The Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras provide a variety of opportunities for young musicians to deepen their musical skills and passion and to engage the community through performances of the highest possible artistic level.
The Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras were created in June of 2010 by joining the Boulder Youth Symphony (established 1984) with the High Plains Youth Symphony. GBYO is the combination of the best of both previous organizations and the addition of new people and opportunities. The driving force behind the merger was to provide the students and community the best youth orchestra experience. We now reach more young musicians, take them to the next levels of musical artistry, serve a larger and more diverse community, help more families financially, support our colleagues, and produce better results in all endeavors. We have between 125 and 150 young musicians enrolled each year in our four large ensembles, and we have supported more than 70 young musicians with financial assistance since 2010, having dispersed more than $70,000 in assistance for tuition, private lessons, and instruments.
GBYO provides the opportunity to play in ensembles, an opportunity that does not otherwise exist for a number of our underserved students, and to rehearse and perform with outstanding professional conductors and mentors. The conductors, who work with the students at weekly rehearsals, are exceptional professionals in the fields of conducting, performing, and teaching. Usually, students of this age range can work with conductors of this caliber only once a year, as part of a festival orchestra like the All State Orchestra. Members of GBYO, however, work with such people every week.
Artistic Director Emily Bowman oversees four large ensembles (the Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic, and Sinfonia), and chamber music. Our ensembles are designed to meet the varied needs of young people, providing challenges and opportunities for growth.
What students have to say about GBYO:
"Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras has taught me so many things....GBYO has gotten me so far in not only the music world but outside of it too. For instance, it has improved my focus and patience by making me realize that if I want good things to come I need to be patient and work for them."
"I am very excited to be performing with GBYO and can not wait for my first rehearsal."
"I have been having a wonderful time at orchestra, and am really glad I joined. Playing under the baton of Mr. Lewis is one of the best orchestral experiences I've had, both for learning and becoming inspired to pursue greater musicianship."
"Working with Mr. Lewis last concert block was a huge pleasure; he opened my eyes to the depth, passion, and dedication that music requires. I am finding myself newly committed to this way of thinking and playing music.... Thank you for your time and wisdom."
"I was looking for an organization where I could participate in addition to my high school symphony. In exploring, I located several youth orchestras through the internet and my instructor. I am very impressed by the dynamics of the music recorded by the GBYO and see this as a great opportunity to grow in my music and musicianship. I would love to practice and perform with this orchestra."
"I researched local ensembles to play in because i am looking for a challenge that is outside of my school's ensembles. I found this website and once i listened to the recordings i was blown away and i emailed the director and he referred me to audition."
What the audience has to say about GBYO:
"I attended the GBYO concert last night and the groups were just amazing. I am really excited that my students get to participate in such a wonderful organization."
"That was exciting! What a WONDERFUL start for this orchestra!!!!!"
"I certainly enjoyed your marvelous concert yesterday evening, starting with the newest members and ending with the magnificent music of the Symphony. I congratulate you all for what you have accomplished, and wish you continued success with your wonderful musical groups."
"I am glad (my son) gets to play in an ensemble with such knowledgeable and accomplished conductors. This is really a great experience for him."
"...our guests and we were absolutely delighted by the concert. The musicians did such an amazing job, and the venue was inspiring. Really incredible and really fun! (My son) felt very special to be a part of it."
" Sunday night was great; I was so impressed. I knew they would all be good, but I didn't realize just how good."
"Sunday was the most amazing YO concert I have seen. Each group shone with a cohesive sound that probably even surprised them at times. Just awesome. The conductors did a fantastic job of preparing the kids."
"I am going to make a donation to GBYO today, because I value the opportunity you give to student musicians and specifically to thank you for the wonderful experience my son has had being a part of this organization. You and GBYO are doing good things for our community!"