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No.: PR1588
TITLE: Edmonton Youth Orchestra Association fonds
CREATOR: Edmonton Youth Orchestra Association
DATE RANGE: 1965-1993
EXTENT: 0.47 m of textual records and other materials.
Includes 14 photographs, 1 poster and 1 audio cassette.

In 1952, Keith Bissell, who was the supervisor of music for the Edmonton Public School Board, was approached by members of the Edmonton Symphony Society to form a youth orchestra in Edmonton, Alberta. This youth orchestra was known over the years by a number of names, including the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, the Edmonton Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Junior Symphony Orchestra, but in 1970 it became the Edmonton Youth Orchestra (EYO).

The orchestra sought to foster a love of serious music, to afford promising instrumentalists opportunities for playing together and gaining orchestral experience, and to serve the Edmonton area community through public performances. The EYO was closely associated with the Edmonton Symphony Society, and operated with assistance from the Women’s Committee of the Edmonton Symphony Society. Later, the affairs of the orchestra were overseen by members’ parents and other interested persons, often known as the Edmonton Youth Orchestra Parents’ Committee, who worked closely with the conductor and orchestra manager.

Until 1978, the EYO and its management functioned as part of the Edmonton Symphony Society. On February 16, 1978, the Edmonton Youth Orchestra Parents’ Association was incorporated under the Societies Act, therefore establishing the Edmonton Youth Orchestra and its Association as an organization independent from the Edmonton Symphony Society, though the EYO maintained close links with the Symphony Society.

In 1987, the name of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra Parents’ Association was changed to Edmonton Youth Orchestra Association.

The Edmonton Youth Orchestra Association celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2017. As of 2020, The Association supports two symphony orchestras, the Intermediate Youth Orchestra and the Senior Youth Orchestra, and provides training to over 150 students ages 11 to 24.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds consists of the records of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra and Edmonton Youth Orchestra Association and includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, orchestra member lists, programs and pamphlets, festival performance remarks, award certificates, financial statements, minutes, reports, newsletters, and an audio recording of reminiscences of Keith Bissell, the first EYO conductor.
RELATED RECORDS: See also the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Associates fonds (PR1425), the Edmonton Symphony Society fonds (PR0014) and the Symphony Women's Education Assistance fonds (PR2900) at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the administrative history is from the records and from the Edmonton Youth Orchestra website, [accessed January 24, 2020].
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