Merida's Yucatan Youth Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenile de Yucatan

Here in Merida we are incredibly fortunate to have a GREAT Symphony.  Add to that the symphony performs in an incredible theatre, el teatro Peon Contreras.

We also are fortunate with a multitude of other musical options - Trova, Salsa, Big Bands, Rock, Techno, HipHop, Pop, etc, etc.

We also have Yucatan Youth Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenile de Yucatan (OSJY, formerly ORJUVE)).

This link will take you to a concert by the ORJUVE 
(video by Erich Briehl, In The Yucatan)  
I invite you to listen to it as you continue to read this post!

the following email message came through a friend, from a friend, trying to stir up more interest in the Youth Symphony, I present it here!

We learned about the Youth Orchestra as part of our involvement with the Central College faculty delegation in January 2012.  During the January 2011 Central College alumni and music department’s visit to Merida, the director of Central’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, name removed, connected with the director of the Yucatan Youth Orchestra, José Luis Chan Sabido.  Subsequently, they began working on ways their music students and others could work collaboratively to build mutually beneficial intercultural relationships and exchanges.  The 2012 faculty delegation brought instruments donated and refurbished by Iowans and presented these in a ceremony which culminated with an interchange of performances by Central faculty member and professional clarinetist Cynthia Doggett and members of the Youth Orchestra.

Recently, we attended another performance by the Youth Orchestra at the Peon Contreras.  At the end of the concert the director announced future events including a guest performer from the USA.  We spoke to him afterward and he excitedly exclaimed, “Cindy is coming back to perform with us!”  In January, Cindy had asked the director, “What do you most need to develop your program?” and his response was, “Professional musicians like you who would be willing to spend time with our youth and inspire them.”  He had explained previously that many of these youth come from rural environments where they have had no opportunity to experience an awareness of classical music tradition and the role music could play in their intellectual, psychosocial and spiritual development.  

These kids are really amazing and way better than any US high school (or even some college) events we’ve attended.  Their quality and professionalism are impressive.  It is hard to believe that some of them have only been playing for three years.  Their temporada (performance season) runs from February through July and they prepare for each concert in only 4-5 rehearsals, just like a professional symphony orchestra.  You can find a link to their concert schedule on the Yucatan government cultura website ( ). Look for the  Orjuve OSJY (Sistema Estatal de Orquestas Juveniles de Yucatán) logo.

The next Youth Orchestra concert will be Thursday, March 22 at 9pm with a repeat performance on Saturday, March 24 at 8pm.  Both of these events take place at the Peon Contreras and feature Cynthia Doggett on clarinet. Admission is free, general seating.