Community OutreachIn addition to making musical training available for young people, the BSYO enriches the community by encouraging a greater understanding of and participation in music.
Each season the BSYO invites more than 70 special needs children and adults to attend our concerts free-of-charge. Guests participate in pre-concert instrument “petting zoos” run by BSYO students during which they can play several orchestral instruments and ask questions of the musicians. Guests are often treated to impromptu performances by BSYO students, chat with our Artistic Director, and receive T-shirts and educational goody bags. Guests have included Crosswinds Youth Services, Bridges for the developmentally disabled, New Beginnings prison ministry, College Internship Program for people with autistic spectrum disorders and Club Esteem, an after school program for at-risk children. We also reach out to senior populations, including those with Alzheimer’s, to attend our concerts, as well as organize small performances at senior centers and retirement homes.
If you are an organization interested in participating in this program, please contact Anne Constantinos at 321-216-7804.
Music Mentors Program
The success of our Amazing Audiences program led the BSYO to create the Music Mentors program. The Music Mentors Program is a peer-to-peer musical training opportunity that provides eight months of weekly private music instruction free-of-charge to at-risk children at Club Esteem, given by trained BSYO musicians who are interested in coaching other students on their instruments. This program is available to high school members of the BSYO Philharmonic Orchestra as a way to gain valuable hands-on teaching experience as mentors. Each BSYO mentor receives community service hours and a small mileage stipend.
The BSYO takes instrument “petting zoos” to diverse venues around the community to introduce young children to the orchestra in a fun and non-threatening manner. These events enlist student and parent volunteers to help young children play musical instruments. Venues have included the Brevard Symphony Orchestra’s Family Concert, Brevard Zoo, Brevard Buddy Walk (fundraiser for Down Syndrome victims), Boeing Family Picnic and Brevard Community College Lab School (preschool) Family Picnic.
“Orchestras Feeding America”
In 2009, the BSYO was one of the first youth orchestras in the country to sign on with a national initiative called “Orchestras Feeding America”. As a result we raised 691 pounds of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The BSYO raised a similar amount in 2010 and will continue this food drive each year in conjunction with our free Concerto Winners Concert.