The Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra (PYCO) was founded in 2006 by current Artistic Director, Pablo Ardiles. Formerly the Pittsburgh Youth Chamber Orchestra, PYCO began as a chamber orchestra comprised of 18 students and has since expanded to a full symphonic orchestra with additional ensembles and programs, serving about 200 young musicians and their families each year. The Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra offers opportunities for string, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano and harp players in grades 4 to 12. Please refer to our "Ensembles" tab above for more information about our many programs!
The Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra educates and trains young musicians to pursue excellence in performance of both chamber music and symphonic repertoire.
Our Core Values
- A Love of Learning
- The Pursuit of Excellence
- The Joy of Musical Performance
- The Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra (PYCO) was created to meet the need among young musicians of a more intimate and deeply rewarding chamber music and chamber orchestra instruction, training and performance program.
- The Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra is an energetic and dynamic group of young talented musicians in grades 4 to 12, fully committed to the highest degree of musical beauty in their performance of the classical, alternative and contemporary music repertoire for chamber ensembles, chamber orchestra, and symphonic orchestra.
- PYCO includes string, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano and harp players whose individual strengths make it possible to bring out the excitement of music performance.
- PYCO is comprised of a full symphonic orchestra in addition to various ensembles, giving young musicians a variety of opportunities to pursue their love of musical performance.
- At PYCO we help students to achieve the highest level of excellence in performance, not only as team players but also as individual performers by encouraging participation as soloists as well as in chamber groups.
- PYCO strives to expose students to the building blocks of professional musicianship through music literature, in addition to opening their minds to the study and practice of contemporary music and alternative styles.
- The PYCO Symphony Orchestra features guest conductors, guest sectional coaches, master classes, and workshops offered by local, national and internationally recognized professional musicians.
- PYCO ensembles performs 2 to 4 free concerts from September through April throughout the Pittsburgh area.
- PYCO offers three 1-week day camps for band and orchestra, jazz, and chamber music. The camps are open to all current members as well as interested students who want to explore the musical opportunities offered at our camps.
- PYCO gives students the opportunity to perform abroad in an international concert tour. In July 2012 we performed in Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague; in July 2015 we performed in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Paris; in July 2018, we performed in Venice, Florence, and Rome; and in July 2022 we performed in Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona. We are planning our next tour for July 2024 with performances in Greece, including concerts in Athens and Delphi.