In 1992 Bakersfield Symphony string players Barbara Byers and Rebecca Brooks approached conductor John Farrer with a proposal for reorganizing the orchestra under Symphony sponsorship. Bakersfield College agreed to include the new group in their Community Services Program with the conductor serving as an adjunct professor. By the second season, the group was fully organized with a constitution and bylaws, board of directors, and paid conductor and manager. Conductors have included local music instructor Robert Wolfersberger, California State University Northridge professor David Aks, and Tomasz Golka of Ball State University.
The very talented Maxim Eshkenazy conducts this enthusiastic group of young people in a three-concert season. The BYSO remains an affiliated group of the Bakersfield Symphony, operating under its board of directors with able assistance from manager Alex Navarro, parents, Symphony coaches, and private teachers. Funding is provided by corporate and private contributions, player tuition, and ticket sales.
The Bakersfield Youth Symphony seeks to serve the accomplished young musicians of the community, as well as providing another source of musical enjoyment for those who are interested in fine music.
Membership in the Bakersfield Youth Symphony enriches the musician’s musical skill by performing great symphonic literature with some of Kern County’s finest young musicians. Musicians of this caliber can be truly proud of their musical accomplishments. The Bakersfield Youth Symphony Board of Directors is excited to encourage such a fine group of young talent who are not only an important component of Bakersfield’s cultural life but the future leaders for our musical community.