Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra performing in Disney Hall


*Dr. Paul Sherman, Artistic Director and Symphony of the Canyons Conductor, resigned December 2017, after an illustrious 34-year career with the SCVYO.  He began as a high school student oboist in the Symphony in 1984 and stayed on as the winds coach while earning his Bachelor of Music Degree at Cal Arts.  He led the Orchestra for many years, honing is conducting skills while pursuing his Doctorate of Music at USC.  Paul took up the baton for the Symphony and became the SCVYO Foundation Artistic Director when Robert Lawson resigned from the position in the mid-2000s. 

Dr. Sherman has been a teacher, mentor and visionary for the growth of the SCVYO, keeping classical music alive and relevant for the students we serve, the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding communities.  Paul has recently been granted a tenured professorship at another community college which necessitated his departure.  The SCVYO is indebted to his dedication, commitment and belief that classical music is for everyone and his tireless striving to make that a reality for the hundreds of students he has served over the past three decades.  The Board of Directors, Artistic Staff, Students and Alumni wish him well in his future endeavors.  Dr. Sherman will be missed as a friend, colleague and beloved teacher. 

Derrick Spiva, MFA, accomplished composer, educator and conductor of the SCVYO Orchestra, has been appointed by the Board as the Artistic Director of the SCVYO Foundation.  We remain committed to our mission of providing students with exemplary musical education and performance opportunities and will continue to do so through this transitional time of change and growth.   



Dr. Paul J. Sherman enjoys a varied career as aconductor, oboist and musicologist. He performs on both modern and baroque period instruments, enjoys a career with many different musical branches. His doctorate in performance, conducting, early music and music history is from USC where he was honored as the Universities top wind graduate.  

Dr. Sherman is currently on faculty at Glendale Community College as a professor  music history and world music at Glendale Community College. 

As a performer he has played in the with the LA. Chamber Orchestra, LA Master Choral, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Santa Barbara Opera, Southwest Chamber Music and Music Angelica among many others.

Teaching Philosophy:

The SCVYO family of orchestras strives to provide the highest quality music education in the greater Los Angeles area.  We do this by providing the finest staff, with a combined teaching experience of more than 45 years and seven graduate level degrees. 

This set of ensembles takes the beginning musician through advanced players, laying a solid foundation of correct instrumental technique, rehearsal etiquette, and practice technique.  Students will graduate from the program knowing how to prepare music to the highest level. 

We do this by firmly but reasonably demanding a commitment to a very high level of performance.  This means that the ensembles become a part of your life.  You will meet like-minded, musical and intellectual friends that you will have for life.

The SCVYO attracts the best and brightest students from the area, and virtually all of them graduate to prestigious 4-year universities.  These include, Julliard, the New England Conservatory, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, USC, and UCLA among others.  Being an orchestral musician teaches commitment, higher brain function, critical thinking, interpersonal skills and provides a love of the arts for life.  This is not an easy path, but it will be one of the most rewarding commitments a young musician will ever make.