With much excitement and anticipation, we are preparing to begin our 49th season! Every year, we attract hundreds of our community’s most talented young musicians as Hampton Roads’ largest youth orchestra program. In that way, this season is no different. 

However, as the performing arts continue to move through the aftermath of a global pandemic that has shifted the way we do almost everything, we are faced with new challenges to our programming. The large instructional spaces once offered by the public schools are no longer available to us. While we are fortunate to have found temporary homes for our six ensembles, we no longer have access to the instruments and equipment the schools once provided, most notably, percussion instruments for our Concert and Symphony Orchestras. Long term rental of these instruments is not possible.

Acquiring a full collection of percussion equipment owned by BYOV has always been a goal that we have been working towards. In 2019, we proudly made our first substantial purchase of two beautiful Yamaha timpani (which is only half a set) for $5,000. These two drums have traveled with us as we rehearsed and performed in various spaces during the pandemic. Our talented orchestras are left with holes in their instrumentation and our percussionists sit by in rehearsal mentally preparing their parts. Our goal is to ensure that our musicians can prepare and perform on BYOV’s very own, full complement of instruments and that our orchestras can be led powerfully by the sound of a complete percussion section.

Equipping an orchestra with percussion instruments takes significant financial resources. To purchase a collection of the basic instruments needed for a symphonic orchestra, the cost is $10,000. This includes instruments, taxes, and shipping.

BYOV is embarking on a large-scale fundraiser to meet our goal and we need your help! Any donation large or small will help us to reach our goal. If you have been personally touched by our program or you are interested in supporting our community’s talented young musicians, please consider making a donation or sponsoring an entire instrument in your name. Donations can be made on our website: You can download our official donation letter Percussion Donation Solicitation (1) and view the equipment we are hoping to purchase. Thank you so much for your consideration! 


Dr. Elizabeth Richards, Executive Director