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May 14, 2018

Colorado Symphony Announces Strategic Alliance With Denver Young Artists Orchestra


Media Contact:

Nick Dobreff, Manager of Publicity and Community Relations

616.485.3913 (m) – 303.308.2477 (o)


Starting July 1 DYAO will become an artistic affiliate of the Colorado Symphony Association

May 11, 2018 – Denver, CO – The Colorado Symphony announces the Denver Young Artists Orchestra will become an artistic affiliate of the Colorado Symphony Association (CSA) beginning July 1, 2018. The move furthers the Colorado Symphony Association’s dedication to music education in the community.

Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) began in 1977 with the support of the Denver Symphony, now the Colorado Symphony. For 40 years, DYAO has nurtured the talents of the Rocky Mountain region’s finest young musicians as an integral part of their musical education, helping them to achieve their dreams. Due to the high skill level of the young musicians of the DYAO, youth from over 100 Colorado schools, universities, and home schools across the Front Range and beyond travel to weekly rehearsal and performances.

“The Colorado Symphony is thrilled to begin this artistic affiliation with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra,” Colorado Symphony Chief Artistic Officer Tony Pierce said. “Both organizations have a long standing history of dedication to music education in this community and our alliance enhances the reach of that mission through shared resource utilization.”

DYAO continues to transform young musicians by giving them the inspiration, support, and skills to be tomorrow’s great musicians. This is accomplished through peer monitoring within and between ensembles, yearly concerto and composition competition, and educational assistance through regular coaching sessions with professional musicians including members of the Colorado Symphony.

The connections between the two organizations has been enhanced over the years through annual side-by-side concerts. In addition, DYAO alumni can be found throughout the Colorado Symphony including current CSA musicians Larisa Fesmire, Marsha Holmes, Andrew Briggs, Michael Williams, and John Hilton.

Both organizations are in a position of financial growth and success and will continue to operate as standalone entities.  Executive Director of DYAO Kelly Waltrip will continue her duties with the DYAO while also serving as the managing director of the alliance. Waltrip will also oversee the collaboration activities of the Alliance between the Colorado Symphony and DYAO. In addition, both organizations will add one non-voting member to their respective board of directors.

“This artistic affiliation between the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and the Colorado Symphony brings these organizations full circle after forty years, beginning a new chapter that will expand the educational reach of the Colorado Symphony and elevate the musical education of these talented DYAO students,” DYAO Executive Director Kelly Waltrip said.

Wes Kenney, musical director of DYAO adds, “The Colorado Symphony is the premier orchestra in the Rocky Mountain region. We believe the experience we offer to our students will be significantly enhanced through closer collaboration with the symphony and its outstanding professional musicians.”




For more information or to request interviews, please contact:

Nick Dobreff, Manager of Publicity and Community Relations – 303.308.2477 (o)

For high-resolution, downloadable images of the Colorado Symphony, contact:

The 2018/19 Colorado Symphony Season is presented by Arrow Electronics and Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. Support also provided by: The Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), 9News, United Airlines, and the Colorado Symphony Guild.


Tickets to Colorado Symphony events are available online at, by phone at 303.623.7876, and in person at the Boettcher Concert Hall Box Office, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1000 14th Street. The Box Office is open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, noon – 6 p.m.; and two hours prior to each performance.


Established in 1977, Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) is one of the leading youth orchestras in the country, providing the finest possible youth orchestra programs, inspiring and educating young musicians through the performance of great works of music, and offering valuable cultural opportunities to the community. The organization’s three orchestras, chamber ensembles, and group strings classes train over 300 students, ages seven to twenty-three, from more than 100 schools across Colorado. Members of the orchestras graduate into colleges and universities across the country including Brown University, The Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, The Juilliard School, Stanford University, and Yale University.  Alumni who continued on to professional music careers are found in many major orchestras across the country including the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, and Metropolitan Opera. To learn more, visit


One of the leading orchestras in the United States, the Colorado Symphony performs more than 150 concerts annually at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver and across Colorado. Led by Music Director Brett Mitchell, the Colorado Symphony is home to eighty full-time musicians, representing more than a dozen nations, and regularly welcomes the most celebrated artists from the world of symphonic music and beyond. Every season, the Colorado Symphony serves more than 300,000 people from all walks of life, performing a range of musical styles, from traditional to contemporary. Recognized as an incubator of innovation, creativity, and excellence, the Colorado Symphony continually expands its reach through education, outreach, and programming. The Colorado Symphony partners with the state’s leading musical artists, cultural organizations, corporations, foundations, sports teams, and individuals to expose diverse audiences to the transformative power of music. To learn more, visit