The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) transforms young musicians of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds by breaking down barriers to music instruction and providing exceptional year-round orchestral experiences. Led by Artistic Director Mark Russell Smith, outstanding conductors, and coaches from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) and Minnesota Orchestra, GTCYS serves 1,000 students ages 8-18 through eight academic-year orchestras and two summer programs. In fall 2018, GTCYS will add a ninth orchestra, Sinfonia East, to meet increased demand and accommodate students in the east metro. In 2016, GTCYS launched a new afterschool program, Harmony, which provides violin instruction to underserved students at Riverview Elementary School in St. Paul’s West Side neighborhood. Each year, GTCYS shares more than 25 concerts with 12,000 audience members at locations across the region including Orchestra Hall, The Ordway, and Ted Mann Concert Hall, plus free community concerts at homeless shelters, schools, and care centers. Renowned for its rich international touring history, GTCYS toured Argentina in June 2016 and performed by invitation at the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance (Spain) in 2014. Symphony’s 2018 Tour will introduce students to Germany, Poland, and Hungary. In total, GTCYS will inspire more than 17,000 children and adults through our educational programs, free community activities, concerts, and special events this year. Founded in 1972, GTCYS’ 16,000 alumni include leaders in every field who developed lifelong values of teamwork, discipline, and community engagement during their GTCYS experience. With the help of generous donors, GTCYS will award more than $100,000 in need-based tuition and tour scholarships this year. Through a unique partnership since 2011, GTCYS and the SPCO work together to strengthen our community, build future audiences, provide educational opportunities for students, and promote the value of classical music.