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Who We Are

Oakland Youth Orchestras is a four-tiered teaching orchestra program serving students from elementary through high school. Our students come from numerous counties in southeast Michigan. Each year we enroll over 350 students who want to be challenged beyond their school music experience. Our conductors are accomplished musicians with extensive backgrounds in performance and music education. As a 501(c)3 organization, OYO values its partnership with Oakland University School of Music, Theater and Dance, as well as the local school music programs and private teachers, who share in the development of our student musicians.

Mission Statement

The mission of OYO is to inspire student musicians by providing an exceptional orchestral experience. OYO fosters enrichment through opportunities in chamber music, community outreach performances, competitions, and music theory.

Our Philosophy

We foster the development of individual and group skills in an atmosphere of team building, commitment, and enthusiasm. OYO stresses excellence within a friendly environment.

We Are Community

The Oakland Youth Orchestras is much more than dedicated student musicians led by dynamic conductors – although that’s pretty great. We are community.

We are:

  • Students – Who come together through their love of music; who learn, laugh, and make friendships that last for years.
  • Parents – Who see their children grow and excel; who meet other parents through OYO volunteer and fundraising activities.
  • Conductors – Professional musicians and experienced music educators who understand that making music is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
  • Board members – who provide their time and talents to see that OYO is guided by sound policies.
  • Donors – Whose support allows OYO to advance the music education of our students and maintain the strength of our programs (link to support section). We couldn’t do it without you!

Board of Directors

Board members provide their time and talents to see that OYO is guided by sound policies. The Board is comprised of the Executive Director, President, Vice President, Conductors, Treasurer, Secretary, Librarian, and Parent Volunteers, as well as non-voting members who serve in advisory positions.

Board of Directors & Staff

President – William Holifield Symphony Conductor – Zeljko Milicevic
Vice President – Sreedhar Kaluva Phiharmonia Conductor – Wendy Stuart
Chief Financial Officer – Brenda Papp Strings Conductor – John Kennedy
Secretary – Aman Deol Studio String Conductor – Nick Karpinsky
Symphony Orchestra Co-Managers – Doreen Larson, Patty Weir Executive Director – Joanne Walle
Philharmonia Orchestra Manager – Karshibia Davidson-Tuckey Admin Assistant / Librarian – Jenni Shier
String Orchestra Co-Managers – Loretta Hudson, Kamal Shukla Treasurer – Christina Miller
Studio String Orchestra Managers – Mary Tison, Robbin Uchida Staff:
Marketing / Publicity – Tiffany Palmer Nyssa Rabinowitz – Studio String and String Orchestras, Sectional and Chamber Coach
Advisor -James Lentini

Jacqueline Fornari – Woodwind Chamber Ensembles Coach