Grantee Spotlight: Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras

Comprising three orchestras and a wind ensemble, Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras (GBYO) – a grantee of the Community Foundation – brings together “likeminded young musicians from all over Colorado,” says Executive Director Brian Jack. “They take time out of their extremely busy schedules to attend weekly rehearsals.”

Since 2010, GBYO offers its young participants a range of learning and performance opportunities – from working with outstanding conductors and mentors to classes in theory and composition, a chamber music program, a concerto competition, concerts at Macky Auditorium, and more.
“It all starts with auditions,” explains Brian. “We take musicianship and technical proficiency into consideration, and students are placed by skill level – not their grade level or their age.”
GBYO reaches some 140 kids every year, ages 6 to 18. The GBYO Symphony features the most advanced string, winds, brass, and percussion players; whereas the GBYO Sinfonia is an entry-level string orchestra. The GBYO Philharmonic is a full orchestra of young musicians; and the GBYO Wind Ensemble is made up of musicians from both the Symphony and Philharmonic. 
In support of school music programs, all GBYO students also participate in the parallel music ensemble at their schools.
“Through collaborations with the Boulder Philharmonic, guest musicians and others, we provide a variety of ways for young musicians to deepen their musical skills and passions, to engage the community through performances of the highest possible artistic level, and to make friends and hone their life skills,” says Brian, also pointing out that some GBYO kids attend schools where there’s no music program. Still others are homeschooled and therefore perhaps even more motivated to make music with their peers, including performances of significant orchestral repertoire – think Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. 
“Regardless of socioeconomic background, we aim to nurture and cultivate the talents of each of our students,” continues Brian. “It’s likely that we have a musical home for any students who’s interested.” Indeed, GBYO has provided dozens of students with financial assistance, some of whom have gone on to study music in college. 
“We’re so proud when we see our kids in the real world,” concludes Brian. “Some GBYO members are now in the Boulder Phil, some perform professionally throughout Colorado, and some are mentors to our students.
“But regardless of what our students do in college, or in their careers – hopefully, what we do has a lifelong impact. GYBO connects the next generation of the arts community with the current generation.”
Student tuition and ticket sales cover less than half of GBYO costs; the rest comes from grants and donations. Coming up on March 17, “An Evening of Concertos” – a fundraiser house concert (space is limited) – will feature GBYO students Morgan Lane, violin; Valerie Xin, violin; and Clare Freeseman, violin. On April 20, SCORE – an interactive fundraiser – will feature a composer working with both GBYO students and audience members to create and perform a new piece of music in real-time. Get your tickets here.

Grantee Spotlight Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras

Grantee Spotlight Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras

GBYO string players of all ages perform “Cicero’s Dream,” a world premiere by Daniel Kellogg. November 5, 2018.