Beginning another season of partnership with Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies


For many years, the Twin Cities’ professional musicians have worked closely with the community’s youth orchestras. A few years ago, we expanded that collaboration by establishing an official partnership between the SPCO and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS). The alliance has not only helped us to share office space and other resources, but has led to some exciting artistic and audience development initiatives.

The partnership continued last season with GTCYS Night Out when a group of GTCYS students and their families attended an SPCO concert and met SPCO musicians. We also continued to co-produce the GTCYS Family Concert featuring kids performing for kids, plus the Chamber Music Institute which gave GTCYS students the opportunity to rehearse and perform chamber music with SPCO musicians. Finally, SPCO chamber ensembles visited GTCYS orchestras to share an inspirational and up-close performances – deepening the relationship between our professional and student musicians.

Erin Jude, our Director of Education and Community Engagement, wrote:

The SPCO’s partnership with GTCYS is a multi-dimensional partnership that adds deep layers of value to our institution. One of my favorite results of the partnership, however, is our ability to infuse GTCYS students into the production of our programs for kids. Last season, we co-presented a family concert that features the GTCYS Symphony Orchestra (kids performing for kids). We utilize GTCYS students as activity volunteers at our Start the Music concerts (kids helping kids) and this year we will begin having GTCYS students performing in our partnering CONNECT elementary schools (kids teaching kids). Children observing and working with older children is a powerful and engaging concept that we would not be achieving without this unique partnership.

Megen Balda, GTCYS Executive Director, wrote:

The SPCO-GTCYS partnership continues to be a win-win for both organizations. GTCYS’ young students are inspired by connecting with and listening to SPCO’s professional musicians through up close informances, the Chamber Music Institute, and the GTCYS Night Out SPCO concert. These activities have added incredible depth to our artistic and educational programs and provide unique opportunities for our young musicians. With a focus on audience development, our partnership has also increased the visibility of both organizations which has propelled even more interest in music education and classical music.

Find out more about Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies at