In the community

Thank you AYS for coming. The music was beautiful and you all inspired me to want to go to college and study music. You make me want to play music for the rest of my life!
– De’jyrie S., Markham Middle School

This is my daughter’s first concert, mine too. She’s only in kindergarten, but I’ve already given her a better life than I started out with.
– Parent from Transfiguration Elementary School

AYS Share-A-Stand

The AYS “Share-A-Stand” program brings orchestra members to Markham Middle School in Watts and Robert Frost Middle School in Agoura Hills to mentor 110 music students.  Over the course of a school year, AYS musicians conduct master classes, lead sectionals, rehearse side-by-side with the students, and hold Q&A sessions where the students can ask about their lives as young musicians. The program includes bus transportation and tickets for students, their families/guardians, and music teachers to attend two AYS concerts; the field trips will both reinforce classroom instruction and provide students with new experiences—for many of our students this will be the first time they have seen a live performance, let alone a performance by professional artists in world-class venues. The year culminates in a combined concert of AYS musicians and each school’s students for the entire school in May.

Markham Middle School Orchestra
AYS Violinist Rachel Ostler mentoring a young violin student
AYS Program Coordinator and Cellist Max Mueller leading cello sectionals at Markham Middle School
Markham 4
From left: bassists Bill Wasson and Michael Marks, cellists Pierre Derycz and Ian Gottlieb, violists Jennifer Fagre and Sean Chung, violinist Simone Deleon-Jones, music teacher Leslie Price-Tomich, and orchestra manager Isabel Thiroux

Max Mueller teaches the Star Wars theme:

Markham Collage, April 2014

“Thanks for coming to our class. Loved your songs so much,
and you inspired me to play more violin”
– Eduardo Q., Markham Middle School

“Thank you so much for coming, you really showed me a lot. I was so impressed, you guys play so amazing. I can’t wait to go on Sunday.
PS – Violins rock!”
– Brenda B., Markham Middle School

“I was astonished by the way you guys played. I’ve never heard any professional ochestra people play LIVE in front of me. I wouldn’t mind listening to you for the rest of my life. I’m looking forward to coming to your concert. I admire you and wish the best for all you talented musicians! PS – I hope you come back and visit!”
– Jennifer A., Markham Middle School

“You guys really inspired me, because after this year I wasn’t gonna play anymore but after your performance, I might stick around with the violin for a while” – Dulce P., Markham Middle School

teal line

AYS at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Glendale

Woodrow Wilson

teal line

We are committed to building a community
to enjoy orchestral music
in its many forms.

We support music education for all, and have donated over 250 instruments to after-school programs including HOLA, The Los Angeles Music and Arts School in Boyle Heights, and SOL-LA on the West Side. Through partnerships with middle schools, high schools and colleges, we seek to welcome students to attend AYS performances, and encourage pre-professional musicians of all backgrounds to participate in our auditions. 

The concerts of the American Youth Symphony present a rare opportunity to experience extraordinary music free-of-charge. We partner with many schools and organizations, including:

        • The Chinese Students and Scholars Association
        • The Paramount Park Middle School (pictured below)
        • Culver City High School
        • LA County High School for the Arts
        • Markham Middle School
        • Robert Frost Middle School
        • Woodrow Wilson Middle School
        • Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies
        • Robert F. Kennedy Schools
        • Delancey Street Foundation
        • Marina Manor Community
        • Jewish Family Services
        • Cal Arts
        • UCLA Extension
        • The Consulate General of Poland
        • The Korean Cultural Center


The student orchestra from Paramount Park Middle School attends the Elfman Project I on May 6, 2012.

“I enjoyed this concert because it was breathtaking, loud and exciting.”
– Alundra S., Paramount Park Middle School

“I loved the concert! It was so hauntingly beautiful! Everything about it was perfection. My favorite part was seeing the conductor.”
– Khylee B., Paramount Park Middle School