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The Brooklyn Youth Music Project is an independent, community-based, 501(c)3 organization serving musicians ages 5 to 18. We are dedicated to extending the reach of musical training to young musicians in Brooklyn and beyond, to supporting the development of life-long learners and to contributing to a culture of youth musicianship.


Our professional faculty provides students with a high standard of training and performance in ensembles of all sizes. Our varied programming, includes yearlong Intermediate and Advanced Orchestras and a Jazz Ensemble Program. In addition, we offer a summer music camps that also reaches out to the youngest string musicians for our Suzuki program and that provides opportunities for more advanced students to work in both large and small ensembles. Our musicians study and perform a wide variety of music, from classical to contemporary to jazz.

We are proud that the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra, our flagship ensemble, is the only program in the borough with two levels. Because we provide need-based financial aid, all children who pass the audition can participate. Our programs, which serve more than 200 children from more than 20 different public schools and a handful of independent schools, are a celebration of diversity.

If you are interested in contributing to our work, we invite you to make a tax-deductible donation today!


Under Kelly Howard’s direction, the Brooklyn Youth Music Project and the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra burgeoned from the rapidly-expanding Brooklyn Symphony Youth Orchestra, an outgrowth of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra of the Brooklyn Heights Music Society. At that time, the youth orchestra received funding from New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs and from the Brooklyn Arts Council/New York State Cultural Affairs re-grant program. In 2011, BYMP came into its own as a 501(c)3 organization. We continue to seek government, foundation, corporate and individual support for our young organization.


Kelly Howard
Founder & Artistic Director
Owen Howard
Jazz Program Director
Patricia Gunther
Managing Director
Hugo Barreca
Keiko Asakawa-Golden
Board Chair
Susan Buchsbaum
Board Vice Chair & Co-Secretary
Magda Cruz
Board Member
Kelly Howard
Board Member
Claire Hsiang Marx
Board Member
William Lach
Thomas Nam
Finance Committee Chair
Zama Neff
Board Member
Erica Zielinski
Board Member


Our programs have grown each year since their start in 2008.

2008: It all started under the auspices of the Brooklyn Heights Music Society with one yearlong Youth Orchestra of 25 string players and a one-week Summer Music Program for String Orchestra with 20 participants.

2009: The Brooklyn Youth Orchestra added a second yearlong Youth Orchestra at the Intermediate level, with 15 string players; the Advanced Youth Orchestra grew to 30.

2010: After adding winds and brass, the Advanced Youth Orchestra grew to 40 players. The Intermediate String Orchestra was now 20 strong. Our Summer Music Programs – Suzuki String and String Orchestra and Chamber – grew to 60 total.

2011: The Brooklyn Youth Music Project incorporated as a nonprofit, stand-alone organization. The Advanced Youth Orchestra grew to 53; winds and brass were added to the Intermediate Youth Orchestra, now 27. The Summer Suzuki Workshop added cellos. The two Summer Music Programs served 80 children combined.

2012: BYMP established a Jazz Ensemble. Our Summer Music Program grew to 90 participants.

2013: Our Jazz Ensemble Program grew to 20 children and we added jazz to our Summer programs. The three summer programs (Suzuki Strings, String Orchestra and Chamber Music, Jazz Ensembles) served 110 children.

2014: Presenting glorious opportunities for music-making, personal growth, and lifelong friendships, BYMP’s Summer Music Program reached an attendance of over 110 young musicians engaged in Suzuki, chamber music, string orchestra and jazz.

2015: In March, music making was alive and full. BYMP presented an impressive concert combining Intermediate Orchestra, Advanced Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble collaborating on a performance that brought them all together as one enormous ensemble. More than 90 children offering great music to our community!
In May, all young jazz musicians were invited to participate in a free, day-long workshop organized by the Brooklyn Youth Music Project in collaboration with the Brooklyn Jazz Underground. Professional musicians performed with young musicians in a unique opportunity for both to realize musical dreams.

2016: In May, a reduced version of the Advanced Orchestra collaborated with dancers from the Martha Graham School Young Artists Program. The repertoire included Ravel's String Quartet and Copland's Quiet City and Hoedown. Performances were given at Perry Dance, the Brooklyn Dance Festival and the Martha Graham Dance Studio. In June, the BYMP Jazz Ensemble played in the BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech.

2017: In June, a reduced version of the orchestra made up of both intermediate and advanced players, as well as our two jazz ensembles, performed as part of the outdoor "Live at Seaglass" festival in Battery Park. This free community outreach event was fun for both the musicians and audience alike! In September, our senior jazz ensemble played as part of the 2nd Annual Green Thumb Harvest Festival sponsored by the NYC Dept. of Parks. And, in October they played as part of the Oktoberfest celebration sponsored by the Brooklyn Bavarian Biergarten.