Founded in 1968 as a summer outreach program, Young Musicians Choral Orchestra has transformed the lives of over 3,000 Bay Area Youth. Under the leadership of Executive Director Daisy Newman, who took the helm in 2003, the program erupted from a modest youth music program into a national model, providing a rigorous and robust combination of musical training, academic reinforcement, and personal development for low-income, underprivileged children.
YMCO garnered a national reputation as a beacon of excellence in transforming the lives of underprivileged youth who might otherwise have found themselves excluded from the opportunities afforded to their more privileged peers. The past ten years witnessed increased breadth and depth in the program including new pinnacles of success.
What Others Say About YMCO:
"Some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done has been with youths and serving the underserved communities. I was director of the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra program at UC Berkeley. I would fly up there for six weeks. They were inner-city school kids and I was training them to play classical instruments. I did that for five years. It was tough but rewarding, and they had a 100 percent high school graduation rate and a scholarship rate of 100 percent. It was literally saving kids’ lives. They were the first people to go off to college, and we gave them the tools — musically and otherwise — to elevate themselves." -Maestro Anthony Parnther
"YMCO is a miracle." - YMCO parent to clarinetist Chris Wali
"This program is phenomenal! I have seen my young musician flourish and mature during his time in the program. The hard work & dedication of Ms. Daisy, Mr. Meridith, & many others is truly appreciated." - Shauna Hughes, mother of YMCO alum Jeremiah Smith
"The Positive impact YMCO has had on me is immeasurable..." - YMCO alum Kin Lam
"YMCO was the first program to really empower me to reach for my dreams." - YMCO alum Brianna Pang
"With the amazing resources and teachers that YMCO had to offer [me], not only have I become a better musician, but a leader as well. I met some world-renowned musicians that have taught me to not only become courageous but also to never give up when life seems difficult." - YMCO alum Khris Sanchez
"I just love it and I think it's one of the most magical institutions in the Bay Area!" - YMCO Board Member and international Opera Star, Maestra Frederica von Stade
"The choral orchestra, it must be noted, might be the hottest act you don’t know. But it has been giving Grammy-winning musicians such as Thomas, along with Tony Bennett and Josh Groban a run for their money at recent fundraisers." - San Francisco Chronicle (2019)
"Wonderful concerts and recitals by the Young Musicians who sing as a choir, as well as play orchestral instruments! Great jazz band, too! Excellent musical and college prep training provided by an experienced set of accomplished musicians." - Elaine Danforth, longtime supporter and friend of YMCO