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Recent News

Congratulations 2018-2019 Seniors!

Molly Schranck

Congratulations AYPO Seniors
Class of 2019

Aislin Carpenter
Alan Jiang
Alex Haldane
Alexis Watkinson
Alfonso Sánchez
Amanda Welch
Andrew Gantzer
Austin Amacher
Caitlyn Clingenpeel
Catherine Hiu
Catherine George
Christopher Deng
Christopher Bi
Clayton Bostick
Crystal Zhou
Diego Jaques
Diego Stine
Eric Hegemann
Erik Wartenberg
Estella Mota Pinto
Felix Curtis
Forrest Johnston
Gabriel Yu
Geoffrey Kulp
Graham Lovely
Harin Ok
Huay Din
Ila Sharma
Irene Kim
Irene Paek
Isabelle Lesmana
Jacqueline Hritzo
Jake Fitzgerald
Jason Smith
Jasper de Boor
Jenna Bachmann
Jessica Kwon
Jisoo Park
Joanna Rider
John Park
Katie Curry
Liam McGrail
Libby Stewart
Lilli Mathews
Lourdes de la Peña
Madeline Yu
Madelyn Kline
Matthew Kirschner
Michelle Li
Nathaniel Coughlin
Patrick Lee
Raymond Schleien
Rebecca Whitten
Ryan Lee
Ryan Chon
Samuel Koch
Sonia Warrior
Stephanie Manning
Victoria Bliss
William Kim
Yevgeny Dodzin
Yingyin Chen

Next year, our seniors will attend….

Boston Conservatory
Boston University
Florida State University
George Mason University
Indiana University at Bloomington
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University - Peabody Conservatory
Liberty University
Mercer University
Oberlin Conservatory
Princeton University
The Colburn School
The College of William and Mary
The Juilliard School
The Ohio State University School of Music
University of Illinois
University of Maryland College Park
University of North Texas - School of Music
University of Rochester
University of Virginia
Utah State University
Virginia Tech
Yale University

Senior Spotlight: Irene Kim, flute

Chloe McIntosh

“Take advantage of any and all opportunities that come your way! You may think that you are not "good enough" to enter a competition or apply to music programs, but if you never take the chance on yourself, you will never know if you are.”

Read More

Senior Spotlight: Christopher Bi, oboe

Chloe McIntosh

“…your music skill depreciates over time, so by not playing, you're letting all of the technique you built up slide away. The best antidote to this in my opinion is to keep up your playing, even if it's a mere 15 minutes per day.”

Read More

AYPO Receives "Good Neighbor Grant" from The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Molly Schranck

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently announced the award of a $25,000 Good Neighbor grant to The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (AYPO), to support its 2019-2020 Tuition assistance Program. This grant will increase the funding available to support the membership of children to the AYPO programs for those who might otherwise, for financial reasons, be unable to take up places in the five orchestras and six instrumental ensembles offered by AYPO.

This award builds on the recognition which AYPO received for its 54 years of service to the community by ARTSFAIRFAX when it made AYPO recipient of its 2018 Arts Education Award. This prestigious organization enjoys wide national recognition for the consistently high standards of public performances achieved by the orchestras and ensembles, and the important, and often life-changing training given by a highly skilled artistic staff.

AYPO alumni are to be found in some of the leading national professional orchestras, as well as public school and private teachers in the region.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded $190 million in scholarships to nearly 2,500 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The Foundation has also provided over $100 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

[Contact Dr Graham Elliott for further Tel 703-642-8053]

AYPO Musician Accepted into Selective Summer Chamber Music Program

Molly Schranck

ANNANDALE, VA - American Youth String Ensemble and AYPO Junior Chamber Ensemble musician, Enzo Baldanza, has been accepted into the Chamber Music Intensive Program with the Philadelphia International Music Festival. The most selective of PIMF’s Summer Programs, the Chamber Ensemble Intensive Program presents only 12 outstanding musicians, ages 13-19, with the opportunity to receive mentorship and training from members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Throughout the program, these young musicians will participate in masterclasses, receive private lessons from members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, partake in solo performance opportunities, and more. The Chamber Music Summer Intensive focuses on not only fostering these young performers’ technique and musicianship, but also helps to build their character through performances in hospitals, libraries, and other public venues throughout the community of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

For his audition, Enzo Baldanza performed the Mozart Violin Concerto # 3; I. Allegro, Bach Partita for Violin No. 2 in D minor; I. Allemanda, and sent a video of a vocal performance of the National Anthem at a basketball game in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Congratulations, Enzo!

AYPO Musicians Perform on Millennium Stage

Molly Schranck

ANNANDALE, VA - On Wednesday, January 23rd and Thursday, January 24th, select AYPO Musicians participating in The Kennedy Center’s National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship Program performed an evening of chamber music on Millennium Stage. The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Youth Fellowship program provides musical training to young students interested in pursuing a career in music. Following a successful audition process, NSO Youth Fellows train with members of the National Symphony Orchestra or the Washington National Opera Orchestra, participate in coaching, rehearsals, and masterclasses with NSO musicians, and observe rehearsals and concerts.

Musicians from AYPO’s Philharmonic and Symphonic Orchestras participating in the NSO Youth Fellows’ performances last week include: Yingyin Chen (AYSO), Caitlyn Clingenpeel (AYP), Matthew Cummings (AYP), Lourdes de la Peña (AYP), Benjamin D’Haiti (AYSO), Andrew Gantzer (AYP), Romain-Olivier Gray (AYP), Jacqueline Hritzo (AYP), Michelle Li (AYP), Graham Lovely (AYP), George Pekarsky (AYP), and Raymond Schleien (AYP).

Check out the videos on The Kennedy Center’s NSO Youth Fellows site:
NSO Youth Fellows - 1/23/19
NSO Youth Fellows - 1/24/19

ARTSFAIRFAX Arts Education Award

Molly Schranck

ANNANDALE, VA - The long AYPO history of offering excellence in training young musicians was recently marked by the award of the ARTSFAIRFAX Music Education Award. The introduction to this award states 'The Arts Education Award recognizes an arts organization, or individual arts educator, that has provided superlative arts education opportunities, experiences, or training for youth, students of all ages, or emerging artists.’ The citation for AYPO states 'The 2018 Arts Education Award was presented to the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras for its commitment to under-served students, its dedication to first-class training, and its philosophy that music extends to success in the classroom and beyond.’

Recently, the Fairfax County Times featured two articles on AYPO’s recent successes in Arts Education. AYPO Executive Director, Dr. Graham Elliott and Board President Karen Leyva call for a stronger musical community and a new performing arts center in Northern Virginia in this article. Dr. Graham Elliott and Karen Leyva were also featured alongside Wolf Trap Foundation and Claude Moore Charitable Foundation representatives, in an article highlighting the future of the arts in Fairfax County.

Glenn Quader Selected to Lead AYSO in 18-19

Jason Spencer

ANNANDALE, VA - The Board of Directors of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (AYPO) announces the appointment of Glenn Quader to succeed Maestro Carl J. Bianchi as conductor of the American Youth Symphonic Orchestra. AYSO is one of the two top orchestras in the roster of five orchestras and six ensembles in the AYPO program. Maestro Bianchi retired following the 2016-17 season after 26 years with AYSO. A year-long search process has been undertaken and Mr. Quader has emerged as the selected conductor starting the 54th season of the organization.

Mr. Quader studied at the Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University and the universities of Indiana, Illinois, Miami and Florida International, and holds a conducting diploma, awarded by Sicily’s Catania International Conducting Institute. His principal conducting teachers have included the late Gustav Meier, Ovidiu Balan, Robert Gutter, and James Brooks-Bruzzese, while intensive workshops were undertaken with Marin Alsop, Jorma Panula, James Litton, Larry Rachleff and David Loebel.

A native of  Washington, DC, Glenn Quader is continually gaining national recognition as a dynamic and versatile conductor.  Equally adept in the classical, jazz and popular idioms, he appears extensively as a conductor, performer and session musician in the United States and Europe, placing him in consistently high demand both on concert stages and in recording studios.

Mr. Quader’s most recent professional appointment includes Music Director of the Frederick Symphony Orchestra.  Since he was appointed Music Director of the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra in 2005, the orchestra has increased its paid core membership, added an additional summer residency at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival and enjoyed a three-fold rise in season subscriptions.  Mr. Quader also serves as Conductor of the American Studio Orchestra, which has enjoyed residencies at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art and ARTSCAPE.

AYPO Class of 2018

Jason Spencer

Congratulations to our graduating seniors in AYP, AYSO and Flute Ensemble!

American Youth Philharmonic (AYP) 

Eugene Choo (Cello), University of Virginia (Major: Foreign Affairs, Minor: Media Studies)
Bethlehem Hadgu (Viola), Juilliard (Major: Music)
Katie Huszcza (Cello), James Madison University (Major: Music)
Esther In (Violin), Cornell University (Major: Electrical Engineering)
Olivia Johann, Yale University (Major: Undecided)
Minseon Kim (Violin), Manhattan School of Music (Major: Music)
Julia Kushan (Violin), William & Mary (Major: Neuroscience, Minor: Music)
Seungmin Lee (Violin), Cornell University (Major: Civil Engineering)
Michael Lee (Violin), Mary Washington University (Major: Undecided, Minor: Pre-Dental)
An-Ya Olson (Harp), Princeton University (Major: Undecided)
John Ortman (Cello), Hillsdale College (Major: Economics)
Somerset Peede (Viola), Vanderbilt University (Major: Music)
Sagada Penano (Bassoon), Stanford University (Major: Physics/Music)
Gabrielle Pho (French Horn), Juilliard (Major: Music)
Nils Randers-Pehrson (Violin), Peabody Conservatory (Major: Music for New Media)
Gabe Ravel (Double Bass), James Madison University (Major: Music)
Emma Rood (Harp), Belmont University (Major: Harp Performance/Music Business)
Olivia Scheidt (Violin), University of Virginia (Major: Undecided)
Brendan Shirk (Oboe), Eastman School of Music (Major: Music)
Sarah Slate (Violin), Indiana University (Major: Music)
Eugene Song (Trombone), U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Major: Civil Engineering)
Andrew Stump (French Horn), Juilliard (Major: Music)
Eric Su (Violin), DePaul University (Major: Music)
Courtney Tern (Clarinet), University of Virginia (Major: Biology/Statistics)
Peter Zganiacz (Flute), University of Dallas (Major: Undecided)
Annie Zhao (Flute), Yale University (Major: Economics/Mathematics)

American Youth Symphonic Orchestra (AYSO)

Victoria Bliss (Violin), Gap Year
John Cheng (Percussion), George Mason University (Major: Undecided)
Garret Cooksey (French Horn), University of Maryland (Major: Music/Mathematics)
Amy Lim (Harp), George Mason University (Major: Harp Performance/Computer Engineering)
Allison Quade (Violin), Ithaca College (Major: Music Education)
Sabrina Ramirez (Violin), George Mason University (Major: Engineering, Minor: Music/ Japanese)
Henry Stockton (Violin), University of Edinburgh (Major: International Relations)
Wendy Tang (Flute), University of Virginia (Major: Economics)
Calvin Zubaly (Viola), George Mason University (Major: Music Education, Minor: Mathematics)

Flute Ensemble

Anna Clark, James Madison University (Major: Music Education)
Sarah Nus, Concordia University Wisconsin (Major: Computer Science)

Senior Spotlight: Sabrina Ramirez, violin

Chloe McIntosh


School: Falls Church High School


What AYPO ensembles have you played in and for how long?

I played in AYSE for 1 year and AYCO for 2 years.  This is my second year in AYSO.


Your favorite musical memory:

My favorite memory was when my middle school orchestra went to VMEA.  It was a great honor to all of us at Luther Jackson Middle School, and our amazing teacher made the hours and hours of practicing enjoyable.


What musician inspires you?

The musician that inspires me the most is my middle school teacher, Ms. Phaedra Long. She taught me that playing music comes from the heart, and to always strive to play your best.  


Advice for young musicians:

Practice hard and never give up. Hard work will definitely pay off!


What do you hope to do after graduation?

I plan to major in Engineering with minors in Music and Japanese at George Mason University.

AYPO Awarded Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Chloe McIntosh

CONTACT: Dr Graham Elliott
Annandale, VA—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $20,000 to The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras for support of the Chamber Music Program. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras in the National Capital Region, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”
Dr Graham Elliott, Executive Director of AYPO, said “I am delighted that the NEA is going to support us in the 2018/19 season. This grant is the largest they have given to us, and it reflects our policy of giving greater access to gifted young musicians to the AYPO program of five orchestras and six instrumental ensembles. Alumni of AYPO are found in major orchestras all over the country; we are proud of the 54 year history of achievement and we aim to continue the standard of excellence for which AYPO is renowned, and to extend life-changing opportunity to more children whose innate abilities might not otherwise be discovered and nurtured."
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit