The Omaha Area Youth Orchestras (OAYO) was established in 1958 and consists of 6 ensembles that provide instruction and performance opportunities for over 550 students each season. Students audition annually for positions within four progressively more challenging ensembles or may be recommended by their school or private teacher for positions within two non-auditioned orchestras. OAYO participants range in age from 8 to 18 and are from over 100 schools and 20 schools districts in the Omaha Area.
All of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra programs are designed to enhance the lives and musical abilities of youth in a group setting that also builds leadership skills, fosters discipline, and develops educated listeners and future arts supporters. Although only some of these students will become professional musicians, all of them are provided with the skills to enjoy a life of active participation in the arts as volunteers, teachers, and concert attendees.