Record-breaking year for Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra

Press release from Asheville Symphony:

The Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) is proud to announce a groundbreaking achievement this year with a record number of student musicians. With 200 students enrolled and auditions ongoing for the fall season, the ASYO is poised to shatter the previous record of 180. This remarkable growth comes on the heels of a challenging period during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when ASYO saw its numbers temporarily dip to 86 students. This resurgence is a testament to the program’s resilience and the dedication of its students, educators, and supporters.

ASYO General Manager Cynthia Roop expressed her enthusiasm for the program’s growth, stating, “With our expansion and additional ensembles, we aim to provide greater access to students across Western North Carolina. Our curriculum is carefully designed to accommodate musicians at all stages of their development, offering them a place to learn, be challenged, and grow musically and personally among their peers.”

Roop says that in particular, she is proud of the ASYO’s ability to serve students across Western North Carolina. “This year, nearly 30% of our students receive scholarships so they can participate,” she said. “We are grateful to the parents for nurturing their children’s musical journey, to the teachers who have faith in our program and send students to develop their musicianship, and to our patrons who provide crucial financial support – especially Drs. Joanne and Tom Parker, whose transformational giving has enabled us to see the growth we are experiencing now. We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Asheville Symphony for their support of our mission and recognition of the importance of education within our larger organization.”

Founded with the mission to provide exceptional orchestral training and educational opportunities for young musicians in Western North Carolina, the ASYO has been dedicated to musical excellence since its inception. The program offers a diverse range of ensembles designed to cater to the unique educational journeys of its students. ASYO boasts an esteemed team of educators and musicians, who guide and inspire students through weekly ensemble work, sectionals, and masterclasses.

One of the ASYO’s distinctive features is its commitment to social and emotional learning, fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment where students can grow not only as musicians but also as individuals. The program goes beyond the stage with a calendar full of events, including gatherings, retreats, concerts, masterclasses, and social activities, all aimed at building community and inspiring the next generation of musicians.

What sets the ASYO apart is its emphasis on collaboration and exposure to the professional music scene. Through side-by-side concerts, young persons’ performances, and partnerships with the Asheville Symphony, ASYO students have the privilege of working alongside world-class musicians and artists. The program’s collaborations with local arts organizations, teachers, and schools ensure a comprehensive and diverse music education for its members.

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