...The FYO pretty much made me who I am today!
Welcome to our alumni page. The Fairbanks Youth Orchestras have brought together hundreds of children and teens since the inception in 1968. If you are an alum, and would like to share your story of your experience in the Fairbanks Youth Orchestras, please let us know. We would love to hear where you are now, whether you pursued music or another career.
Riley Witte, oboe, Youth SymphonyWell, I think you know that the FYO pretty much made me who I am today! Specifically, the mentoring of George, Candy, and Dr. Zilberkant (among others)... it was hugely important in my personal development and teenage years. Also, I wouldn't be in Russia now if it weren't for FYO. I failed the Spanish placement test when I got to college and randomly decided to study Russian because I liked Rachmaninoff! The FYO taught me a ton about music, group work, and communication. Playing in the wind section was probably the best preparation for college and working life that I had; giving me responsibility and teaching me that hard work pays off. Also, there was no shortage of role models in the FYO community. As a young player, I was in awe of the musicians older than me. Then, when I grew older I had to live up to their example and take a leading role. Basically, for me the FYO was a community and a very positive identity that put me on a good path and helped me to become the person I am today. Though I haven't kept up my music since college coursework made playing impractical, I hope to start playing again soon, and if I have children I will definitely encourage them to play in an orchestra.