Founded in 1924 by visionary violin teacher Mary V. Dodge, Portland Youth Philharmonic provides young musicians in Portland OR with a challenging opportunity to explore their creativity while receiving the highest quality musical education. The nation’s first youth orchestra, PYP has produced consistently inspiring performances and upheld a tradition of excellence since its first public concert in February 1925. Alumni of this organization can be found around the world in professional orchestras, teaching music at every level, and promoting music education as an important life skill that benefits individuals in any career path.
Today, our organization is comprised of four large and two small performing groups, open by audition to young players, ages 9-23. Ensembles include: Portland Youth Philharmonic and Camerata PYP chamber orchestra conducted by Musical Director David Hattner; Conservatory Orchestra led by Lawrence Johnson; Wind Ensemble directed by Giancarlo Castro D’Addona; String Ensemble conducted by Inés Voglar Belgique; and Percussion Ensemble coached by Gordon Rencher. All PYP musicians receive regular coaching from Oregon Symphony musicians and weekly music theory lessons led by local composer, violist, and PYP alumnus Kenji Bunch. Need-based tuition assistance is available to every musician who passes an audition.PYP offers many free and low-cost community programs serving thousands of students annually. PYP’s free Children’s Concerts introduce orchestral music to elementary and middle school students, the Peer Mentor program pairs veteran PYP musicians with regional beginners for private lessons, and PYP’s Middle School Coaching Project selects professional teaching artists to partner with band directors at middle schools in under-resourced communities to provide small group coaching for students needing extra help. Learn more about PYP’s programs and upcoming events at www.portlandyouthphil.org