ARYO returned to Festival Theatre on Acadia University campus starting Thursday,  September 15th, 2022.  In-person rehearsals  take place on Thursdays after school with the schedule confirmed below (scroll down for full schedule and fees). *Please note: for the start of term, until further notice, Acadia University requires mask-wearing in all buildings on campus.

ARYO April 2022 (11)

ARYO is a low-cost, beginner to intermediate strings program for young people aged 10-24 and we also include adults in our Fiddle Group. If you would like to learn violin, viola, cello or double bass as a beginner or already have some playing experience, please join us!

Our season runs from Sept.-May at Festival Theatre in Wolfville (504 Main Street) and consists of  two terms of 10-sessions per term.  We welcome new students, and have something to offer for young string players of all levels of experience. Beginners are especially welcome! Adults as well as young people with some playing experience are welcome to join our Fiddle Group.

To register for our 2022/23 season (see schedule below) please fill out our online form, under “Registration”. For any enquiries, contact us by email at

If you have children who are under 10 but who would like to learn a string instrument please also contact us, as we may be able to help.

What We Offer

String clinics: For the 2022/23 season ARYO will offer two group classes of string instruction (the “clinics”), one for beginner violin/viola and cello, and a second level clinic for the same instruments. Registration in the string clinics includes participation in the Introductory Orchestra, which is a separate session teaching the basic techniques of string orchestra playing, through simple and attractive pieces. If you play double bass and would like to join one of our ensembles, we have a half-size double bass available to be played on site, at rehearsals and concerts.

The ARYO Orchestra: is for more advanced students. These students would generally be taking private lessons, though this is not a requirement. A half hour of Fiddle Group is included for any interested ARYO Orchestra members as an extension of their rehearsal time.

Fiddle group: is for students ages 10 and up, adults included, who are already comfortable with the instrument and have some ease of playing, particularly in a group setting. Fiddle instruction is based on learning traditional Nova Scotia fiddle tunes together. Fiddle group is also open to the participation of people playing other fiddle-friendly instruments: mandolin, guitar…

*There is a possibility of movement between levels over the course of a year, if a student’s progress makes this desirable.

Music Festival: at the discretion of the instructors, selected groups may be offered the opportunity of participating in the Annapolis Valley Music Festival, which takes place the first week of May. In order to prepare for this, participating students would continue to come to rehearsals in the Tuesday time slot throughout April (at no additional cost).

Schedule for 2022/23 (starting Thursday Sept. 15th:

3:30-4:30 Beginner Instrument Clinics (violin/viola/cello)

Second Level Mixed Instrument Clinic (violin/viola/cello)

4:30-5:30 Introductory Orchestra

4:30-6:00 ARYO Orchestra

5:30-6:30 Fiddle Group

(Double bass instruction—please enquire)

Other possible offers:

Individual lessons: In the future, if registration is sufficient, we may be able to offer individual/small group lessons through the ARYO portal as an alternative to the larger group clinics. If you think this option might interest you, please contact us.

Younger children: the minimum age for participation in our program is 10 years, although younger children who are experienced players may be accepted. However if you are interested in instruction for young beginners you may still contact us, as we would like to know what the demand for this might be and can refer you to other programs.

Adults: Although the Acadia Regional Youth Orchestra does not currently offer instruction to adult string players outside of our Fiddle Group, adult string players with 2 or more years of playing experience are welcome to contact us in order to connect with other adult players in small (self-guided) chamber groups.  These groups would not be offered as part of the ARYO program, and would need to be entirely self-organized, but we would be happy to help interested string players connect in this way.


The ARYO instruction and orchestral program fee for 2022/23 is $200 per student (20 instruction weeks per year, September-April), with a family rate if more than one child from the same family is enrolled, as follows:

1st family member: full program fee $200

2nd family member: 10% reduction $180

3rd and more family members: 20% reduction $160

Per term payment is also possible at $110 per term (family rate still applies)

Acadia students special rate: $25 per term.

The Fiddle Group fee is $125 per year (or per term $67.50).

Special Note: ARYO Board members receive a free registration in exchange for their participation. We welcome applications to the board and you can find a description of ARYO board member roles on the “About Us” page.

Rentals: ARYO participants may rent instruments from ARYO for the duration of the program at a preferred rate of only $100 for violins and violas, or $150 for cellos, plus $50 security deposit. Instrument rental may be continued through the summer for an additional cost of $50. Our half-size double bass is available for use on site but cannot be rented.

If you require a payment plan, please contact us.

Join Us!

We really hope you will consider joining us at ARYO!  We are very grateful to families and instructors for the enthusiastic support which allowed us to keep the orchestra program running through the pandemic, and we are looking forward to continuing our mission of offering the opportunity to learn string instruments and to play in string and full orchestra to as many students in the Annapolis Valley region as possible.

You are welcome to contact us with any questions or for more information at

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