Golden State Youth Orchestra (GSYO) is distinguished by its unusually large and diverse number of ensembles, a creative structure that enables GSYO teachers to offer an enriching musical education to the widest possible range of youth. The young musicians of GSYO are culturally diverse and range from those at the beginning of their musical training to those ready to establish their creative careers as performing artists. All receive high-quality learning, performance and leadership opportunities.
More than 450 K-12 students from over 100 schools from San Francisco to Santa Cruz train and perform in five orchestras and two ensembles, led by the award-winning, internationally recognized Symphony Orchestra. Concerts, tours, retreats, summer workshops, masterclasses and music festivals form a vital part of the GSYO experience, creating opportunities for youth at all levels of musical experience to develop socially and artistically while participating in the Bay Area's foremost instrumental training and education program.
A vibrant repertoire challenges the young musicians to excel as ensemble and solo players. Annual performance series and tours meet critical acclaim and inspire local, national and international audiences. An ongoing program of performance and ticket outreach makes these programs accessible to a diverse community of underserved youth, families, and seniors.
An internationally recognized artistic faculty supports the young musicians, who also have opportunities to perform in collaboration with soloists of international stature. GSYO musicians receive mentoring and coaching from a distinguished roster of professional musicians and conductors dedicated to opening the world of orchestral music to the next generation.
Each season more than ten outstanding student concerto competition participants are awarded performances with GSYO orchestras.
GSYO offers scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need. In addition, the different ensembles participate in various outreach and educational programs designed to bring music to the community.
Young people are full of curiosity and if they enjoy the learning process, they will be happy, work harder, and perform better. It is also important to challenge young people and to raise the bar of their own expectations—always making sure that we help them to meet these. Their experience working in the ECYS should help them to grow as individuals, become disciplined and responsible, gain confidence, and build a life-long relationship with classical music.DR. JINDONG CAI