Perth Youth Orchestra is in its 50th anniversary year. Founded in 1962, by two Perth musicians, Louis Barnett and John Davie, with the support of a small number of parents, it gave its first concert on 25th June 1964. The orchestra is a registered charity in Scotland. PYO is sustained both by the young players desire to excel and by their determination to succeed.
The orchestra rehearses each Monday evening in the Music Centre at St John's Academy, Perth, from October to April, and it is well supported by Perth and Kinross Council. Perth Youth Orchestra is a registered charitable organisation and the funds it raises help to support the purchase of instruments and musical scores, as well as the services of its conductor and instrumental tutors at rehearsals and concerts- at the Perth Festival of the Arts, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in Glasgow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and in a variety of concerts throughout the year at home and abroad.
Parents of young musicians in Perth and Kinross are always impressed by the provision of the many Central Music Groups. But Perth Youth Orchestra is much more than just another Central Group. With the support of the Friends of PYO it has provided the opportunity for generations of the best young orchestral musicians in the area to play challenging and exciting music from the concert repertoire, performing not only in Perth but elsewhere in Scotland, and also on tour, most recently to Germany and before that in Poland and Estonia.
Admission to the orchestra is by audition, usually in September. All members can take pride in their own ability, and learn and develop their skill while expanding their knowledge of different composers and musical styles. Many former members have gone on to make illustrious careers as performers – more details are on the website.
Putting on concerts, hiring music, purchasing, insuring, and maintaining instruments, and of course organising tours, costs money, and the orchestra has an annual turn-over of around, in non-tour years, of over £8000. It is a charitable trust run by a committee made up of the Friends of Perth Youth Orchestra including the conductor, Mr Allan Young, parents of current and former members, instrumental tutors, and orchestra representatives. We are grateful to several generous sponsors from the local area, and fund-raising by the orchestra is an important and necessary source of income, especially as we start to look forward to the next concert tour, in the summer of 2013.
On joining the orchestra, families were asked to pay a fee to Perth and Kinross central groups. Membership of the Friends of Perth Youth Orchestra is an additional cost (£24) but the benefits is brings are very worthwhile.