The Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) was formed in 1977 under the auspices of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, now the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Founders Betty Naster and Carl Topilow organized the orchestra as a means for Colorado’s most talented young musicians to rehearse and perform together under demanding professional standards. DYAO has operated independently since 1979, and has maintained a close relationship with the CSO.

The mission of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association (DYAO) is to provide the finest possible youth orchestra programs, inspiring and educating young musicians through the performance of great works of music, and offering valuable cultural opportunities to the community. For thirty-seven years, DYAO has nurtured the talents of the Rocky Mountain region’s finest young musicians as an integral part of their musical education, helping them to achieve their dreams.

DYAO continues to transform young musicians by giving them the inspiration, support, and skills to be tomorrow’s great musicians. The organization’s five orchestras, chamber ensembles, and group strings classes train over 300 students, ages seven to twenty-three, from more than eighty schools across Colorado.

Members of the orchestras graduate into colleges and universities across the country. Recent alumni can be found studying in various fields including engineering, medicine, music, and law. They attend prestigious institutions such as Brown University, The Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, The Julliard School, Stanford University, and Yale University. Alumni who continued on to professional music careers are found in many major orchestras across the country including the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera.