Directed by a passionate group of Music Educators, the Utah Valley Youth Symphony is dedicated to serving youth musicians through the performance of music from the standard orchestral repertoire at a potentially professional level. The organization is a self-funding, non-profit organization.
The Utah Valley Youth Symphony organization continually strives to meet the challenge of its mission statement - "to support the aesthetic, social, and intellectual development of our youth and community through music."
The Utah Valley Youth Symphony was first organized in 1960 by Dr. A. Harold Goodman, about the time that he assumed the Chairmanship of the Music Department at Brigham Young University. In 1970, BYU withdrew sponsorship and the orchestra languished. In 1973 the orchestra was reorganized by Dr. Goodman, Dr. Terry Hill, and Brent Taylor. Fostering performance opportunities for youth became their long-term objective. Changes to the new organization included touring opportunities and the addition of the Junior High Honor Orchestra.
In 1982 the Philharmonia was created as part of a pilot project of the National Association of Music Merchants called Friends and Music USA. Since that time, UVYSO groups have performed around the world including Dr. Robert Schuller's Hour of Power telecast, the United Nations International School, and three major concerts in Carnegie Hall (1988, 1998, and 2005). Other tours have included visits to London, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Nauvoo, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco.
Since 1985, the organization has supported as many as four orchestras in order to serve the needs of Utah County. Currently, UVYSO is comprised of two orchestras: Youth Symphony, whose purpose is to expose students to the full orchestra experience and bridge the gap between intermediate and advanced level music; and Philharmonia, whose purpose is to perform professional literature from the standard repertoire. Touring orchestras combine members of each of these ensembles under the banner of the Utah Valley Youth Symphony.