The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra has a lengthy history. In 1960, the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music (LACM) inaugurated a curriculum, which included an orchestra for high school students with outstanding musical talent. In 1969, that program became the Youth Orchestra of the School of Music at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts).
In 1985 Cal Arts sponsored the formation of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Foundation to administer and raise funds for the orchestra program. The foundation was established by Dave and Sue Bozman as a non-profit organization October of 1986. In 2011, it celebrated 25 years as an incorporated non-profit entity.
The Foundation is currently led by Elena Chao whose own family has benefitted from participation in this program.
The orchestra moved when College of the Canyons adopted it in January 1989. The program added a successful Prelude Strings program for beginning string musicians in 1996. In 2000, the young orchestra was re-organized further to have intermediate and advanced level orchestras.
The orchestra is artistically led by Dr. Paul Sherman, who oversees all three ensembles.
Many SCVYO students have gone on to prestigious music schools such asEastman School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, University of So. California , Thornton School of Music, Julliard School of Music, Cal Poly School of Music, Curtis School of Music, Tanglewood Summer Institute, & Interlaken. Other students have gone to outstanding colleges & universities, including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkley, UCLA, UCI, Texas State, Northern Arizona University, USC, Cal State Northridge, UCSB, and UCSD, where they continued to be involved in music.