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El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras

El Paso, Texas

Cause Description:
The mission of the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras (EPSYOs) is to provide a challenging yet supportive environment where young musicians in the Greater El Paso Region can advance their musical studies and achieve the highest level of artistic and personal growth regardless of financial need. Through advanced training, performance opportunities, mentorships, and a unique relationship with the El Paso Symphony, the EPSYOs is committed to helping students develop key life skills and memorable experiences. EPSYOs is funded by student tuition and the support and donations from the community and foundations who believe in its mission and wish to help young music students nurture and expand their talent and education. Support for this project not only provides children from low-income households with the finances needed to participate, but provides them with long-term skills that draw them to and enable them to excel in higher education, thus breaking the cycle of poverty. College education is a very real and tangible outcome of this program. 100% of all high school seniors for the full 8 years since this program’s inception have gone on to attend colleges throughout the United States. Many of whom would never of had the opportunity or skills had they not be offered financial scholarships to participate in EPSYOs. Most of those headed to college are not pursuing a degree in music, but almost all contribute their experience and skills gained through EPSYOs as their driving force to pursue a higher education. Funding provided primarily through donations allows EPSYOs to continue its policy of never denying a single student who wants to participate the opportunity to do so due to household financial need. Funding will also provide support for expenses incurred for the four (4) annual concerts presented by the students. The El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras was created to fill the needs of our region’s young musicians who otherwise would not have the opportunity to connect, interact and learn with other young musicians like themselves. Other than seasonal school performances, there was no outlet for their creative nature and no way to nurture and further their artistic abilities and talents. EPSYOs works to address the needs of students who desire to further their musical talents and enrich their lives (and the lives of their families) through education, exposure to professional musicians and performing in premier venues. Also included are a variety of free clinics, master classes, performance opportunities and a newly formed summer camp. The El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras (EPSYOs) is a program of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra that involves over 260 young musicians from the greater El Paso, Juarez, Mexico and southern New Mexico region. It consists of four programs (orchestras) that nurture students at all stages of their musical development. • The El Paso Youth Orchestra (EPYO) is a full symphony orchestra for the most advanced string, wind, brass and percussion players 8th grade through College Undergraduate; • The El Paso Youth Symphony (EPYS) is a full symphony orchestra for intermediate string, wind brass and percussion players 5th grade through 12th grade (ages 12-18); • The El Paso Youth String Ensemble (EPYSE) is a strings-only ensemble for players 2nd through 12th grade with limited orchestral experience (ages 8-18); • El Paso Youth String Philharmonic (EPYSP) is a strings only ensemble for players 2nd through 7th grade with limited instrumental experience who wish to improve their technical and musical command through small group lessons to accelerate and supplement what is being learned in the school programs.

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