Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

A nonprofit organization

$5,505 raised by 42 donors

100% complete

$2,500 Goal

"GTCYS is more important for students now than ever before. The social dynamics of an orchestra reflect many situations which we face in everyday life. Learning to become a good orchestral player ultimately leads to learning what it means to become a good citizen. And in our increasingly complex world, it is more important than ever that we train and develop as many good citizens as possible."  

                                     – Alexander Adiarte, GTCYS alum and professional conductor 

With the help of generous annual fund donors, we can sustain high-quality programming and meaningful musical experiences for young musicians of all backgrounds through tuition assistance, performance opportunities, and outstanding conductors. 

Every gift, large or small, helps more students learn and succeed.

Your gift will help:

  • Ensure that 1,000 students are transformed into strong learners and leaders in GTCYS. Through the rehearsal and performance process within our 10 orchestras students will develop lifelong skills like critical thinking, creative expression, perseverance, and teamwork.
  • Provide more than $140,000 in need-based scholarships for tuition and private lessons so that every young musician can benefit from the GTCYS experience in an equitable way, regardless of financial background. 
  • Open doors so beginning strings students can grow musically, socially, and emotionally in Harmony, while 19 Harmony alumni continue their GTCYS journey in our Philharmonia East and Sinfonia East orchestras.

Thank you for your dedication to musical excellence and access!

Fall 2021 launches a new season as well as our 50th Anniversary! This milestone is a monumental achievement for our students, families, staff, donors, and all those who have been a part of GTCYS community through the decades. 

Click the button below to learn more about our 50th Anniversary Celebrations and our Play It Forward Campaign to raise $250,000. 

GTCYS' 50th Anniversary

This Year 

  • 1,000+ students ages 8-18 from across the region will Sinfonia East poses for a photo backstage at GTCYS' Spring Festival at Orchestra Hall.grow as musicians, learners, and leaders
  • 10 school-year orchestras and two summer programs will serve as entry points for students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds
  • $140,000 will be given for need-based tuition and lesson scholarships to break down barriers to participation
  • Harmony strings instruction program at Riverview Elementary will continue to create an accessible entry to music for 65 students

GTCYS transforms young musicians by breaking down barriers to music instruction and providing high-quality year-round orchestral experiences.


Symphony woodwinds section at GTCYS' Spring Festival. Red carnations recognize graduating seniors.

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) transforms young musicians of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds by breaking down barriers to music instruction and providing high-quality year-round educational experiences. Led by Artistic Director Mark Russell Smith, outstanding conductors, and coaches from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) and Minnesota Orchestra, GTCYS serves more than 1,000 students ages 8-18 through ten school-year orchestras, two summer programs, and Harmony strings instruction program.

Typically , GTCYS shares more than 30 concerts with 13,000 audience Symphony students soak in the sights of Budapest during their Eastern Europe tour, which included a residency at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music. members at locations across the region, including Orchestra Hall, The Ordway, Ted Mann Concert Hall, plus free community concerts at local schools, homeless shelters, and care centers. Renowned for its rich international touring history, GTCYS’ Symphony tours biennially. Recent tours have included Eastern Europe (2018), Argentina (2016), and Spain (2014). Summer 2022 will take the Symphony Orchestra on its next international tour to Italy! In total, GTCYS inspires more than 17,000 children and adults through our educational programs, free community activities, concerts, and special events each year. 

Founded in 1972, GTCYS’ 16,000 alumni include leaders in every field who developed lifelong values of teamwork, discipline, and community engagement during their GTCYS experience. With the help of generous donors, GTCYS will award $140,000 in need-based scholarships for tuition and private lessons this season. For more information, visit

Organization Data


Organization name

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Children & Family


408 St. Peter Street The Historic Hamm Building, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55102



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