Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra

GDYO Ensemble Performing

Photograph by Mike Itashiki

The GDYO is the most advanced orchestral ensemble in the program. A full symphony orchestra, it is comprised of 110 string, woodwind, brass and percussion players who are high school seniors or younger. The GDYO is “one of Dallas’ treasures” according to Scott Cantrell, classical music critic for the Dallas Morning News. Directed by Maestro Richard Giangiulio, the GDYO performs four concerts annually at the Meyerson Symphony Center.


Programs include a variety of music – Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, and Modern. The GDYO repertoire includes major orchestral works such as de Falla’s Three Cornered Hatt Suite, Respighi’s Feste Romane, Gershwin’s American in Paris, Mahler’s Totenfeier, and Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 in C-minor, “Organ”.

Holiday Magic

Each December, the GDYO performs a “Holiday Magic” concert with the Children’s Chorus and Youth Chorus of Greater Dallas. This opportunity allows musicians and audience members to experience great choral masterpieces such as Vivaldi’s Gloria and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols.


Each season, famed international soloists such as violinist Chee-Yun, violinist Maria Schleuning, hornist Gregory Hustis, pianist Alessio Bax perform, and organist Bradley Welch with the GDYO. These artists enlighten and inspire GDYO musicians and audiences alike.


The annual GDYO Concerto Competition cultivates solo performance. Dallas area professional musicians judge orchestra members. The winner receives an opportunity to solo with the GDYO during the March concert and is featured on the concert poster and other advertisements.


The GDYO maintains close ties to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO). Members of the DSO and other local musicians serve as coaches for GDYO sectionals. Assistant Conductor Karina Canellakis has been a frequent guest. Andrew Litton, former Music Director and Conductor of the DSO, has been a guest conductor and current conductor, Jaap van Zweden has rehearsed with the ensemble. In January of 2013 the GDYO Joined the DSO for a Performance for the Radio Show From the Top, which also featured some GDYO alumni.

International Tours

Since 1994, the GDYO has had five highly successful European tours. In the summer of 2004, the GDYO traveled to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. The GDYO traveled to China in 2007, Germany and the Czech Republic in 2012, and back to China in 2015. The ensemble expects to tour again in 2020.

Rehearsals and Requirements

GDYO rehearsals take place during the season on Sunday evenings at the Sammons Center for the Arts, from 5:00 to 8:30 pm. All GDYO musicians are expected to participate in their school music programs.

Richard Giangiulio, GDYO Music Director

Richard Giangiulio is now in his 39th season with the GDYO. He began conducting GDYO in 1980.
Mr. Giangiulio holds music degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School of Music and the Paris Conservatory where he studied under Maurice Andre while on a Fulbright grant, and was awarded the first prize. In 1967, Mr. Giangiulio was a First Medal winner in the Geneva International Trumpet Competition. He has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Knoxville Symphony, and at summer festivals in Ansbach, Germany; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Lieksa, Finland. He served as Principal and Co-Principal trumpet of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for 32 years. From 1977-1982 Mr. Giangiulio was the assistant conductor for educational concerts with the Dallas Symphony, developing and conducting multi-age youth and park concerts.
Mr. Giangiulio was Music Director of the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving for eleven years, and the Allen Philharmonic for eight years. He has recorded seven albums with Crystal Records. He is the owner of the Trumcor mute company. Mr. Giangiulio has four children — three have been members of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra.

GDYO Sectional Coaches:
Violin: Lucas Aleman, Maria Schleuning, Shu Lee
Viola: David Sywak, Ralph Fielding
Cello: Jeff Hood, Jolyon Pegis
Bass: Clifford Spohr
Flute: Ebonee Thomas
Oboe: Eric Barr
Clarinet: Paul Garner
Bassoon: Wilfred Roberts, Ted Soluri
Trumpet: Ryan Anthony, John Holt, Burt Truax
Horn: Greg Hustis
Low Brass: Philip Graham
Percussion: Doug Howard