Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras

Youth Orchestras enrich lives


Youngsters from around the state will play for a spot in various ensembles.

WHEN: June 14, 2017. 3 pm – 9 pm

WHERE: Tomlinson MS, 200 Unquowa Rd., Fairfield, CT



Beth Ulman, Executive Director


Phone: (203) 209-4255

June 2017—Fairfield, Conn.— Playing in an orchestra is not just about musical ability or even dedication to craft. Playing in an orchestra is as much about teamwork and sportsmanship as any field, track, or water sport. And no one knows this better than the ensemble youth musicians of GBYO.

On Wednesday, June 14th, musical “athletes” from around the state are invited to compete for a spot in one of the ensembles of the prestigious Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras.

Drawing musical talent from over thirty towns across the state, GBYO has provided music education and enrichment to the young people of Connecticut for more than fifty-five years.

Featuring four orchestras and two specialty ensembles, GBYO offers musicians from 5th to 12 th grades the opportunity to play a wide variety of music from classical standards, little known pieces, jazz favorites, show tunes and even original music.

Music Director Chris Hisey is proud of the program GBYO offers musicians. “GBYO differs from other area youth orchestra programs because we offer a wide range of performance and educational opportunities for our students. The GBYO jazz band is the only ensemble of its kind in this area and our large wind ensemble is unique in a youth orchestra as well. Our string musicians are also given the opportunity to explore a wide range of music, from classical string orchestra music to high romantic and even pop and movie music from time to time.”

In February, GBYO musicians provided musical accompaniment to the New England Ballet Company’s production of Peter and The Wolf. It was the first time the company had danced to live music, and the first time a GBYO orchestra had played for live dancers. In December, the Principal Orchestra played in a side-by-side concert with Greater Bridgeport Symphony at The Klein. GBYO has played Carnegie Hall and performed concerts in China, Italy, and Austria. An international performance trip to Scotland and Iceland is planned for summer 2018.

Members of GBYO hail from counties across the state and as far away as Waterford and Plainfield.  But parents like Charlene Haukom, feel it’s all worth it:

“Participating in GBYO has been very beneficial for my daughter and well worth the travel. The sense of community is palpable, and the kids enjoy getting to know each other at the beginning of the year during retreats.  The level of dedication among the teachers, coaches, and staff is amazing. I highly recommend this group!”

Not only are GBYO students accomplished musicians, many are high-achieving scholars and contributors to their communities. 100% of students for the past several years have gone on to college, with a majority focusing on science and technology, and many pursuing musical studies as majors and minors. An informal poll of Principal Orchestra this year showed standardized test scores far above the average of state and national statistics.

Dr. Rex Cadwallader, Director of Music at Greens Farms Academy and GBYO Jaz Ensemble Director comments about the skills GBYO musicians bring back to their schools. “We’ve found that GBYO is a wonderful opportunity for our students to expand their musical horizons. In GBYO they discover a whole new set of musical experiences with students from other schools who are as committed to music as they are themselves. Invariably, students who play in GBYO are our section leaders and soloists and tend to have greater musical sophistication. We teachers encourage all of our students to consider GBYO.”

New students interested in auditioning for placement in GBYO beginning in the Fall of 2017 are encouraged to audition on June 14th. Audition slots are between 3 and 9 pm and every effort will be made to accommodate travel distance and personal schedules. Additional auditions will be offered the last week in August.

To apply, please fill out the application form on the GBYO website, found here:


Posted in Announcements, Blog on June 7, 2017.