For 34 years, the Southern California Youth Philharmonic has been a vital part of Southern California's cultural community by providing a distinguished orchestral experience and comprehensive musical opportunities for young musicians. Founded in 1983 by Artistic Director Dr. Robert Frelly, the SCYP has grown from a single orchestra of 72 musicians to a comprehensive program of 5 ensembles, conservatory classes, summer festivals, international performance tours, mentor program, and a Composer-in-Residence program involving over 170 members.
Countless hours and immense energy from the staff, board, volunteers, and parents have been put forth for the benefit of over 2,000 graduates of the SCYP program. In addition to being lifelong supporters of fine music, many alumni of the SCYP are enjoying successful careers as professional musicians, music teachers, and leaders within their chosen fields.
Throughout its history, the SCYP has earned a reputation for its high standards, enlightening education, powerful performances, and dedicated musicians. The orchestra's commitment to quality has resulted in numerous honors, including invitations to perform at prestigious regional, national, and international music events. Past performances have included festivals in France, England, Ireland, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Austria, including two appearances at the famed Salzburg Music Festival.
Recently, the SCYP was invited to perform on center stage at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. As part of SCYP’s 2015 Summer Festival, students from all over Southern California joined regular members of the SCYP for this memorable concert. The 2016 Summer Festival will feature a return engagement to Disney Hall. Past Summer Festivals have included performances in London for the 2012 pre-Olympic Cultural Festival and the Queen’s Jubilee. This marked the SCYP’s 2nd Olympic appearance as they had previously traveled to China in 2008 to participate in "Perform in Harmony with Olympic Spirit", part of the pre-Olympic cultural festivities held in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2007 the SCYP traveled to Australia for a gathering of international musicians where they took center stage in the renowned Sydney Opera House as the featured orchestra of Premiering Sydney 2007. Of special note was the world premiere performance of Dazzling Lights — Sydney in Celebration, which was composed exclusively for the event by noted composer Roger Cichy.
In addition to performing at international concert halls, the SCYP has been a featured performers at festivals and noted venues within the United States, including the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the state conference of CMEA: the California Association for Music Education, the Orange County Performing Arts Center Invitational Orchestra Festival, and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.