Youth Music Monterey County supports two orchestras, a chamber music program, a brass ensemble, a woodwind ensemble, and in-school teaching and performance opportunities throughout Monterey County. Our Junior Youth and Honors Orchestras are led by professional conductor Maestro Danko Druško and feature approximately 100 student musicians.

Youth Music Monterey County was established as a 501(c)(3) organization on May 18, 1988, with the merger of two programs: the Youth Orchestra of Monterey County (est. 1981) and Summer Music Monterey (est. 1965).

The 2019-2020 YMMC Honors Orchestra under Maestro Danko Druško.

Our legacy of conductors includes:


Stewart Robinson



Farkhad Khudyev



Vince Gomez



John Larry Granger


2018-2019 Chamber Players during rehearsal.

Youth Music Monterey County has fostered the excellence of local student musicians by:

  • Inspiring and challenging students to high levels of musical achievement

  • Instilling standards of excellence, responsibility, and determination

  • Supporting and improving academic performance

  • Teaching cooperation and leadership skills in a diverse environment

  • Communicating respect for the special contributions and abilities of young people to their families and the community at large

Nathan Nguyen '20 (violin)

Select seniors from the Class of 2019 are recognized and awarded scholarships.

"To inspire excellence in individual students and enrich our community by providing young people with opportunities to participate in, and gain greater understanding of, music and its performance."


YMM Mission Statement

Building the next generation through music

Each year, the Junior Youth and Honors Orchestras of YMMC provide more than 100 local student musicians a unique, high-caliber learning opportunity under the direction of a professional conductor. This experience helps them develop knowledge of symphonic literature, as well as technical and artistic skill. These musicians delight hundreds of community members with outstanding performances at the Sunset Center in Carmel. 


The orchestras draw many of the best young musicians from throughout Monterey County – from Salinas and Monterey to Carmel Valley and Pacific Grove. Socio-economically diverse and distinguished by talent and commitment, these youth are leaders in school and private music programs today, and are the musicians of tomorrow.

Chamber Music

Three chamber music programs provide Honors Orchestra musicians opportunities to advocate for the arts and give back to the local community through public performances representing YMMC. These programs consist of the Chamber Players, the Brass Ensemble, and the Woodwind Ensemble.

Accessible and Essential Music

YMMC’s South County Strings Program involves formal partnerships between YMMC and South County school districts, including Soledad Union School District, San Antonio Union School in Lockwood, and Bradley Union School in Bradley. A team of instructors provides free violin, viola, and cello instruction in group lessons during the school day to students in grades 3-8 living in rural south Monterey County.

Simon Liu '19 (clarinet and piano). Winner of the 2019 Honors Concerto Competition with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

Community Support

A cadre of community members support YMMC programs through concert attendancedonations and sponsorshipsvolunteering, and grants. Your support bridges the gap between student fees and actual program cost, keeping this high-level opportunity affordable for all student musicians in Monterey County, spanning from the Peninsula to Salinas and South County communities. 

Our committed network of Angels, donors, and volunteers ensures a legacy of excellence in music both now and for the future. You are invited to join this very special musical family! 

Youth Music Monterey County
546 Hartnell Street, Suite B
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 375-1992

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©2019 Youth Music Monterey County.

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