The button below is for young musicians who already had an audition and were accepted, and for returning members!

About BYO

BYO is a full symphonic orchestra whose mission is to foster the musical abilities and personal growth of dedicated young musicians in grades 5-12 throughout the greater Bay Area by providing a nurturing environment and the highest quality opportunities in both rehearsal and performance in an orchestra setting.

Artists-in-Residence Program

Berkeley Youth Orchestra is proud to offer the skills of our “Artist in Residence” String Quartet. Through instruction and professional “modeling” the BYO String Quartet elevates the support for each member of the orchestra to a very high level.

Our quartet will demonstrate the repertoire for each concert to students and will literally sit in with sections to assist students with the mastery of parts. Members of the string quartet will get to know the members of their section and individualize instruction every week. They will bow the music, perform the music, be positive role models, coach the ensembles, and be available to meet individual student needs.

Every orchestra’s dream is to have a professional quartet at the ready to demonstrate, teach, and encourage its members. Come join us for an exciting journey toward outstanding musicianship and a 50th anniversary celebration that will be unmatched by any other local youth organization.

Orchestral Program

It is a BYO tradition to perform music selected from standard orchestral repertoire. All rehearsals are conducted in a fully professional manner. BYO members have enjoyed performing side by side with BYO alumni and members of other youth orchestras. Musicians have received coaching sessions from SF Opera and Ballet orchestra members and other Bay Area professional musicians. Repertoire is selected to present technical and musical challenges to students on all instruments, to represent the various historical periods, styles, and genres of orchestral music, and to serve as the basis for discussion. Handouts and brief lectures address topics such as: key signature and corresponding major and minor scales; motivic and thematic development; phrasing and articulation; formal structure; biographical information on composers, including dates, education, major influences and important works; and parallel or corresponding movements in other art forms, such as painting, sculpture, and literature.

Chamber Music Program

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, based on compatible skill levels. The ensembles are given chamber music at the appropriate level, and are coached by professional musicians during the regular Saturday rehearsals.