Eight Ensembles. One Shared Love of Music.
GBYO – Music Education & Performance for all young musicians in Connecticut.
Young people achieve amazing things at GBYO. They develop their talents beyond what they thought possible and feel pride and joy in their accomplishments. The study of great music in an ensemble setting can be a transformative experience for young musicians, and GBYO’s mission is to provide that experience in a challenging, fun and nurturing environment.
Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras has been providing music education and performance opportunities to young musicians since 1961. Its developmentally progressive music program gives ensemble members the opportunity to play at the highest level both individually and collectively. Members are selected by competitive audition and come from 35 communities all over Connecticut. GBYO strives for diversity and inclusivity in a social environment that is both fun and musically challenging. GBYO exposes all of its members to all types of symphonic literature and enriches their musical education.
Saturday mornings, from September through mid-May, eight separate ensembles bring young people together for music, enjoyment, community and learning. Through rehearsals and formal performances, young musicians gain valuable experience and an important sense of achievement and self-confidence, while fostering lifelong friendships and a love of music. Rehearsals are held at Tomlinson Middle School in Fairfield unless indicated elsewhere. Occasionally, rehearsals are on Sunday afternoons.
At least three performances are held each year at the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport, CT.
Retreats and Social Outings:
In addition to rehearsals and performance, GBYO hosts a series of retreats and social outings. GBYO provides each ensemble with an annual retreat early in the season. All members are encouraged to attend their respective orchestra retreat. The purpose of the retreats is two-fold: A period of intense rehearsals, coupled with recreational activities, immensely improves the quality of future music performances. The social activities give students the chance to “bond” into a cohesive group with common interests and goals. Retreats are held off-site so that they feel special.
GBYO has commissioned and performed the world premieres of works by Chris Brubeck, Gwyneth Walker, David Isele, David Gilbert, Gary Gibson, and Paul McKibbins and Rex Cadwallader. The Walker composition has been published, and Brubeck’s Concerto for Trombone, written for GBYO, has been recorded by the London Symphony and performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra.
For a complete listing of schedules and performances, please visit here.
Outreach and Collaboration:
GBYO includes special programming to provide additional musical experiences for student musicians and the community. In 2018, the Jazz Ensemble headlined for Twiddle at Fairfield Theater Company and will play at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. Both performances were scheduled by direct invitation to GBYO. In March 2018, GBYO will once again collaborate with the Fairfield County Children’s Choir in a Kids4Kids performance at University of Bridgeport to benefit Mikey’s Way Foundation. Over 400 children will come together to create beautiful music for the community. For the 2016-17 season, GBYO collaborated with New England Ballet for a special performance of Peter & the Wolf. It was the first time in its 25-year history that NE Ballet danced to live music. In Dec. 2016, the GBYO Principal Orchestra appeared onstage with Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a special holiday performance of the concert version of La Boheme. Annually, GBYO plays a free lawn concert at the Pequot Library in Southport.
Every two years, GBYO offers an international summer performance opportunity to student musicians in Symphony and Principal Orchestras. GBYO has traveled to Germany, China, and Italy (2016). The next trip in summer 2018 will be to Scotland and Iceland!