90 Years of Excellence

PYP is a vibrant community where young people can explore their passion for music, grow as individuals and make lifelong friendships. The Portland Youth Philharmonic Association has been known for its FEARLESS artistry, ADVENTUROUS programming and EXCELLENT performances since Jacques Gershkovitch conducted its inaugural concert on February 14, 1925. PYP has flourished over the past ninety seasons by embracing these ideals as the cornerstone of its program.

Your gift supports a vibrant, exciting program:

  • Three hundred musicians in five ensembles
  • Outstanding faculty including: David Hattner, Musical Director, Larry Johnson, Conservatory Orchestra and Wind Ensemble Conductor, Carol Sindell, Young String Ensemble Conductor
  • Comprehensive music theory curriculum led by composer Kenji Bunch
  • Regular coaching by musicians from the Oregon Symphony
  • Two annual soloist competitions and one biennial Piano Concerto Competition
  • Repertoire that closely parallels that of major professional orchestras, including music written by established PYP alumni composers such as Kenji Bunch and Kevin Walczyk
  • Recipient of three prestigious ASCAP awards for adventurous musical programming, honoring PYP’s dedication to commissioning contemporary composers
  • Yearly visits from Oregon Symphony Music Director Carlos Kalmar


  • PYP never turns away a musician based on financial need
  • Double Bass and Percussion classes led by Oregon Symphony musicians, free and open to all young musicians
  • Low-cost Peer Mentor lessons taught by PYP musicians
  • Free music workshops for beginning wind and brass musicians taught by Oregon Symphony musicians


  • Free Children’s Concerts for schools across the region reaching over 10,000 students, many of whom do not have instrumental music programs in their school curriculum
  • Free Conductor Visits, bringing PYP artistic directors to lead clinics for band and orchestra programs in districts from Camas to Salem
  • An annual award for school music teachers, named for PYP’s founder Mary V. Dodge
  • Ongoing support of school music programs