BYO is both a welcoming, nurturing community and a professionally-run, full symphony youth 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. We offer preparatory work for the youngest (BYPO) and an advanced chamber orchestra (BYCO) with Concerto performance opportunity for the most skilled. Our mid-season concert features all musicians in chamber ensembles coached by our Artists in Residence.
Berkeley Youth Orchestra (BYO) is our main orchestra. It is a full symphonic orchestra consisting of between 90-100 musicians. Rehearsals are held Saturdays from
Berkeley Youth Preparatory Orchestra (BYPO) is for young musicians who are on the cusp of being ready for the full orchestra. BYPO musicians receive instruction from our Artists in Residence, and as the musicians grow their skill they will be invited to join the full BYO rehearsal. BYPO members participate in all BYO performances. Rehearsals are held on BYO scheduled Saturdays from 9:00-10:30 AM.
Berkeley Youth Chamber Orchestra (BYCO) is a small orchestra consisting of our most advanced members. Membership is by invitation only. Rehearsals are held on BYO scheduled Saturdays from 8:00-9:00 AM.
BYO is pleased to offer a chamber music experience as an integral part of its program, inspiring the orchestra members to achieve a higher level of musical growth and responsibility. Each member is assigned to a small group of chamber players with compatible skill levels. The ensembles are given chamber music at the appropriate level and are coached by professional musicians during the usual rehearsal time. Our mid-season concert showcases their efforts.
Each year we hold a concerto competition where musicians vie for the opportunity to perform a concerto of their choice accompanied by the full orchestra.
Competing and receiving coaching from the Artists in Residence and our Artistic Director is a thrilling experience for young musicians. Being selected for this honor is the highlight of the year for the deserving and talented young musician.