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BYOC is not currently accepting auditions
If you are interested in joining BYOC, please email us with your name, contact information and instrument. We will contact you when auditions open up for next season.
The Billings Youth Orchestra and Chorale was established in September 2006 to improve the range and quality of orchestral opportunities for Billings’ youth. It is a privately funded, non-profit organization, modeled after similar youth orchestras found across the country. The program is open by audition to all area students, from preschool to college, including home schoolers and students from outlying rural schools.
Since its inception, the BYOC has expanded rapidly, creating a comprehensive program of orchestral education. Currently we have three orchestras and a chorale, tailored for a broad range of abilities, from very young beginners to advanced high school and college students. As BYOC members improve their skills, they advance from one orchestra to the next. At the highest level, we strive to prepare students for membership in a professional orchestra, such as the Billings Symphony.
The Billings Youth Orchestra and Chorale is becoming a magnet for the best young musicians in our region. Considering the talent and dedication of those musicians (and their conductors), and the enthusiastic support of our community, the BYOC is destined to become a source of civic pride for Billings, and a core cultural institution for this part of Montana.
The Billings Youth Orchestra (BYO) provides the opportunity for individual growth of musically talented youth through training and performance of the highest quality.
The BYO endeavors to develop pride and confidence in young people from all cultural backgrounds through their individual musical achievement, and to instill values through musical experiences.
The BYO aspires to perpetuate support for professional classical music by enriching local culture and developing future musicians for major orchestras.
Preludio Strings – Barbara Kirk has always lived a life immersed in music. During high school and college she studied with master violin teacher Creech Reynolds and played in the Bozeman Symphony. She has played in backup orchestras for Red Skelton, Glen Campbell, and Tom Jones to name but a few. She has her bachelors degree in music from MSU-Billings and her masters degree in teaching from Grand Canyon University. She taught elementary music for 22 years in the public schools in Hardin and Laurel. She presently teaches at the Montana Music Institute in Billings in the summer, and plays in the Powell, Bozeman, Billings, and Great Falls Symphonies.
Concert Orchestra – Betsy Rivers has a background in both piano and violin. She held concertmaster positions in her high school and at Red Lodge Music Festival before touring Italy with the Festival Strings of Montana in 2005. Betsy has been a member of the Rimrock Opera Company Orchestra and Billings Symphony since 2005, and became Assistant Principal of the second violin section in 2009. Additionally she performs with Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Powell, and Casper orchestras. Betsy has also performed with Wynona Judd, Kansas, Mannheim Steamroller, Anne Murray, Christopher Cross, and Le Ann Rimes (Summer 2010). She recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Montana State University Billings in 2010, with a degree in business administration and management and a minor in music. Betsy is actively engaged in her class of violin students and also plays on the worship team at Harvest Church.
Young Artists Orchestra- Ryan Hennessy is a recent graduate of the University of Montana and our newest conductor. More information will follow soon. We are very excited to welcome Ryan into our BYOC family!
2013-0325-whiteshirt-8x10Repertory Orchestra – Richele Sitton has been a music educator in Billings for the past 20 years. While beginning her career directing choirs at Castle Rock Middle School, Ms. Sitton has been Director of Orchestras at Billings Senior High School since 1999. Additionally, she teaches elementary strings at 3 elementary schools. Ms. Sitton directs the Honor Chamber Orchestra and is thrilled to be making her debut as the director of the Billings Youth Orchestra’s Repertory Orchestra. In addition to a private string bass studio, Ms. Sitton runs a summer string program and is an instructor at the Montana Music Institute. Ms. Sitton is the Principal Bassist with the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Rimrock Opera Company. She is also the Personnel Manager for both organizations.