Sacramento Youth Symphony

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

36 donors

100% complete

$3,000 Goal

The Sacramento Youth Symphony (SYS) was founded in 1956 as a 55-member youth orchestra. SYS was incorporated as an independent organization in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since incorporating, the SYS has grown from one orchestra to a program where over 400 young people can advance through introductory, beginning, intermediate, and advanced orchestras. The SYS presents over 20 concerts each year.  The Sacramento Youth Symphony & Academy of Music programs build bridges between music and academic subjects, integrate orchestra ethics with appropriate social behavior and help students build self-discipline, self-expression, and self-belief with skills that will help them throughout their lives.

- Weekly programs: The Sacramento Youth Symphony offers talented and passionate young musicians an opportunity to participate in two full orchestras, three string orchestras, and a symphonic wind ensemble (Premier, Academic, Classic, Symphonic, Vivace, Prelude).
- After-school programs for Under-served: Overture is a free after-school program currently offered at Father Keith B. Kenny K-8 school in Oak Park and Pacific Elementary in South Sacramento. No prior music experience is required, and instruments are provided at no charge. The only requirements for the students are a commitment to attend regularly, a practice schedule, and care for the instrument. Parents are required to sign a contract that they will ensure their children practice at home during the week.
- Chamber Music Workshops: Summer Chamber Music Workshop is an intensive program introducing young musicians to chamber music. Taught by professional musicians, participants receive individualized coaching and conclude their programs with concerts.
- Outreach: Each orchestra and ensemble perform concerts as part of our traditional concert series and outreach concerts in the community, particularly to schools lacking music programs. The SYS, through Any Given Child Sacramento, reaches over 1,000 elementary students in the region through outreach concerts.
- Concerto Competitions: Each season the SYS holds an Annual Concerto Competition, with the winners being offered an opportunity to shine as soloists at the Premier and Academic Concerto Concerts. The competition is open to all orchestra members.

Giving Activity


As Sacramento's foremost orchestral youth organization, we aspire to become the region's most influential community for the advancement of talent and music appreciation among youth.


Scholarships: To support talented, but economically disadvantaged young musicians who qualify for Sacramento Youth Symphony (SYS) orchestras. The SYS awards more than $30,000 in scholarships for our programs every year.

Lessons: We need financial support to offer FREE engaging, challenging, and inspiring programs for youth in our under-served neighborhoods (Overture Strings). Cost: $2,000 per student per year.

Sponsorships: Sponsor a local SYS school outreach tour. For the cost of a bus and pizza for 40 SYS youth musicians, the group will provide a free concert to students at three or four local elementary schools. Cost: $1,500 per tour.

Usable musical instruments for our after-school programs benefiting the under-served. Preference is for violin, viola, cello, flute, trumpet, and clarinet. Cost: up to $1,000 for new; reconditioned $100-250 each.

We need talented community members in the fields of marketing, legal, or business to offer their skills as a volunteer or Board Member. Cost: free-minimal.

Equity Statement

SYS supports the personal and musical growth of our students, honors all voices, and stands in solidarity with our students, families, and community members to dismantle the systems that create inequality in music.

Organization Data


Organization name

Sacramento Youth Symphony

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Other, Volunteers

Demographics Served

Youth & Children, General population

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


3443 Ramona Ave. Suite 22
Sacramento, CA 95826

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Elk Grove, CA, US

Davis, CA, US

Folsom, CA, US

Roseville, CA, US



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