DCYO was started by Roseburg music teacher Jean Hinkle with five students in 1997. More than 20 years later, the program continues to grow, offering a holistic music education complete with free private lessons for students.
A group for younger beginners who have never played an instrument before. In this class, students will learn the parts of the instrument, how to unpack their instrument, prepare instrument for playing, how to play their instrument both by plucking and by bowing. Typical age for a Prelude Orchestra student is 8-11 years old.
A group for older beginners or students who have participated in Prelude Orchestra for one or more years. Students in Concert Orchestra must master skills developed in Prelude Orchestra, or have a significant amount of prior ensemble experience on another instrument. Students in this group are expected to develop skills acquired in Prelude Orchestra. Typical age for a Concert Orchestra student is 9-13 years old.
DCYO’s most advanced group. It performs at our two annual concerts, and also plays at other engagements in the community throughout the summer, such as the Umpqua Valley Arts Association Summer Festival, and the Music on the Half Shell series. Philharmonic Orchestra is run as close to a professional rehearsal as possible; students mark their parts as we rehearse, and prepare music outside of rehearsal. Ensemble members are comfortable with complex melodies and harmonies, and are used to playing within their sections and independent of other sections. Typical age of a Philharmonic Orchestra student is 12-20 years old.
We established the Private Lesson Enrichment Program at the end of 2019 to provide no-cost private lessons to all registered DCYO students under 21 years of age. This program has been invaluable for students, because it’s important for students to have one-on-one instruction in addition to their participation in youth orchestra to develop quickly and comprehensively as a string player.
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Currently, DCYO enrolls between 60 and 70 students who are immersed in a well-rounded music education experience. Students learn note-reading, hone their technique, refine their listening strategies and develop their performance experience through a diverse repertoire from Mozart to Star Wars.
DCYO is designed for students 8* and older. Many of our beginners have never seen a violin, viola, cello, or bass. We welcome adults who wish to learn to play an instrument or further develop their musicianship.
*Exceptions may be made for 6 and 7 year olds.
DCYO is financially supported through the fundraising efforts of the Umpqua Symphony Association (USA). Astoundingly generous private donors, grants and foundations such as the Oregon Community Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission and the Ford Family Foundation make the program possible.
Under special circumstances USA offers scholarships to students and families who wish to join the orchestra. These scholarships provide music education that would not otherwise be possible in this day and time.
The opportunities DCYO offers are unique to Douglas County. USA has developed and nurtured a relationship with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra (ESO) for many years which has resulted in highly qualified ESO musicians visiting Roseburg during the year to teach and inspire DCYO students. They provide “sectionals”, teaching violin, cello, viola and bass students separately. Classes run from September through May.
The close relationship between USA and ESO has resulted in the Eugene Symphony bringing their Summer Pops Concert to the Music on the Half Shell series for the past several years. DCYO students open the performance, which is an incredible, often once in a lifetime, opportunity for them.