In addition to presenting unconventional, approachable concerts, the Symphony invests heavily in education and community outreach. To date, our education programs, including the MUSE (Music for Excellence) program and the Oakland Youth Orchestra, have helped over 100,000 young people discover a passion for music. Access to these programs is a priority, and we work hard to make sure that no child is turned away for financial reasons. Our free Young People’s Concerts help us reach children in all corners of the East Bay, and the Youth Orchestra’s BRIDGE program breaks down barriers, providing private music lessons to those whose families wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them.

Through our community outreach programming, we encourage members of our community to connect through music in a variety of ways – from free concerts to instrument petting zoos – reaching over 75,000 of our neighbors every year. We also partner with local businesses and artists, presenting fun and unique musical celebrations such as our annual Bach & Brew event, which reaches new audiences, invites them into our Symphony family, and encourages them to explore new musical styles and genres.

Youth Orchestra

Offering orchestral experience to the Bay Area’s advanced music students, the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra represents the point of destination for so many students in the Symphony’s education programs.

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MUSE (Music for Excellence)

The Symphony’s MUSE Program transforms the lives of young people in Oakland public schools through one-on-one instrumental lessons, group music classes, unique performance opportunities, and Symphony concerts.  By providing all of our programs free to participants, we ensure that each year 19,000 young people have access to a variety of music education and enrichment activities, regardless of their economic situation.

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Young People’s Concerts

Young People’s Concerts, held every October, feature special programming for kids, further enhanced by pre-concert school visits. These concerts are free to all elementary school students in the East Bay, and feature special programming aimed at engaging young people in music and music making.

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Young Artist Competition

Every two years, Oakland East Bay Symphony holds a Young Artist Competition for talented young musicians in the East Bay. The competition is divided into junior and senior divisions and is open to students who play orchestral instruments. Winners showcase their talent and expand their concert experience by performing with Oakland East Bay Symphony as part of the Classical Concert Series.This bi-annual competition is open to young talented musicians from throughout the Bay Area. The winner is presented the following season as a soloist on the Oakland East Bay Symphony Classical Series.

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