Who We Are

Who We Are

Oakland Youth Orchestras is a four-tiered teaching orchestra program serving students in grades 2 through 12 from numerous communities in southeast Michigan. Each year we attract over 350 students who want to be challenged beyond their school music experience. Our conductors are accomplished musicians with extensive backgrounds in performance and music education.

Mission Statement

The mission of OYO is to inspire student musicians by providing an exceptional orchestral experience. OYO fosters enrichment through opportunities in music theory, chamber music, community outreach performance and competitions. OYO values its partnership with local school programs and private teachers, who share in the development of our student musicians.

Our Philosophy

We foster the development of individual and group skills in an atmosphere of team building, commitment, and enthusiasm. OYO stresses excellence within a friendly environment.

We Are Community

The Oakland Youth Orchestras is much more than dedicated student musicians led by dynamite conductors – although that’s pretty great. We are community.

We are:

  • Students – Who come together through their love of music; who learn, laugh, and make friendships that last for years.
  • Parents – Who see their children grow and excel; who meet other parents through OYO volunteer and fundraising activities.
  • Conductors – Professional musicians and experienced music educators who understand that making music is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
  • Board members – who provide their time and talents to see that OYO is guided by sound policies.
  • Donors – Who generously support OYO at a time when music education is being eliminated or reduced in many schools (link to support section). We couldn’t do it without you!

Board of Directors

Board members provide their time and talents to see that OYO is guided by sound policies. The Board is comprised of the Executive Director, President, Vice President, Conductors, Treasurer, Secretary, Librarian, and Parent Volunteers, as well as non-voting members who serve in advisory positions.

Board of Directors & Staff

President – William Holifield Symphony Conductor – Zeljko Milicevic
Vice President – Sreedhar Kaluva Phiharmonia Conductor – >Wendy Stuart
Treasurer – Brenda Papp Strings Conductor – John Kennedy
Secretary – Karen Castaldi Studio String Conductor – Nick Karpinsky
Symphony Orchestra Manager – Bill Stamp Executive Director – Joanne Walle
Philharmonia Orchestra Manager – Nancy Starr Admin Assistant / Librarian – Jenni Shier
String Orchestra Manager – Karshibia Davidson-Tuckey
Studio String Orchestra Manager – Mary Tison
Marketing / Publicity – Tiffany Palmer
Advisor -James Lentini