Video Length

Video Length: 3:35 Minutes

When do we start to love music?

Since 1924, the Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) has inspired and trained young musicians throughout the Pacific Northwest. Founded by Mary V. Dodge, a pioneer violin teacher, as the Portland Junior Symphony, the orchestra captured the hearts of radio listeners all across the country.

As the oldest youth orchestra in the United States, the structure and standards it established for training young musicians in the 1920s became the prototype for other youth orchestras across the country.

Renamed the Portland Youth Philharmonic in 1978, PYP is known for fearless artistry, adventurous programming, and astonishing performances at affordable prices.

musicians in 1925 The Portland Junior Symphony in 1925 taking a trip to Salem, Oregon during its first concert season. (Photo: Portland Youth Philharmonic)

Today, there are nearly 300 musicians from over 100 schools in five ensembles: the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Conservatory Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble, the Young String Ensemble, and the new PYP Percussion Ensemble.

PYP is currently celebrating its landmark 95th season of concerts. Portland Youth Philharmonic will soon be the first U.S. organization for young musicians to reach its 100th anniversary.

The above video includes interviews with a few of our musicians and an alumna. In their own words, they describe how important music and this organization has been in their lives.

Portland Youth Philharmonic

The Portland Youth Philharmonic Association (PYP), founded in 1924 as America’s first youth orchestra, supports two full symphony orchestras, a chamber orchestra, a wind ensemble, and a string orchestra. Members range in age from 7 to 23, are accepted based on audition and seated solely according to ability, and come from 100 different schools throughout northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

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