Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Partners With 20 Dallas ISD Schools

One organization dedicated to bringing music instruction to young Dallasites has made it a mission to improve upon the music instruction at 20 Dallas ISD schools.

Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO), one of the leading youth orchestras in the country and haven for Dallas’ most talented, elite youth musicians, announced it is partnering with Dallas ISD through its Music Capacity Building Program that places its organization’s top talent in more than 20 Dallas ISD schools. 

This program has had a big impact on Dallas ISD programs, turning around test scores, and in return thus saving public schools’ music programs. As a greater need was continued to be seen for the program, it was vital that the program be expanded, and it continues to grow today as GDYO directors customize plans to improve Dallas ISD bands and orchestras. Through this program, GDYO has been able to impact the lives of more than 4K students participating in Dallas ISD music programs.

“Community outreach is integral to the identity of Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, and partnering with Dallas ISD to ensure all students have access to music was a natural extension of our organization,” said Cathy Hernandez, Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Executive Director and former musician in the organization. “When our conductors started entering the schools and meeting with orchestras, we realized the need for not only talent and resources, but also the need for customized plans for these orchestras to pass their annual statewide tests and ensure continued access to the programs for years to come.”

GDYO’s partnership with Dallas ISD has been such a success that it has expanded beyond its initial outreach. The organization now conducts Dallas ISD’s All City Band and Dallas ISD’s All City Orchestra, at the District’s request. GDYO also produced its first summer camp with Dallas ISD in Sumer 2021, providing a free, virtual camp for 50 youth string musicians.

For youth musicians looking to join GDYO, auditions are now open for the 2022-2023 season. Musicians accepted to GDYO will be notified during Summer 2022, and rehearsals for the upcoming season begin at the end of August 2022. GDYO offers an extensive scholarship program, offered to students upon acceptance to the program and not factored into the acceptance process, as GDYO’s goal is to ensure that all students who are offered positions are able to participate. Approximately 20% of GDYO musicians receive scholarships, and scholarships are based on need. 

This year, GDYO is celebrating its special 50th anniversary – a true milestone for the organization as it reflects on the impact it has had on youth musicians across the region – as well as its Music Director Richard Giangiulio’s 40th anniversary. The organization provides challenging musical opportunities for special young musicians from 50 different communities and more than 120 different schools.

GDYO musicians socialize with a diverse group of highly talented peers, as well as interact with professionals from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Wind Symphony and multiple other local music ensembles. GDYO is one of the leading youth orchestra feeders for the National Youth Orchestra.

For more information about the organization, please visit

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