Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1942, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) is the largest youth orchestra training program in the United States. SYSO has enjoyed a prestigious reputation as a high caliber orchestra, counting many acclaimed professional musicians amongst its alumni, including three of the founding members of the Kronos Quartet. Having thrived under the musical leadership of Stephen Rogers Radcliffe for the last 12 seasons, SYSO will celebrate its 75<sup>th</sup> anniversary in 2018.
The organization serves nearly 2,000 diverse students each year and has extensive partnerships with local public schools with reduced lunch and free lunch programs serving low income and disadvantaged youth. With five orchestras, three summer music programs and innovative programming such as the Endangered Instruments and the Musical Pathways programs the organization provides a wide variety of opportunities for the youth it serves. A recent merger with the Seattle Conservatory of Music grooms and prepares youth who aspire to become professional musicians. By awarding over $300,000 in financial aid annually, SYSO ensures that every talented student from age 7 to 22 can participate in the right program for them, regardless of financial resources.
SYSO is a unique and extraordinarily multifaceted organization. It is similar to a private school with a diverse parent and student base; it is an arts organization with earned income from ticket sales from concerts, events and festivals; it is like a university with an extensive alumni and parent/grandparent network; and it is similar to a youth development organization with a focus on underserved populations.
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