Mission and History


Any committed musician with the requisite talent and training, regardless of their academic environment or economic condition, should have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. Our organization believes that with diversity we not only enrich the arts experience but also broaden personal development of our youth and quality of life in our community. We offer the highest level of professional artistic leadership to students and should provide an experience where there is no barrier to talent.


For 40 years the Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia (YOCVA) has provided a full-season symphony orchestra experience for youth living in central Virginia. We currently serve elementary, middle and high school youth in seven Virginia counties. YOCVA comprises two full symphony orchestras, flute and clarinet ensembles, and a junior strings program. Our talent development spans elementary through high school, where, as a Youth Symphony member, students perform original masterworks. The competition is keen for the audition-only membership in the two orchestras, and the training is rigorous with full season weekly rehearsals and three concerts per year. Reaching musicians from diverse backgrounds and academic settings, YOCVA brings young artists together in a mutual, musical learning environment which enriches the arts in our community.

Founded as an outreach organization of the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia, today we complement public school programs reinforcing student development. YOCVA students frequently claim the highest honors in District, Regional, and State competitions. YOCVA also offers an avenue to private and home-schooled children who do not have access to other programs.