Youth Chamber Orchestra
Temple University Music Preparatory Division is the non-credit outreach and extension of Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. As a division of the Boyer College, Music Prep is uniquely able to offer students direct access to both the expertise of Temple University and the leading teaching artists of Philadelphia’s outstanding performing organizations.
Music Prep’s mission is to provide high quality, non-credit music and dance instruction and related activities to the Philadelphia Community on behalf of the Boyer College of Music and Dance, and Temple University at-large. Featuring a broad spectrum of offerings, we seek to provide access, excellence and equity in lifelong arts learning. Music Prep also serves as a significant point of access for the Boyer College and Temple University to impact and interact with the community. The organization provides all services with Access/Equity/Excellence as a guiding principle.
Designed for the Philadelphia region’s most talented young students, ages 7 to 17, Music Prep’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians was founded in 1986 with 25 string players in the Youth Chamber Orchestra (YCO) under Maestro Luis Biava’s direction. Over the years the Center for Gifted Young Musicians has developed to embrace the training of more than 110 gifted young instrumentalists annually, in a program that includes 3 chamber orchestras, 20 small chamber ensembles, and a large harp ensemble all coached or led by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and leading Philadelphia professionals. The Center showcases all of these talented students each year in a winter concert series and in the spring through the “Festival of Young Musicians,” a multiple-concert series.
The Youth Chamber Orchestra, (directed by Aaron Picht since 2013 upon Maestro Biava’s retirement), is Philadelphia’s premier string ensemble program for youth. Many YCO alumni currently enjoy successful professional careers as soloists or as members of major symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles. The YCO has traveled and performed in Puerto Rico and Reykjavik, Iceland as well as throughout the Philadelphia region. Twenty four members of the YCO (ages 13-19) will perform chamber music and orchestra concerts in Iceland on June 14th – 17th 2019. They will also collaborate with members of the Tónskóli Sigursveins string orchestra in a joint concert at Seltjarnarneskirkja on June 16th. The YCO enjoys an ongoing orchestra exchange with Tónskóli Sigursveins now visiting Iceland for the third time. The mission of this program is to celebrate the unifying power of music and friendship among youth and all people.