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About BYO

Berkeley Youth Orchestra is a 100-strong youth symphony orchestra with a 50-year tradition of nurturing dedicated young musicians, often in their first full-symphony experience.

All BYO musicians, ages 8-18, are led by Artistic Director and Conductor, Jay Lehmann, and rehearse and perform at the Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center in Laney College on Saturday mornings. Two sub-orchestras offer enhanced training: preparatory work through BYPO and advanced experience through BYCO.

 

Three seasonal concerts feature professional-standard orchestral repertoire from a variety of genres. Programs include a full season of chamber music and a Concerto competition. 

BYO is both a welcoming, nurturing community and a professionally-run full symphony orchestra. We walk musicians new to the experience through a professional process. They grow as both musicians and young people, mastering professional repertoire while receiving sectional coaching. They step into the skills and dedication necessary to create a professional performance. 

Fundraisers and volunteer participation enable BYO to keep costs low while offering supportive resources, a high quality musical experience, and scholarships.