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The Alliance between the Colorado Symphony and the Denver Young Artists Orchestra started in 2018 to explore greater alignment and build on our longstanding partnership.

Founded in 1977 with the support of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra is a 250+ young musician organization (ages 7-23) serving students from all over Colorado. DYAO exposes young musicians and audiences to the joy and beauty of symphonic music, pursuing excellence through exceptional orchestral training, unique and diverse performance opportunities, and new pathways to symphonic experiences.

In July of 2018, both organizations renewed a commitment to pursuing the shared mission value of music education in a strategic partnership that will enable both entities to maximize impact, reach, and resources. In 2023, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra & the Colorado Symphony co-hired Wilbur Lin as the Assistant Conductor of the Colorado Symphony and Music Director of DYAO. In this new role, education and community engagement take center stage with Lin leading Colorado Symphony youth and pops concerts, alongside a full season with the Young Artists Orchestra from DYAO.


Strengthening our Alliance

In 2023, the Denver Young Artists Orchestra & the Colorado Symphony co-hired Wilbur Lin as the Assistant Conductor of the Colorado Symphony and Music Director of DYAO, further strengthening our organizational alliance.

Learn More about Wilbur

“There’s nothing like playing with the musicians that are living examples of my own dream.”

AJ Hudson, Percussion Performance student at Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute


Alliance in Action

Master Mentor

Colorado Symphony Musicians lead sectionals with Denver Young Artists Orchestra musicians throughout the season, helping them to prepare for their concerts and grow in their musicianship.

Side by Side

DYAO student musicians experiences professional symphony concerts, masterclasses with guest artists, and annual side by side performances with the professional musicians of the CSA at Boettcher Concert Hall.

Collaborative Outreach

DYAO students and CSA professional musicians can work together on large scale outreach projects like the DaVita Day of Music, performing in dialysis clinics all over the metro area.

Pathways Program

Symphony musicians are engaged with DYAO’s Pathways program to offer private lessons to students who would otherwise have barriers to this type of training.

“The Side by Side Concert has always been my favorite concert to perform in DYAO. I really enjoy learning from playing beside the symphony players. They give great musical and life advice I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. This concert was truly an exhilarating experience and one I’ll never forget.”

Esme Watkins, viola student at Lawrence University

Denver Young Artists Orchestra Upcoming Events

February 18, 2024

Tales from Great Britain

Join all three of DYAO’s orchestras as we experience the rich tapestry of British musical heritage, weaving together the timeless beauty of British compositions with a contemporary twist. Immerse yourself in the captivating charm of Alice Mary Smith’s “The Masque of Pandora.” The program will also include works by Vaughan Williams, John Rutter, Coleridge-Taylor, and Lennon/McCartney!

March 13, 2024


Your Colorado Symphony continues its shared vision of music education with longstanding partner the Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO). Celebrate this partnership that allows young musicians from the DYAO greater access and mentorship from the full-time professional musicians of the Colorado Symphony.

April 21, 2024

‘Tis a Human Thing, Love

DYAO joins forces with the fantastic St. Martin’s Chamber Chorale for a poignant performance. The program will also feature the winner of the DYAO Concerto Competition and a World Premiere by DYAO alumna, Leigha Amick.

For more information on the Alliance between DYAO & the Colorado Symphony, contact Managing Director, Kelly Waltrip, at