The Grammy Awards and GDYO!

During the Grammy Awards on Monday, one of our own GDYO alumni--Jun Iwasaki (graduated in 2000)--got very excited to see the winners in the classical category because he was a performer on the Best Classical Compendium and the Best Opera Recording. Congratulations! You can read more here:


  • Stephen Paulus: Three Places Of Enlightenment; Veil Of Tears & Grand Concerto
  • Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
  • Nashville Symphony
  • Tim Handley, producer
  • Label: Naxos

There are three pieces in this CD, all performed by the Nashville Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero. “Three Places Of Enlightenment” is a piece for string quartet and Orchestra, and Symphony’s top players (Jun and other section leaders) played. This was a live performance in 2014.

The other two pieces were recorded at different concerts, but Jun served as concertmaster for those as well.


  • Ravel: L'Enfant Et Les Sortilèges; Shéhérazade
  • Seiji Ozawa, conductor;
  • Isabel Leonard; Dominic Fyfe,
  • producer (Saito Kinen Orchestra; SKF Matsumoto Chorus & SKF Matsumoto Children's Chorus)
  • Label: Decca

This was recorded live in summer of 2013 in Japan, and Jun was in the Saito Kinen Orchestra.


GDYO Musicians Continue to Perform Well in Area Competitions

Every year, musicians from the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra program compete in competitions throughout the North Texas area. We are proud of your accomplishments outside of our program, and we look forward to sharing your good news. Let’s continue by highlighting the Collin County Young Artist Competition, the Vernell Gregg Young Artist Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association “Division” Competition, and Jazz Band of America, and National YoungArts Foundation.

Collin County Young Artist Competition (sponsored by the Plano Symphony) – Jan. 9

Junior Strings

  • 1st: Kaeon Cho, violin (GDYO)
  • 2nd: Jacqueline Liu, viola (Sinfonietta)
  • Honorable Mention: April Chung, violin (GDYO) and Vivian Zhang, violin (PHIL)

Senior Strings

  • 1st: Alexander Davis-Pegis, cello (GDYO)
  • Alexander Davis-Pegis also received one of 3 Grand Prize Winners and he will perform with the Plano Symphony on March 19.
  • 3rd: Kevin Bai, violin (GDYO)
  • Honorable Mention: Samuel Choi, violin (GDYO), Samantha Choo, violin (GDYO), and Kevin Kim, cello (PHIL)

Vernell Gregg Young Artist Competition (sponsored by Lake Lewisville Symphony) – Jan 23

  • Senior Division: 2nd place, Richard Huang, oboe (PHIL)
  • Junior Division: 2nd place, Claire Druffner, cello (GDYO)

MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) “Division” Competition – Jan 10

  • Division’s 1st place winners - advanced to National Competition in April.
  • Junior Winds: Hannah Kim, flute (PHIL)
  • Senior Strings: Yong Ha Jung, viola (GDYO)
  • Senior Winds: Annabelle Kim, flute (GDYO)

Jazz Band of America – 2016

  • Austin Zhang, alto saxophone - Lead Alto (Jazz Institute)
  • Zach Gross, baritone saxophone (Jazz Institute)

National YoungArts Foundation

  • Merit Winner: Austin Zhang, alto saxophone (Jazz Institute)