"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
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:
John Larry Granger
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
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.
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.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Youth Music Monterey County is committed to championing the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our board, our staff, and our students. We strive to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. We believe in the inherent dignity of all individuals and the value of diverse perspectives for the current organization and its future generations.
YMMC understands that education is a critical tool in eradicating systemic racism and social injustice. As an educational institution in the field of music, we know we are also raising the next generation of global citizens. The experience of making music teaches students leadership, teamwork, collaboration, respect, compassion, empathy, and critical thinking.
YMMC believes music should be available to all people regardless of cultural, geographic, or financial considerations. YMMC is inclusive and welcomes qualified music students irrespective of race, gender, or socioeconomic circumstance.
YMMC honors the importance of diversifying its performance repertoire to provide opportunities for under-represented composers, instrumentalists, and vocalists to serve as role models for students and audiences. We are dedicated to broadening our repertoire to be inclusive of other cultures and ethnicities, women, people of color and differing gender identities.
YMMC is committed to having a diverse board and staff to bring varied points of view to the decision-making process, reflect the cultural make-up of Monterey County, and provide role models of leadership to our students. YMMC celebrates diverse traditions and experiences and strives to catalyze community engagement and social understanding through music.
A cadre of community members support YMMC programs through concert attendance, donations and sponsorships, volunteering, 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!