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Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras

The Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras need your help to serve Colorado's finest young musicians. We provide unique and high quality programs for student musicians of all ages.

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Rehearsals and concerts

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Families
General Public
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

GBYO consists of four large ensembles (the Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic, and Sinfonia) and a chamber music program. The ensembles are conducted by Gary Lewis, Erik Johnson, Emily Bowman, and Paul Rowinski.

Excellence in individual musicianship and ensemble performance are major goals of GBYO and are supported in all of our programs and activities. At the heart of GBYO's general operations are the rehearsals, conducted by professionals. During these rehearsals students learn the finer points and collaborative nature of preparing ensemble music for performance. Rehearsals occur throughout the school year with three sets of concerts held at Macky Auditorium, Boulder's premier concert hall. Other activities throughout the year include sectionals, seating auditions, and mini-retreats.

The conductors of the ensembles, who work with the students each week in rehearsals and sectionals, are outstanding professionals in the fields of conducting, performing, and teaching. A Mentor Program pairs GBYO students with professional musicians, CU graduate music majors, and undergraduate music education students. Musicians also have the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities such as master classes by local professionals and outreach performances in the community. Most of these programs do not exist elsewhere for a many of our students.

Students take the time out of their already-busy schedules to perform in our outstanding ensembles, work with our nationally and internationally sought-after artistic staff, and perform the music of masters such as Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, and Mozart. Approximately 140 students varying in age from 6 to 21 will participate in GBYO each season, affecting and enriching the lives of more than an estimated 1500 community members.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Many GBYO alumni are studying music performance and education in college!

Mentorship

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Families
General Public
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

Mentors are professionals and graduate students who partner with GBYO students for rehearsals, sectionals, seating auditions, retreats, and performances. Mentoring is a central component of our programs; students work closely with thoughtful, caring adults who develop close mentoring relationships with students who don't have this opportunity elsewhere. Mentors and guests play from the back of the sections, allowing the students to take the leadership positions.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Mentors perform with Colorado's leading orchestras including Boulder Philharmonic, Colorado Ballet, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Sphere Ensemble, and more!

GBYO Financial Assistance

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Families
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Single Parents

Description

The GBYO Financial Assistance Program provides need-based tuition assistance, musical instruments, private lessons, or in some cases, a package of all three for youth musicians. We seek to serve the most financially challenged youth who would otherwise be unable to participate in GBYO because of inability to pay for tuition, private lessons, or an instrument. Funds are directed for the neediest students, whose financial stability has been affected by health issues (mental disabilities), parents' joblessness, and a limited access to opportunities in music and music education. This program ensures that any interested, qualified student can participate in GBYO programs regardless of financial circumstances. We have distributed more than $70,000 in financial assistance for our students.
GBYO consists of students, conductors, mentors, administration, board members, and an audience from all walks of life coming together to make music. Our constituents have identified in many ways, including as gifted and talented, mentally challenged, gay, gender queer, racially diverse, of various religions and citizenships, and from a wide socioeconomic background. GBYO members range from 3rd grade through college, and all are needed and expected to be included, engaged participants in rehearsals and performances. We are proud that our programs serve as a focal point for such diverse people to work together towards common goals. In the history of GBYO and the organizations that preceded it, no deserving student has ever been turned away for lack of ability to pay.

Our Financial Assistance program has supported more than sixty young musicians. We have helped with the costs of tuition, private lessons, and acquiring instruments. Each year, we have helped returning students and, importantly, recruited new financial assistance students to GBYO. Some families have returned no longer needing financial support; some students who were able to continue in music thanks to our help have gone to college as music majors at highly respected schools such as the University of Colorado and the University of Michigan.

GBYO continues to become more diverse. 106 of our students responded to our optional and confidential survey this year: 55% self identified as white; the other 45% self identified as people of color: "Asian or South Asian" (25%), "Hispanic or Latino (any race)" (6%), "Multi-racial, multi-ethnic, or mixed heritage" (9%), or "Black, African American, Caribbean/African" (3%) and "Indigenous, American Indian, or Alaska Native" (2%). Twenty-three students self identified as gifted and talent, and three with a mental/cognitive disability. These statistics include only the students; when factoring in the mentors, board, and conductors, GBYO becomes even more diverse. We embrace diversity and continue to work with every student interested in joining GBYO, regardless of socio-economic background. We are pleased the diversity of GBYO reflects and augments the Boulder County trends report (which lists 27% as people of color), and we continue to remain open to more avenues of increasing diversity. A goal is for our board, staff, and students to reflect the community at large; we are currently achieving that goal.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Students supported by GBYO Financial Assistance have gone on to study music at impressive schools like the University of Colorado and University of Michigan!

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.