Newport News is known for its award-winning music education programs, and now young people in the city and across the entire Peninsula have additional opportunities to learn and hone their skills. Soundscapes has assumed management of the Peninsula Youth Orchestra (PYO) and will grow their comprehensive music education program for youth from first grade through age 25.
PYO served as a full symphony, community orchestra for young musicians of all abilities on the Peninsula for 60 years. Several years ago, Soundscapes and the PYO partnered to increase their community impact, with volunteers from PYO providing music education and performance opportunities for Soundscapes’ older, more advanced students, and Soundscapes providing transportation, musical instruments and tuition. When COVID-19 forced both organizations to cease in-person classes, PYO was unable to continue their operations and approached Soundscapes to ensure youth throughout the region continue to have access to quality musical education.
Soundscapes is a nonprofit organization that develops critical life skills in students from first through twelfth grade in Newport News using high quality music education and frequent performance opportunities. The organization provides free orchestral instruments, high-quality music instruction and frequent public performances while imparting critical life skills, including self-confidence, teamwork, concentration, perseverance, improved executive function, and more. Soundscapes is funded in part by the Newport News Arts Commission and the City of Newport News. Due to COVID-19, Soundscapes has provided virtual music education programming for students since March. They plan to include PYO students in their virtual programming in the fall and hope to launch a PYO chamber orchestra group in early 2021. Learn more at www.soundscapes.org.
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