The Youth Orchestra of Bucks County (YOBC) offers students a challenging musical program to supplement their school music programs. We provide curriculum-based classical music training for students from ages 8-18 in string, wind, and symphonic ensembles. Since its founding in 1991, nearly 2,000 students have participated in YOBC. We offer approximately 25 weeks of rehearsals and at least two performances annually for all of our ensembles. The fall concert takes place in November and the spring concert usually takes place in April.
Placement auditions for current students are held in March or April of each year. Auditions for new students take place in May. A Concerto Competition is open to all sophomores and juniors in our Advanced Division.
In addition to our weekly program, YOBC offers students opportunities for peer mentoring, a chance to meet other kids who love music, chamber ensembles, advanced performing opportunities, and professionally run master classes for all instrumental groups.
Special events in past seasons included a master class with cellist Jeffrey Solow of Temple University and a day-long event with the Washington Saxophone Quartet. The Washington Saxophone Quartet provided master classes for our Wind Ensemble students and presented an evening concert which included a side-by-side performance with our own outstanding saxophone section from the Wind Ensemble. The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia brings a string quintet to YOBC annually to conduct master classes and do a joint performance with our string players. Chris Brubeck led a master class for our Advanced Division on odd meters and rhythms. A jazz improvisation class was led by Jeffrey Baumeister of BCCC, and Jason DePue of the Philadelphia Orchestra led a master class in preparation for his solo with the YOBC Symphony Orchestra. Recently world-renowned fiddler Mark O'Connor offered workshops for YOBC strings culminating in a performance at the Trenton War Memorial. David Kim of the Philadelphia Orchestra led a master class in spring 2014 and soloed with the Symphony Orchestra. YOBC's Symphony Orchestra participated in a side-by-side rehearsal with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center in 2014.
We now offer Crossing Cultural Boundaries to bring in artists who take classical music beyond its traditional boundaries to explore new forms of music. At the 20th Anniversary Gala Concert in May 2011, YOBC was joined by Chris Brubeck and Triple Play for our inaugural concert in this series. In spring 2013 Grammy-award winning musician and composer Mark O'Connor led workshops and performed with all YOBC string players. In Spring 2016, singer-songwriter Mary Fahl joins YOBC for a Pops Concert in Doylestown.
Other special events include field trips (past trips have been to Washington, DC and New York City) and International Tours.
In an effort to make YOBC programs available to all qualified students, we also offer financial assistance and scholarships. For information on the Scholarships and other forms of assistance, see the links under Join YOBC.
After 24years serving the musical needs of Bucks County-area students we continue to grow and expand our programs and offerings. We celebrate our tradition of musical excellence in Bucks County.