Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $7,500

Located in St. Paul. Founded in 1972, GTCYS is a youth orchestra serving over 1,000 students in the Twin Cities. In 2016, in response to a request from parents in St. Paul’s West Side, GTCYS launched the Harmony program to serve youth with music opportunities not otherwise available to them. Harmony is offered as a before-school program in partnership with Riverside Elementary school – 77% of Riverside students qualify for free/reduced lunch, and 93% are students of color.

Grant supports the Harmony program offering high quality violin and cello instruction for 65 3rd-5th graders, its largest class since the pandemic started. The program moved to a weekly hour-long music lesson for each student offered on Saturdays in a nearby church, but now has resumed in-person classes at Riverview School. GTCYS will continue to support its Harmony alumni to join the entry level Philharmonic East orchestra by providing free instruments, transportation, program tuition, and private lesson support.