YONA, now a full orchestra

On Monday, May 1, all 75 of our students played their instruments together for the first time this year. 

Since YONA’s very beginning, we’ve dreamt of having a full orchestra, with strings, percussion, woodwinds and brass. We always said that this would happen in 2017 – our full orchestra would finally exist. 

This past Monday—almost four years to the day from when we decided to launch the program—we heard that full orchestra for the very first time. The students rehearsed the first 60 bars of this year’s YONA Medley, which they will perform side-by-side with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at Road to Joy on June 13. For those 45 minutes of rehearsal, we joined together in the beauty of orchestral music – from a tiny 7-year old violinist to a 13-year old French Horn player to Ms. Ruth, a volunteer helping keep our percussionists on track, we were all part of this truly magical moment.  


As I played in the cello section during this rehearsal, I was overwhelmed with pride. Not only for the students and the staff, but for all of you who have supported us and shared in our vision all along. This accomplishment is one to celebrate together, because each of you has contributed to making it happen. Thanks to you, our students and our program have come so far in the past four years, and we only have further to go in the future!

Thank you for dreaming this dream with us. I can’t wait for you to see and hear our YONA orchestra at Road to Joy this year.

Post by Alyssa Paterson, YONA Manager

Post by Alyssa Paterson, YONA Manager

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