Home for the Holidays

Alumni Concert with Current and Past Youth Orchestra Musicians

Wednesday, December 27, 7:00 pm at Mansfield Theater

The Great Falls Youth Orchestra hosts its second annual alumni concert celebrating its 21st anniversary.  This FREE concert will take place Wednesday, December 27th at 7:00 pm in the Mansfield Theater.  The orchestra will be comprised of about 60 musicians who have been past members.

Are you a Great Falls Youth Orchestra Alumn?

...then you should be on the stage performing!

Youth Orchestra History

Twenty years ago the city of Great Falls was seeking to create positive opportunities for our youth.  This was parallel to Maestro Gordon Johnson’s goal of developing leadership skills in young adults through music and to provide training for future members of the Great Falls Symphony.  His design was for this group was to be all-inclusive, serving students from both public and private schools, homeschool students and also outlying communities.

The Great Falls Youth Orchestra was created through the combined efforts of the Great Falls Symphony Association, Great Falls Public Schools and private schools, the City of Great Falls and private instrumental music teachers.  There were also community members on the planning committee to assist in determining the best time to schedule rehearsals.  The GFYO was designed to complement the school music programs by requiring students to be involved in music in their schools, study privately with a local teacher as well as pass an audition.  The community committee spent an entire year planning the endeavor to make sure it fit the mission of both the community and schools.

The inception of a youth orchestra may appear as a solely altruistic endeavor but it is multi-purpose in providing a positive activity for kids and also training our own workforce for the GFSA.  The current Great Falls Symphony Orchestra is comprised of about fifteen adult members who have come up through the Great Falls Youth Orchestra program, and several alumni have also worked on the Board and as staff of the Symphony. The Executive Director, Hillary Rose, graduated from the Youth Orchestra in 2003.

The mission of the Great Falls Youth Orchestra is to use music as a metaphor to develop and instill the spirit of cooperation and hard work.   It’s not all about music.  It’s also about developing young students into responsible young citizens.

Over the course of over 20 years, over 400 young adults have gone through the program. 

These students, coming from as far north as Shelby and Havre and as far south as Helena, have benefited tremendously from this program.

In the spirit of being all inclusive, the Great Falls Youth Orchestra has awarded nearly $100,000 in scholarships over the past 20 years.  A qualifying student has never been turned away regardless of their financial situation.  These scholarships as well as the Youth Orchestra program are made available through generous donations, granting institutions, sponsorships and they are funded through the Great Falls Symphony Association.

Are you a GFYO Alumn? Join us on the stage again this holiday season!

Keeping track of our alumni has been a large endeavor so please if you know anyone who has been a part of this program and isn’t aware of this event share the message and contact Angela Costley at angela@gfsymphony.org for more information.

Concert Information

Tuesday, December 27, 7:00 pm


Mansfield Theater

2 Park Drive South, Great Falls, MT