YOL Awarded Two National Silver Awards from MUSIC FOR ALL

The Youth Orchestras of Lubbock are active in the West Texas community. The three orchestras, numerous small ensemble/chamber music groups, and solo musicians work throughout the year to support area non-profit organizations, fundraising events, and community outreach programs with quality, live music performances while providing an exceptional music education experience for YOL members.

YOL TRUMPET CHARLIE PITNERThe YOL program has a legacy of success and outreach. from 2017-2019, YOL students musicians partnered with parents, educators, and boosters to provide performances of great meaning to our community. One such event is the 9/11 Memorial Taps at Sunset at the Memorial Flag Field sponsored by Prosperity Bank. The memorial honors heroes from 9/11 as well as West Texas area first responders from regional fire, police, PRELUDE STRINGS PLAYERS PERFORMING TAPS AT MEMORAL FLAG FIELDEMS and homeland security departments. Families were moved every night when students performed Taps at sunset, some times for large crowds others for only a handful. The performance was a testimony to the gratitude the community feels toward those who risk their lives for others. Students played on a variety of instruments for this event. The program received the Silver Award following evaluation by a national Symphony Trumpet Camden Smith with father Ryan, performed Taps the first  year at memorial flag field in Lubbock.panel of professionals and educators from Music for All in 2019.

The second MUSIC FOR ALL Silver “Advocacy in Action” award YOL received was for the YOL video which Lubbock’s Ogletree Productions produced. The project has been a valuable outreach and recruitment tool, being a key part of presentations that explain just how much this program does for the community. You can view the video here.

These honors were awarded to the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock by the national MUSIC FOR ALL program, which is one of the largest and most influential music education organizations in America supporting active music making. The award panel consisted of some of the foremost music educators and professionals in the country. In order to win the awards, YOL competed on a national platform, in league with programs from much larger metropolitan areas such as New York, Las Vegas, Houston, and California.

jeremy isley percussion offers percussion circles with YOL studentsIn addition to the two Silver awards, the YOL Percussion Circles program, (which was done in conjunction with Isley Percussion of Lubbock), was awarded “Honorable Mention” for Outstanding Community Engagement. The program took YOL student percussionists to communities who could not travel to hear performances. They provided outreach to Lubbock assisted-living communities and memory units offering interactive musical percussion circles for residents, their families, and guests. Audience members enjoyed social interaction, music performance and rhythm training while YOL students learned about principles of music therapy and a new understanding of how their music could help others.


In 2017, YOL provided a special multi-media performance for Veteran’s Day. YOL coordinated with military social service programs to invite hundreds of service members and their families from the National Guard and Reserve center. On the day of the concert, the event was standing room only. The audience viewed a poignant video of war memorials while the YOL Symphony Orchestra played a live performance. Upon conclusion, not a dry eye was found in the audience. Honored guests at this concert included veterans of WWII, 102-year-old WAVE Catherine Royalty, Chuck Cromwell, Charles Schmitt, and Nelson Reinsch.  The concert was sponsored in part by City Bank.

In Spring 2018, YOL celebrated the 30th year with a special concert that featured all three orchestras on one stage with a choir performing an original composition by William Linthicum Blackhorse.

During the same season, YOL home school students collaborated with musicians from Midland and Odessa to perform together in the Permian Basin’s famed Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center. The combined student orchestra was conducted by Maestro Benjamin Zander, of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, whom students were able to meet and learn from during the two-day event.

From Fall of 2016 to the Spring of 2019, YOL students provided 10 full-orchestra concerts, recorded a holiday performance for televised broadcast on two television networks, and participated in more than 45 public appearances as YOL Music Ambassadors. YOL students at television station.These YOL Chamber ensemble members and soloists donated time to area non-profit programs,  participated in televised appearances, and performed for Lubbock business-sponsored community events. As YOL Music Ambassadors, students also participated in outreach to area shut-ins and communities in need, performing in rural communities at parades, VFW halls, and various houses of worship.


The culmination of these efforts was realized in July of 2018, when the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock’s most advanced ensemble, the YOL Symphony Orchestra, was notified that the orchestra had been selected to perform at the prestigious National Orchestra Festival in the spring of 2019. The YOL Symphony Orchestra plans to attend and represent Lubbock, the West Texas region, and our State with pride at the festival in Albuquerque, NM during March of 2019.

YOL student rehearsing for concertDonations are needed to continue YOL’s service to the community and help the YOL program continue to provide an exceptional musical education experience as we represent Lubbock on both state and national levels, giving Lubbock youth opportunities that open doors for their future in the arts and showcase the phenomenal education that is available in West Texas — producing students that can perform in YOL at a level on par with some of largest metropolitan music programs in the country. Donations can be submitted online at:



YOL Performs for 4th of July Fireworks Concert – Story from LubbockOnline

Closing 4th on Broadway concert Tuesday spotlights gifted local, national entertainers …. “The concert will lead into a more than 25-minute fireworks extravaganza beginning at 10 p.m. These fireworks are expected to be choreographed to patriotic musical selections performed by Youth Orchestra of Lubbock, conducted by Laurie Williams.” (LubbockOnline, reporter: William Kerns) and KLBK featured the 4th on Broadway event on their broadcast and website in 2018 – See the video.


YOL Member Musician Shines on National Level in “The President’s Own”

YOL Bassoonist Daniel McCarty performs as finalist in the President’s Own United States Marine Band Competition in Washington DC.  (Read the story from Here)

YOL prepares for 30th Anniversary Concert March 4th

The Youth Orchestras of Lubbock will perform their 30th anniversary concert on Sunday, March 4 at 4 p.m. in the Civic Center Theater located at 1501 Mac Davis Lane in Lubbock. The concert will be free and open to the public.

The Prelude Strings Orchestra will perform first under the direction of conductor Kathleen Smith. Music performed by the Prelude group will include “Rondo” by composer Lennie Niehaus, and “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.

Jeremy Isley will lead the YOL Percussionists in a chamber ensemble piece with a jazz theme. Conductor Dr. Ross Ipsen will lead the Philharmonic Orchestra in performance of Merle Isaac’s arrangement of “Farandole” from L’Arlesienne and “Suite No. 2” by Geroges Bizet. The Philharmonic Orchestra will also perform a Slavonic Dance (no. 8) from Dvorak’s “Opus 46”, and Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5”.

The Symphony Orchestra Strings will join Philharmonic Orchestra strings for a collaborative presentation of the string feature “Andante” by Alfonso Leng. Then, the brass and woodwind musicians from the Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras will join to perform the wind ensemble “Burn,” which composer Roland Barrett wrote in dedication to the Dallas Wind Symphony.

The Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Laurie Williams, will perform Mozart’s “Concerto in B-flat major for Bassoon and Orchestra” featuring soloist Daniel McCarty on bassoon. The Lubbock High senior won the honor during the fall concerto competition. The Symphony Orchestra will also perform “Light Calvary Overture” by Franz Suppe, and the fourth movement of Kalinnikov’s “Symphony 1.”

The finale will feature a unique musical score by composer and Texas Tech University student William Linthicum-Blackhorse. Of his work, Linthicum-Blackhorse has said, “It is my hope to bring … all the enjoyment I can to the public world, and not for the sake of my own pursuits, but for the pursuits of ingenuity and culture.”

The piece is unique in that each group is given a chance to shine, he said, which is very exciting for young musicians.

The composition, entitled “Youth Orchestras of Lubbock 30th Anniversary Theme,” will celebrate YOL’s diverse membership from throughout the region who range in age from 7- to 18- years-old. The students from urban and rural public, private and home schools will join together as all three orchestras collaborate to performance with a guest choir with members of the Lubbock Chorale.

“This is the perfect way to celebrate the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock’s 30th anniversary,” Conductor Dr. Laurie Williams said. “It is sure to be an amazing performance that features our best talents and gives the audience a performance that is top-notch while providing the kids a great musical education experience unlike any they have had before.“

Composer William Linthicum-Blackhorse:
YOL Program Director Amber Irlbeck: 806-416-3735
Conductors: Dr. Laurie Williams, Dr. Ross Ipsen, Kathleen Smith & Percussion Specialist Jeremy Isley:

Press Resources:
Composer’s Website

YOL Performs Christmas Concert for Broadcast on TWO Television Networks in 2016.

Two area networks sponsored performances for the YOL orchestras as a gift to the community of West Texas during the holidays in 2016. The performance was taped and produced by Hamil Bros Studios of Lubbock, Texas.

YOL offers thanks to area donors and sponsors:

News about YOL Alum Daniel Bae:

Lubbock Native Daniel Bae wins accolades from Rojas School



History of impact on community from the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock 2010-2015: