History and Mission

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Our History

Founded in 2002, the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra organization provides talented young musicians in the regional Connecticut and New York areas with exceptional learning and performance opportunities, while fostering an awareness and appreciation of the enjoyment and power of music. Twenty-five young musicians were selected as members of the inaugural youth orchestra, then called the Ridgefield Symphony Youth Orchestra, which began weekly rehearsals in January 2003.  In the fall of 2005, the program grew to include a String Ensemble which allowed the organization to reach and nurture a broader range of musical talents and abilities. In August 2008, as part of our goal to establish greater recognition of the organization’s regional focus, we changed our name to the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra.  In 2010, the WCYO added a Wind Ensemble to our program offerings.  Together the Symphony Orchestra, String Ensemble and Wind Ensemble consist of nearly one hundred musicians ages ten to eighteen.  Dedicated musicians are encouraged to audition for a position in a WCYO ensemble.  Acceptance into the WCYO is by audition only.  (See Audition tab.)

Our Mission

The mission of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra is to educate and inspire young musicians through the study and performance of classical and contemporary musical works, participation in enrichment activities, and engagement with the community.

Our program provides an opportunity to develop artistry and technique, as well as a profound understanding and appreciation of instrumental music. Our members are challenged not only to perform at the highest level, but also to build character, creativity and self-esteem, with music as their guide.