Mission & History
AYPO is a youth orchestra program that strives to provide excellent instruction to the next generation of music leaders and educators in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Students receive training from esteemed coaches and conductors during our Monday night rehearsals, perform in small ensembles for master classes in our Chamber Ensemble Program, and give back to the music community by participating in the Music Buddies Mentorship Program.
AYPO is proud to be in its 54th season of educating young musicians and giving them the opportunity to engage and learn through classical music.
Recognized as one of the leading orchestral training programs in the nation, AYPO provides competitive world-class training and performance opportunities for musicians up to 21 years of age. With a nationally recognized artistic staff, a dedicated professional staff, and a host of volunteers, AYPO annually selects and trains more than 400 of the area’s most talented young musicians. AYPO delivers programs of the highest caliber throughout the Washington metropolitan region, earning an unrivaled reputation for excellence and distinction. AYPO has represented youth in the arts through performances at Strathmore, the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the National Orchestral Festival, the International Rachmaninoff Festival (Novgorod, Russia), the Aberdeen International Youth Festival (Scotland), the British Festival of Youth Orchestras, the Festival of Youth Orchestras (Chicago and Washington, D.C.), and the Spoleto Festival (South Carolina).
Consisting of five separate ensembles — the Debut Orchestra, String Ensemble, Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, and Philharmonic — AYPO provides talented young people an opportunity to perform in one of the nation’s premier youth orchestra programs. Each of the orchestras rehearse on Monday evenings from September through May, and prepares at least three programs of repertoire for performance. Musicians also have the opportunity to participate in Brass Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Harp Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, Clarinet Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble Program, Junior Chamber Ensemble Program, and become mentors in the Music Buddies Mentorship Program.
Through the orchestras and ensembles, young people with a common interest, commitment, and discipline work together to achieve harmony and excellence. In concert, these young musicians share their remarkable achievement and appreciation for classical music with the community.