About GDYO


The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, whose mission is to provide music education and performance opportunities for youth with demonstrated musical ability, was founded as a single orchestra, the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, in 1972 by a group of parents, educators and musicians who valued music education and the outcomes it could provide.

The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing music education and performance opportunities that foster musical excellence, cultivate learning, encourage creativity, inspire self-motivation, and develop social skills.  In its forty-three year history, it has grown from a single orchestra of 35 members to a program of over 440 talented musicians, ages 8 to 18, performing in eight ensembles and socializing with a diverse group of highly talented peers from more than 50 communities.  Ensemble offerings include the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, Philharmonic, Sinfonietta, Dallas String Ensemble, Young Performers Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Flute Choir and Jazz Institute.  GDYO offers many enrichment opportunities in addition to the high quality ensemble training, including a partnership with the DSO Young Strings program, and the Share the Magic program which offers hundreds of complimentary tickets to concerts at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center each season. 

GDYO is committed to providing musical experiences to young people throughout the area.  While participation in GDYO is tuition-based, the organization has a long-standing commitment to making its programs available to all qualified musicians; scholarship assistance is available, and no student need be denied an opportunity to participate because of financial need. 

For more than 40 years, Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra has provided wholesome, challenging opportunities for this special group of young musicians who, as always, enrich the cultural life of our city and carry the cultural riches of Dallas wherever they travel.

GDYO Programs:

GDYO History


  • Founded 1972, one orchestra, 35 musicians


  • Richard Giangiulio named Music Director 1980
  • Growth to three orchestras:
    1. The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
    2. The Dallas Junior Symphony
    3. The Dallas String Ensemble
  • Membership includes 170 musicians from 68 schools, and 18 districts
  • Administration includes part-time Secretary, Librarian and Stage Manager
  • First full-time Executive Director hired
  • Young Performers Orchestra founded, a beginning level string ensemble for children ages 5-9
  • Move to first permanent home, Sammons Center for the Arts, providing office, rehearsal and recital space
  • First full-time Orchestra Manager/Librarian hired


  • Meyerson Concert Series initiated with 4 full-length formal concerts in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
  • John Sharp, principal cellist Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performs as Guest Soloist with the GDYO
  • Membership in mid 90’s includes 267 students representing 132 schools and 34 communities
  • Texas Boys Choir joins the GDYO on a Mother’s Day Concert at the Meyerson
  • FIRST TOUR, France and Switzerland, June 1994
  • SECOND TOUR, France June, 1996.
  • Dallas Symphony Music Director Andrew Litton begins annual guest conducting relationship
  • Fall, 1997, the Fifth orchestra, the Sinfonietta, is added to the program.  Enrollment grows to 335
  • THIRD TOUR, England and Scotland, June 1998.
  • Fall, 1999, a sixth ensemble, The Wind Symphony is added to the program under the direction of David Kehler. Total enrollment grows to 365.


  • The GDYO participates in the American Symphony Orchestra League’s National Youth Orchestra Festival.
  • DSO Composer-in-Residence Lowell Liebermann conducts his composition Kontrapunktus with the GDYO
  • FOURTH TOUR, Germany and Czech Republic, June 2001
  • 2002 30th Anniversary Season includes guest soloists Terrence Wilson, Cho-Liang Lin, & Ko Iwasaki
  • GDYO accompanies Sidney Poitier and others in Dallas Center for Performing Arts Gala
  • Orchestras perform for Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras and Texas Bandmasters Association
  • Wind Symphony performs first ever Side-by-Side Concert with Dallas Wind Symphony
  • FIFTH TOUR, Germany, Poland & Czech Republic, June 2004
  • Alumnus Jun Iwasaki performs Brahms Violin Concerto in “Homecoming” Concert
  • SIXTH TOUR, China & Hong Kong, June 2007 with Alessio Bax piano soloist
  • December 2007, GDYO performs 9th annual Holiday Magic concert with Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
  • Flute Choir formed, total enrollment 425


  • GDYO celebrates 40th Anniversary Season during 2011-12, total enrollment 440
  • SEVENTH TOUR, Germany & Czech Republic, June 2012
  • WIND SYMPHONY featured at the 2013 Texas Bandmasters Association Convention in San Antonio, TX
  • FLUTE CHOIR performs at the 2013 National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • GDYO adds the Jazz Institute to its program offerings, starting in the fall of 2014
  • EIGHTH TOUR, China, June 2015