About YPCO

The YOUNG PEOPLE’S CHAMBER ORCHESTRA was founded in 1982 by beloved music teacher Ellen Mindell. This year Young People’s Chamber Orchestra celebrates its 37th anniversary! Originally a single all-strings orchestra for young musicians, YPCO now includes the Chamber Orchestra and the Advanced Ensemble. Our musicians come from all parts of the Bay Area– Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, Oakland, Lafayette, Richmond, El Cerrito, San Pablo, Marin, Santa Clara and San Francisco.

YPCO’s mission is to provide a musical learning experience for young musicians in the community. As a teaching orchestra, YPCO promotes a non-competitive and cooperative philosophy, welcoming the skills and talents of all our members with equal warmth. We believe that, through music, our students develop their abilities to cooperate, focus, communicate and work towards a common goal. Of course, we also work hard to develop musical skills, including technique, rhythm, intonation, dynamic control, interpretation, and expression. For many of our young musicians, the transition from individual lessons and practice to ensemble playing with YPCO introduces an exciting and tremendously motivating dimension of the world of music. There are performances several times a year, combining pieces for small chamber groups with pieces for the whole orchestra. Each chamber group has a coach, which allows us to give individual attention and encouragement to each young musician. More than anything, YPCO is about giving young musicians the opportunity to discover the joy of making music together.

Rem Djemilev has been the Music Director and Conductor for YPCO since 1998. Under Rem’s gifted leadership, the orchestra has further solidified its reputation as a nurturing environment where young musicians can build their ensemble playing skills.