The Bravura Youth Orchestra (BYO), a youth orchestra formed in October of 2010, is under the leadership of Music Director Chiu-Tze Lin. It is the preparatory orchestra of the award-winning Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra. The BYO includes talented pre-college musicians from six counties in New Jersey: Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Morris, and Essex. Its vision is to instill in young people the appreciation of great music by being active participants in its creation. The wide repertoire of the BYO includes both classical and contemporary works. The students have the unique opportunity to perform in chamber groups, as well as in larger orchestral settings.
There are three musical divisions within the BYO: Ensemble, Sinfonia, and Wind Ensemble, conducted by Patty Gonsky, Chiu-Tze Lin, and Michelle Grondin, respectively. The BYO rehearses weekly on Thursdays. Starting in September 2013, the BYO has also collaborated with the Extension Division of Rutgers University Mason Gross School of Arts in its Young Artists Program.
The BYO has been certified as a partnering organization in the Presidential Volunteering Service Award program. The orchestra reaches out to the community, and has performed in events such as the American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” Luminaria Ceremony and Chinese New Year celebrations. Chamber groups of the BYO have performed at the Arts Council of Princeton, National Day of Collaboration of the Music Teachers National Organization, and the International Festival of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Chamber groups from the BYO have won Gold Prizes of the National League of Performing Arts, and performed in Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.
The BYO has performed in a concert tour in Taipei, Taiwan in the summer of 2012. In the summer of 2014, the orchestra performed and collaborated with local youth orchestras in Guanzhou and Macau in China. US Senator Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have lauded the Bravura Youth Orchestra for its strides in international cultural exchange. BYO is looking forward to traveling to Russia next summer and perform with orchestras in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Belgorov.