Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $10,000

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 expanding the program to serve more children and to introduce violas and basses for additional learning and for expanded opportunities for summer learning. As part of the expansion, GTCYS will also support its Harmony alumni to join its entry level Philharmonic East orchestra by providing free instruments, transportation, program tuition, and private lesson support. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, GTCYS has moved its Harmony lessons to Zoom sessions.