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. 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 is our main orchestra. It is a full symphonic orchestra consisting of around 100 musicians. Rehearsals are held
Saturdays 9:00-12:00 AM.
Berkeley Youth Preparatory Orchestra (BYPO) is meant for musicians who are on the cusp of being ready for the full orchestra. BYPO musicians receive instruction from our Artists in Residence. As students as they advance they will be invited to join the full BYO rehearsal. But even before that happens BYPO members still participate in all BYO performances. Rehearsals are held on BYO scheduled Saturdays from 9:00-10:30 AM.
Berkeley Youth Chamber Orchestra is a small orchestra consisting of our more 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 as this inspires 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 in front of the orchestra.
It's a great learning experience to just participate in this competition and receive coaching from the artists in residence and our artistic director. It's of course an even greater experience to perform in front of the full orchestra.