Hampton Roads’ Premier Youth Orchestra

Six Ensembles, Student Musicians from All Over Hampton Roads

The mission of Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia is to provide the highest level of symphonic ensemble training and performance opportunities to the young musicians of Hampton Roads.

Under the direction and guidance of many supportive music educators over the past 50 years, Bay Youth Orchestras has developed into one of the largest youth orchestra programs in the country. Offering six levels of ensemble training to over 350 young musicians, BYOV gives students the opportunity to learn and perform the world’s greatest orchestral literature.

Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia is a 501C(3) non-profit organization and receives funding from the Business Consortium for Arts Support of South Hampton Roads, the City of Chesapeake Fine Arts Commission, the City of Norfolk Arts and Humanities Commission, the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Our Vision

    Our vision for Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia is to create a dynamic and enriching space where young musicians from across Hampton Roads with diverse backgrounds come together to explore and expand their passion for classical music. We aspire to:

    Nurture Musical Growth: We focus on advancing musical development by providing exceptional instruction, pedagogically sequential ensembles, professional mentorship, and unique performance opportunities for our young musicians, promoting the highest performance standards. 

    Celebrate Collaboration, Diversity, and Unity: Through the shared experience of music making, we strive to bridge divides by uniting young musicians from our communities, fostering a sense of belonging, understanding, and togetherness among our members. We celebrate the rich tapestry of backgrounds, cultures, and identities within our membership, recognizing that diversity enhances our collective musical experience. We are committed to promoting inclusion and equity for all.

    Inspire and Encourage Creative Expression: We believe in the power of music to ignite creativity and enhance artistic sensitivity. Our ensembles will be a canvas where aspiring musicians can develop on their instruments and explore their artistic voices while being exposed to the broad scope of the classical music repertoire. 

    Engage with Our Community: We envision our organization as a cultural mainstay in our community that connects people of all ages and experiences through the power of music, whether they are student performers or audience members.

    Promote Lifelong Passion for Music: Our programming is not just a youth endeavor. It lays the groundwork for a lifelong love of music. We aim to instill in our members a lasting passion for the arts, creating future generations of music enthusiasts, regardless of what career path they choose.

    By embodying these principles, Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia seeks to create a dynamic and inclusive space for creating exceptional musicians while contributing to a more harmonious and culturally enriched world.

      Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

      Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia (BYOV) makes a pledge to engage in equitable practices to provide the highest level of ensemble training to the diverse population of Hampton Roads. As an established cultural organization in our community, BYOV recognizes that we have a unique responsibility to create an environment where our young musicians, families, audiences, and staff are able to participate fully regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, culture, religious belief, sexual orientation, or physical and cognitive ability. We acknowledge the history of systemic racism, marginalization, socio-economic inequities, and under-representation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color in classical music. BYOV is committed to operating with the maximum degree of action, competency, intentionality, accountability, and dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the following areas which include, but are not limited to: 

      • Artistic programming and repertoire selection
      • Reaching musicians and audience members of all backgrounds
      • Sharing our resources with the underserved members of our community. 
      • Recruiting and selecting staff, board, and guest artists
      • Identifying, auditioning, and selecting underrepresented young musicians 
      • Supporting underserved community events
      • Presenting performances in culturally diverse venues
      • Expanding marketing and advertising opportunities
      • Cultivating diverse donors and sponsors
      • Continuing education in equity, diversity and inclusion

      News & Events


      BYOV FEATURED ON WTKR NEWS! Learn about our long standing tradition of the Bay Youth and Virginia Symphonies performing side by side annually. Watch the news clip!

      JUST RELEASED ON YOUTUBE! BYOV and the Virginia Children’s Chorus performing the premier of Hailstork’s Gift of the Magi in 2013.

      BYOV has a YouTube Channel! Subscribe to our channel to view educational resources and much more!



      Become a Member

      Want to perform with Hampton Roads’ premier youth orchestras? It begins with the audition process.


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