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DC Youth Orchestra

Washington, DC

Services Offered

Amanda Lahr, Writer

Bittersweet Monthly

OVERVIEW // DCYOP opens the door to a world of classical music for kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience it, let alone benefit from expert training. 

Since 1960, the DC Youth Orchestra Program has fostered the musical development of over 50,000 youth. World-class instructors and conductors teach classes and provide musical direction, but more than that, they instill a love for music in the children who participate. 

In addition to the organization’s traditional orchestra and lessons, DCYOP partners with schools to support orchestra programs during and after school, including the Children’s Orchestra and PreOrchestra Project. Through partnership, these programs are offered at no cost to participating students.

DC Youth Orchestra Participants

DCYOP is one of the few programs providing high-quality musical training at a moderate cost. Multiple tuition and assistance programs ensure its youth orchestras remain affordable and school partnerships enable the organization to offer music education to students for free. This allows children from diverse backgrounds to experience the joy of learning and making music together.

It is the joy of music that stands out as you navigate the halls of DCYOP and meet its students, alumni, parents and faculty.

Executive Director Elizabeth Schurgin views the DCYO not as a singular or momentary experience, but rather a launching point: “When we start kids that are four and a half, I love walking into these classrooms and speculating where Ms. Hart’s violin class is going to go ten years from now, how their going to see the world through music.” 

Conductor with the DC Youth Orchestra Program

From its Children’s Orchestra to its Youth Orchestra, DCYOP harnesses the power of music to change lives. Through music, students gain confidence, creativity and a sense of community. They learn that through collaboration, they can achieve greatness. 

Text taken from the Original Story Written by Amanda Lahr