Welcome to the

Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras

The premier youth orchestra experience of Boulder and beyond



Audition for the tremendous 2018-2019 season of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras!

Work with violin superstar Midori, excellent conductors, a team of mentors, and like-minded young musicians! Join us for concerts at Macky Auditorium, chamber music, a concerto competition, a house concert, SCORE, and more. With three orchestras and a wind ensemble, GBYO has been a home for young musicians ages 6-21!

  • all ages, all instruments, all levels
  • Auditions August 17-19

GBYO night at

The Colorado Music Festival

Enjoy the Colorado Music Festival's Fresh Friday concert featuring Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” and John Adams' Doctor Atomic Symphony.

Join us for pizza afterward!

GBYO students can use their passes to attend for free, and friends and family may receive an additional 50% discount with the code GBYO18 at the box office.

RSVP here so we know how much pizza to order.

Fresh Fridays: A concert experience – remixed. Start at 6:30 pm with an hour-long (intermission free) concert, and still have time to go out for post-concert dinner and drinks – the night is still young. A great date night or fun for the entire family!

All GBYO members have the extraordinary opportunity to attend six Colorado Music Festival concerts for free!

  • Friday July 27
  • 6:30-7:30pm performance
  • Chautauqua Auditorium
  • Click here for tickets.
  • Click here to RSVP for pizza and a shirt.


Why do you love GBYO?

We asked our students why they love GBYO and this is the response we got!

Music taken from live GBYO performances. Video made by GBYO students.

Gary Lewis, conductor

Violinist Midori

GBYO Appoint Symphony Conductor

Gary Lewis

We are pleased to announce the appointment of esteemed conductor Gary Lewis as Symphony Conductor beginning Fall 2018.

Professor Lewis, Chair of Conducting Studies and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, played an important role in the creation of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras in 2010 and was the founding Artistic Director.

A highly sought after educator and clinician, Mr. Lewis has conducted many All-State Orchestras, the Honor Orchestra of America, and the American String Teachers Association National High School Honor Orchestra. In addition to his work at CU, he is the Music Director of the Midland­ Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic.

The coming year will be highlighted by the rare opportunity to participate in a week-long residency with acclaimed violinist and pedagogue Midori. The week will conclude with a performance with Midori on November 5th at Macky Auditorium. Midori will also perform with the Boulder Philharmonic and engage the Boulder community with many activities during her residency. A new work by composer Daniel Kellogg will receive its world premiere by GBYO on the culminating concert.

Click here to read more about Professor Lewis, Midori, and the 2018-2019 season.

Audition for GBYO!

Benefits of joining GBYO include:
  • Rehearsals. More than two dozen rehearsals throughout the school year conducted by professionals, during which students learn the finer points and collaborative nature of preparing ensemble music for performance.
  • New friends. Join like-minded excellent young musicians from across Colorado, encompassing approximately 45 different schools.
  • Outstanding conductors. Motivating, challenging, award winning, knowledgeable, in demand, inspiring… GBYO conductors are awesome! Young musicians typically have the opportunity to work with such conductors once or twice a year at a brief festival like All State. GBYO musicians work with these conductors each week!
  • Mentors. Outstanding professional musicians and graduate students work with GBYO students weekly. Read more.
  • Performances in a large ensemble. GBYO has three orchestras and a wind ensemble.
  • Performing works by master composers. Past performances have included works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Bach, Gershwin, Copland, and so many more.
  • Performing world premieres. GBYO ensembles have premiered several new works.
  • Performing in concert halls like Macky Auditorium (or maybe even the Kennedy Center!).
  • Chamber music. Hone your skills in musicianship, leadership, and teamwork.
  • Community. Connect with many people from throughout Colorado. Perform in the community, outside of the concert hall.
  • Mini retreat. Each ensemble gets together for a special afternoon beyond the usual rehearsal time.
  • Collaborations. GBYO collaborates with oustanding professional groups like the Boulder Philharmonic and Colorado Music Festival.
  • Guest musicians. Musicians from professional orchestras like Colorado Ballet, Boulder Bach Festival, and universities often work with GBYO ensembles.
  • Masterclass opportunities. GBYO musicians have performed in masterclasses with musicians like Maureen Murchie, Takacs String Quartet, Brook Ferguson, Augustin Hadelich, Vadim Repin, and more.
  • Life skills. Participation in instrumental music results in profound and lasting positive change in behavior, as evidenced in much scientific research: music students have an easier time staying focused, learning new languages, and thinking abstractly, and have higher level cognitive processes. GBYO rehearsals fully engage students; the skills learned in practicing and preparing carry over to school and all areas of life, and our members use these skills to boost achievement.
  • Opportunities. GBYO students are better prepared for other prestigious opportunities, and have participated in programs like All State Orchestra, Interlochen, and Tanglewood. GBYO graduates have gone on to study music at leading institutions like Juilliard, University of Michigan, and Eastman.



GBYO is a non-profit organization and relies on the support of donors.

Your support makes a positive difference in the lives of gifted young musicians and the community they serve.

GBYO at the

Kennedy Center

The GBYO Wind Ensemble and Symphony Strings performed at the Kennedy Center!

Tuesday March 28, 2017, at 6pm, the young musicians of GBYO performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center during the SHIFT Festival. The Boulder Philharmonic has been specially selected for the this innaugural festival, and they invited GBYO!

We toured monuments and museums, saw the cherry blossoms in bloom around the Jefferson Memorial, met with Representative Jared Polis, toured the Capitol Building, sat in the Senate gallery, got a behind the scenes tour at the Library of Congress including the Stradivarius collection, and of course performed at the Lincoln Memorial and Kennedy Center!

Meet our team

Read more about the GBYO team

Three orchestras and a wind ensemble

Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic, Sinfonia

GBYO Symphony

The most advanced strings, winds, brass, and percussion. Conducted by Gary Lewis.

GBYO Wind Ensemble

Winds, brass, and percussion from both the Symphony and Philharmonic. Conudcted by Dr. Erik Johnson.

GBYO Philharmonic

Full orchestra of strings, winds, brass, and percussion. Conducted by Emily Bowman.

GBYO Sinfonia

Entry level string orchestra. Conducted by Paul Rowinski.

Some of our Supporters

GBYO is a non-profit organization and relies on the support of donors.

Student tuition and ticket sales cover less than half of the costs
of this organization; the rest comes from donations and grants.

GBYO has supported dozens of students with financial assistance,
some of whom have gone to study music in college.

Listen to GBYO

Recordings taken from live performances

What students and parents have to say about GBYO

Leave your own feedback

Contact GBYO

Contact Executive Director Dr. Jack via: