About LAYO
Who We Are

The Los Angeles Youth Orchestra is a diverse group of young musicians from over sixty different public and private schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area. When you join LAYO you’ll:

  • Work and play alongside our gifted professional coaches
  • Perform in professional concert halls
  • Experience the excitement of premiering new music, as well as the joy of exploring established masterworks
  • Make friends and music with students from all over the Los Angeles area

LAYO brings together pre-college age musicians, ages 8-18, to rehearse and perform classical symphonic masterworks and contemporary music. The magic of LAYO is that it attracts both students headed to conservatories and college music programs, as well as students who love music but aspire to other careers. Combining their collective talent, intellectual curiosity, and discipline, LAYO students transcend their technical limitations to interpret and perform programs that model professional orchestras more than conventional youth orchestras.

To accommodate different playing levels, LAYO consists of two-leveled ensembles: the Ruth Borun Concert Orchestra for intermediate players and a Symphony Orchestra for advanced players. Each ensemble spends half of the rehearsal with our coaches in sectionals and the other half in full tutti rehearsals with Russell Steinberg, Artistic Director and Conductor. Steinberg, who is both a conductor and composer, takes great care during rehearsals to share with students the ideas, musical structure, and history behind the notes of each piece.

LAYO requires students to continue taking weekly private lessons and practice daily. Membership in LAYO require serious commitment, but the benefits are considerable. Students dramatically improve their playing level, learn orchestra masterworks, perform in major concert halls, and even premiere new music. They have the opportunity to participate in national and international tours. Students often find their participation in LAYO helpful in college applications. Above all, LAYO seeks to develop a passion for music that lasts a lifetime by building a community that will be the future of culture. This community uses music to build strong friendships with like-minded students across the city. The success of LAYO alums in the arts, the sciences, and business world already attests to the power of this endeavor.