MYO is an independent, non-profit organization founded as the Brunswick Regional Youth Orchestra in 1972 with an initial grant from the Maine State Commission for the Arts and Humanities and the help of the late Professor Beckwith of Bowdoin College. The orchestra was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1974. For 48 years, area students have benefited from the conducting skills of Robert Hudson, Lucina Stevens, Ben and Kathleen Clinesmith, Laura Perkins, Paul Ross, and Ben David Richmond.
We are proud to have had students go on to attend music schools such as Juilliard, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University School of Music, and Oberlin. We are equally proud of those students who make music a part of a greater educational experience and go on to study Art, Engineering, and Education, to name a few.
The Maine Youth Orchestra is composed primarily of high-school students, although talented musicians as young as 11 have performed with MYO. MYO gives young musicians the unique experience of performing with a full orchestra – that is, one that includes strings, brass and woodwinds and percussion. MYO musicians are committed to studying orchestra literature at an intermediate to advanced level.
Seats in the orchestra are by audition. Auditions are held each fall and spring, and occasionally by special arrangement mid-year. More than 30 students currently play in the orchestra and perform in two formal concerts a year. Students who wish to commit to additional practices may have the opportunity to perform in select chamber ensembles. These ensembles perform at community events, and provide both a wonderful experience for the young musicians and valuable community outreach.
The orchestra accepts members based on their musical ability only, without regard to sex, race, religion, disability, or national origin.
MYO is a nonprofit organization. The orchestra continues to be open by audition to all young musicians from southern and mid-coast Maine, as well as surrounding communities.
We are unique among youth orchestras in Maine in offering our students the opportunity to play at many outreach concerts, as well as formal concerts. Small group ensembles offer pre-professional experience to our advanced musicians. Graduating seniors are offered the opportunity to play a solo concerto at our formal May concert.
MYO is supported by a combination of tuition, grants and donations.