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Mission Statement: The Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir (SMYOC) will nurture, develop, and advance young, talented musicians in quality orchestral and choral programs.
Founded in 2013, SMYOC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing musical training and performance opportunities for talented young instrumentalists/singers in Maryland's Tri-county.
The organization started as a single-ensemble youth orchestra rehearsing in St. Mary's County, but since its first season, it has grown to 7 ensembles rehearsing in both St. Mary's and Calvert Counties, with approximately 100 participants ranging in age from 8 to 20.
SMYOC currently operates 2 orchestras (a youth orchestra and a preparatory strings orchestra); 4 choirs (2 in St. Mary's Co; 2 in Calvert Co); 1 Pops Band. SMYOC currently employs 5 part-time professional conductors/directors. Julien Benichou serves as our Music Director. He is also music director of the Chesapeake Youth Orchestra and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.
In doing what we do, SMYOC hopes to enhance the personal growth and sense of community for each participant while also broadening their access to opportunities beyond SMYOC. We believe in the transformative power of the arts to bring youth together in communal purpose and passion.
We also hope to strengthen the Tri-county community, by enriching the arts culture and expanding the opportunities that exist for youth with musical interests.
We believe SMYOC is making a difference in the lives of Southern Maryland families - we'd love your interest and help with our programs!