AYO is the country’s leading orchestral training organisation. Since its inception in 1948, the AYO has fired the imaginations of 8,000 young musicians, while instilling a love of music and dedication to the highest standards of performance. Their unique training programs provide a catalyst for awakening talent, nurturing confidence and laying the foundation for a lifetime of achievement and endeavour in music.

Colonial’s funding partnership began in 2007 and continues to support two of AYO’s main training programs: The Young Symphonists and The Chamber Players Groups. Colonial’s funding has also enable the Orchestra to perform concerts in community settings with several free public performances staged in regional/rural Australia.

In 2019, Colonial Foundation agreed to extend its funding of AYO by $600,000 over three years, providing capacity-building support for an expansion of AYO’s operations, including contributing to the funding of:

  • National Music Camp Artists in Residence – where young musicians can hear from, perform with, and undertake classes with some of the world’s leading freelance performers.
  • Regional Residencies – where AYO musicians spend up to a week rehearsing and living in a regional location collaborating with local school groups in workshops and performances.
  • Momentum Ensemble – a training program designed to shape the development of young musicians, predominately of post-graduate age, many of whom are on the cusp of becoming professional musicians and at a critical point in their career journey.
  • Momentum Ensemble members also develop the skills to take on the role of mentors in a range of settings, currently focusing on partnerships with school children who have a diagnosed intellectual disability. More than 450 Australian school children with diagnosed intellectual and physical disabilities aged 5-17 are expected to participate in these projects over the next three years.
  • Australian Youth Orchestra Touring – In 2019, AYO will embark on its 23rd international tour to Europe and Asia. This tour helps promote Australia as a destination for teachers, artists and audiences to visit.
  • Mentoring music teachers – making an impact in the classroom with music – the AYO pathway commences in the primary school classroom where, over the next five years, AYO will enable more than 20,000 children to benefit from quality music education. The training and placement of specialist music teachers in classes of the earliest years of school is an efficient and sustainable solution to help bridge the significant gap between students who do have access to music education at school and those that don’t.
Australian Youth Orchestra