D.C. Youth Orchestra celebrates 50 years

Posted on: September 2, 2010

In Thursday’s (9/2) Washington Post, Timothy Wilson writes, “The D.C. Youth Orchestra Program has operated for nearly a half-century at Coolidge High School in Northwest. Last month, the nonprofit music program moved a few miles south to Eastern High School in Northeast. The new location highlights some key changes to the program that has set a course for future expansion despite years of financial uncertainty. ‘It has been a very remarkable turnaround for the organization,’ said Ava Spece, executive director for the program. ‘It’s just a very vibrant and exciting time.’ The orchestra marked its 50th anniversary with a gala event and free concert Aug. 21 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall that featured conductors Marvin Hamlisch and Jesus Manuel Berard and founder Lyn McLain. More than 100 alumni performed for the event. … [Spece] said donations to the program have increased by more than 40 percent and enrollment has risen by 12 percent from last year. … The program has offered music classes and performance opportunities to about 50,000 children since its founding in 1960. About 70 percent of the 600 students who participate now are District residents.”

Posted September 2, 2010