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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts

Target demographics: K-12 youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 350 underserved youth

Geographic areas served: underserved and rural communities

Programs: expert orchestral instruction and free instrument

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

This volunteer-led orchestra brings kids all over the Wake Forest Community and further together for a love of music like no other organization in the area. The founders and leaders are committed to their mission of making instruction in string music (and more) accessible for kids of all backgrounds and skill levels. This orchestra is in a class of its own!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter's started playing the violin with the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra when they were 6 years old. By the end of the first session they were playing with the orchestra for the end of season concert. The instructors provides a fun and positive space where students learn that any goal is possible if they work hard towards that goal. They even provide instruments for students that need them. This orchestra also provides instruments and training for parents who are interested in learning to play along with their kids.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As President of the WFCYO Board, I'm enjoying and learning many things about WFCYO. Each season I marvel at the creativity, remaking of teaching strategies, persistent tenacity in meeting the individual needs of each student, the procurement of funding, the evolving staff, the financial stability, and the expansion of instrumental choices for instruction. Every performance is a delight in execution, development, and programming. Past performances have included guest composer/arrangers, guest conductors, and a guest solo harpist. The WFCYO has continued to be a positive solution for young people seeking to make music and have a joyful experience.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work with the students, parents and staff in this organization. Through this organization,
I have seen students continue to grow musically in many areas. The organization has navigated seamlessly through the current pandemic with students being able to record music in music apps virtually. Weekly, students receive guidance on weekly music objectives. In the past few years, students have had incredible workshops, masterclasses and outreach performances to help in developing every student. Furthermore, students receive
music study in Chamber Ensembles, Orchestra, Piano, and Guitar. The staff and executive leadership remain committed to the vision for this organization, to serve families living in North Carolina communities where access to orchestra instruction is limited or does not exist.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My child has the chance to learn string instruments under this wonderful organisation! Dr Booth is encouraging and does whatever she can to help students learn. We are so glad to find such a gem in Dr Booth and Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra!

1 Michael F.13

Client Served

Rating: 5

WFCYO is a fantastic organization. They provide string instruments and instruction for a variety of people at a very, very low fee.

Jessica F.12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been participating in this orchestra since its very first year and my experiences with this group have been absolutely amazing! The instructors are incredibly nice and encouraging and are very good at teaching. I would highly recommend this orchestra to anyone and everyone.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our family loves WFCYO!! We have been involved for almost 5 years and my children have grown so much. The teachers and staff are professional, committed and enthusiastic . They have made music a joy and accessible for my kids! We are so thankful that WFCYO is a part of our community and that this organization has allowed my children to be a part of something so much bigger. Our community has been truly blessed by the presence of the WFCYO. Thank you for being here!

Board Member

Rating: 5

WFCYO has been a big part of the development of the arts focus that has been a part of the Vance County Schools. When I stepped into my current role as Director of Fine Arts and Innovation, WFCYO had already been coming to our district, providing a strings experience to elementary schools in our district. This relationship has continued to expand to including close to 100 students in 2019-20. When the pandemic shut down school buildings, the orchestra continued to serve our participating students through a virtual program focused on continuing the building of the skills that students had developed. While we have not been able to expand to the middle school level as was our intent this year (again due to the virus and school building closures), our relationship with this organization continues and emphasizes what makes WFCYO such an asset.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When we moved to North Carolina five years ago, finding an instrumental music program for our children was high priority. We didn't have to look long. WFCYO was our obvious choice, and we've been blessed to be a part ever since. The instruction is top-notch, and the performances are always amazing. It's become a musical family that continues to grow!

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

We've been involved with the WFCYO for many years now! I was excited for my son to learn a musical instrument, but I got MORE than just an opportunity for him to learn something new! This organization offers community and learning opportunities for composing and community stewardship. Providing instrument, music, and instruction at a very affordable cost, they offer opportunities to kids from all walks of life. My son has autism and Dr. Booth and her staff have always been so patient and amazing working with him. They provide structure and learning in a way that engages his mind. I love seeing him enjoy interacting with other kids and adults in connection with the orchestra.
We've enjoyed being involved in school supply give aways and performances for the community. It was so much more than I expected and I love this organization dearly for that! Recently, I was asked to join the Board and it has been such a rewarding opportunity to help out with the orchestra. We are so blessed to have the orchestra in our community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my son's 5th season playing with the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra. This fantastic organization, founded by Dr. LaSaundra Booth and Ms. Tonya Suggs, began when the strings programs were cut at local public middle and high schools. This is the only orchestra opportunity for children and youth in our local area and provides strings education through multiple programs. Instruments are provided to any child who needs one and no family is turned away. The kids are receive high quality orchestra instruction, professional guest musicians instructing and playing with them, and the ability to play with their peers and perform around our community. Alumni from the program return to each year to perform with and mentor the younger kids.

2 Miranda J.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra has become such a positive influence in not only our children's lives, but even our own. The enrichment that our kids receive from the program administered by Dr. Booth is one that is hard to put into words. The kids gain a beautiful talent and appreciation for music while also gaining self confidence in themselves through learning something new and exciting. Dr. Booth and her staff are what make WFCYO so special - they truly have a calling, a vocation, to enlighten our children's lives through the power of the arts. We are truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son learned so much by participating in WFCYO. The music instruction is fantastic. He learned music, but he also learned teamwork. He learned how to encourage each other and work together. Amazing group and I am so thankful that it is around.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a part of WFCYO for about six years (almost since the organization began), and every year I enjoy it more than the last! WFCYO not only gave me my first real opportunity to play in an orchestra, but it also introduced me to an aspect of music that I have come to love--that is, playing with other musicians. One thing I love about WFCYO is their commitment to diversity. As well as standard classical repetoire, we learn movie scores, traditional and folk music, pop music, and music from cultures around the world. I have also enjoyed the peer-coaching opportunities I gained at WFCYO. Because of the opportunities I had to help younger students at WFCYO, I am considering pursuing a career in music education. But perhaps my favorite thing about WFCYO is the sense of community I've felt over the years of participating in this organization. It's in their name: Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra. Thank you, WFCYO!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Dedicated staff, students, and teachers! All three of my children are in this orchestra and I have seen them progress so much over the years. I am grateful that Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra is here because orchestra is not offered in public schools where we live.