras in InterSchool Orchestrasof New York including Morningside, Carnegie Hill, Concert Orchestra and the ISO Symphony, conducted by Dr. Matt Rotjan, Steve Rochen, Joseph Meyers, and Barry Stern respectively. The ISO Symphony will be joined on stage by Renée Manning and members of Mingus Dynasty, providing a snapshot of ISO’s dynamic season and showcasing the achievement of the students.

The Winter Celebration will take place at Symphony Space’s Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Upper Level, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 at 5:30 pm on Sunday, December 8th, 2019.

Tickets can be purchased for $30 at until the concert. Download the full press release

ISO Presents Philharmonster Concert for Halloween


Young musicians from all over New York City under the baton of conductors Steven Rochen and Dr. Matthew Rotjan, and special guest Renee Manning, will come together to present this spooky and spine-tingling performance. This Halloween themed community concert will feature some of New York’s up and coming musical talent, ages ranging from elementary school through high school. The program will include works by Bernofsky, Hughes, Tang, Wagner, Bishop, and Meyer for an hour-long concert. Costumes are highly encouraged. Be sure to bring your Trick or Treat bag for lots of free candy! Admission to the concert is 100% FREE.

DATE: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

TIME: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

LOCATION: St. Paul & St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 263 W 86th Street, New York, NY

Philharmonster Press Release  

InterSchool Orchestras of New York and the Mingus Dynasty Collaborate to Present MINGUS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE InterSchool Orchestras of New York and the Mingus Dynasty are collaborating to present MINGUS.  This concert features never-before-heard full orchestra arrangements of popular Mingus tunes arranged by Earl McIntyre.  It will also feature solo performances by the Mingus Dynasty. MINGUS will present new arrangements, created by Earl McIntyre and featuring members of Mingus Dynasty, reimagine Mingus’ Nobody Knows the Bradley I Know, Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love, and Don’t Let it Happen Here to include the powerful sound of a full symphony orchestra. The ISO Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Barry Stern, consists of students, aged 12 to 19, from every corner of New York City. This concert will take place at Long Island University’s Kumble Theater, 1 University Place, Brooklyn, NY at 6 pm on Sunday, November 17, 2019. Tickets are $20.  Purchase online. Mingus Dynasty Musicians include: Alto Saxophone: Alex Foster Tenor Saxophone: Scott Robinson Trumpet: Dr. Alex Pope Norris Trombone:  Robin Eubanks Piano: Theo Hill Bass: Boris Kozlov Drums: Donald Edwards Also featured: Singer:  Renée Manning Download the full press release  

InterSchool Orchestras: Changing the Face of Youth Orchestra Music


July 30, 2019, New York City…The InterSchool Orchestras of New York (ISO), a nonprofit organization, is changing the face of youth orchestra music with its focus on cross-cultural genres in announcing its 2019-2020 Season in New York City.  New partnerships with many diverse and prestigious organizations highlight the rich cultural heritage of the City and expose young musicians to a wide range of musical collaborations.

Read the full press release

Audition News

Carnegie Hill Orchestra and Concert Orchestra are full for 2019-20.  There are currently waiting lists for those orchestras.

ISO Symphony: we are still accepting applications for viola, cello, and bass.

Morningside Orchestra: we are still accepting applications for bass.

For all ensembles: there is a waiting list for flutes and clarinets.