Carolyn Sandquist, Conductor

The Symphonette (Debut) Orchestra was formed in 1998 to satisfy the needs of a growing number of young stringed instrument players. The Symphonette is a string orchestra of violins, violas, cellos, and basses.

Recent Repertoire

Fall 2023
– Puff (The Magic Dragon) by Yarrow & Lipton, arr. Cerulli
– William Tell by Rossini, arr. Isaac
– Londonderry Air, arr. Hermann
– El Toro by Brubaker

Topeka Youth Orchestras


The Symphonette is a beginning-level string orchestra for students who play violin, viola, cello, or bass. Students in this group should be able to read music up to 2 sharps or 2 flats and play their instrument on all four strings at a proficient level. In the Symphonette, students will learn to play more challenging music as an ensemble and also have the opportunity to work with Topeka area professionals.

Click Here for Audition Information!

Carolyn Sandquist

Director and Conductor

Carolyn Sandquist is a native Topekan. She received her Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Washburn University and was awarded the Highest Scholastic Average in Theta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota that year. As a graduating student of Washburn University, Carolyn earned the Music Department Academic Achievement and the Community Service Awards. Mrs. Sandquist has conducted the orchestras and taught Suzuki group classes for the Topeka String Project. Carolyn taught strings in USD 501 for 9 years including high school, middle school and elementary school levels. She also taught five years at Topeka Collegiate School.

Mrs. Sandquist created her own private studio teaching group and private lessons for violin, viola and cello using the Suzuki Method. Carolyn is a registered teacher of Suzuki Violin for books 1-7 and Suzuki Cello for books 1-5. Her students range in age from 3 years old to adult. Her students perform often in the Topeka community as well as recitals throughout the year. Many of her students play in the Topeka Youth Orchestras as well as their school orchestras. Many former students have gone on to excel in music and become music educators.

Mrs. Sandquist has played Viola, Cello, and Violin in the Topeka Symphony for over 30 years. She is the second violinist, founding member and manager of the Studio String Quartet and the Sandquist Family Quartet. Mrs. Sandquist is an active member in her church, and enjoys crocheting and traveling. Both of her sons are active in music and theatre. Mrs. Sandquist’s family received the Kansas Federation of Music Club Family of the Year, 2012.


Tuesdays from 5:45 PM to 6:45 PM
White Concert Hall Stage

Concert Schedule

Fall 2023 Rehearsal Dates: 9/5, 9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, (10/31 – NO REHEARSAL), 11/7, 11/14, 11/19
Dress Rehearsal: Sunday, Nov. 19, at White Concert Hall – time TBA
Concert: Sunday, Nov. 19, 3:00 PM, at White Concert Hall, Washburn University, 1700 SW Jewell Ave, Topeka 66621.
Wrap-up Rehearsal: TBA

Spring 2024 Rehearsal Dates: 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/5, (3/12 – NO REHEARSAL), 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/7
Dress Rehearsal: Sunday, Apr. 7, at White Concert Hall – time TBA
Concert: Sunday, Apr. 7, 3:00 PM, at White Concert Hall, Washburn University, 1700 SW Jewell Ave, Topeka 66621.
Wrap-up Rehearsal: TBA

**Students may not miss more than 2 rehearsals per concert cycle**


Due before the rehearsal on Jan. 16, 2024

Symphonette: $90/yr or $50/semester

After the audition and acceptance into one of the youth orchestras, use the link below to pay tuition.

Click Here for Tuition Payment!

Tuition fees help cover the costs of the Youth Orchestras program including music purchase and rental, facilities rental, and conductor salaries.