Music Since 1975!
THE SUNSET YEARS
1975 - The Sunset Symphony is born
Co-founded by Dr. Barry Barkin and Dr. Harold Boyce
An after-school program for outstanding classical instrumentalists
for the Clark County School District (CCSD.)
String Coordinator of CCSD
Director of the Sunset Symphony through 1987.
1981 – The Symphony travels to Flagstaff to perform & hike with instruments into the 1 – mile marker at the Grand Canyon and played there, on a ledge in 90 degree heat.
1983 – 58-piece symphony orchestra travels to Suffern, NY(north of New York City); programs expands to include 130 students in three graduated steps: “Beginning” (B), “Sunset Intermediate” (A) and “Sunset Symphony” (Advanced) levels.
1984 – The orchestra program is recognized by ASTA (American String Teachers Association) as a national model program.
Sunset Symphony Program
November 15, 1984
Senior High School Honor Orchestra
Sunset Symphony Program
December 13, 1984
1985 – Now with 92 strings
the orchestra travels to Mexico City and competes in the
Fiesta Musicale Mexicana
(International Youth Orchestra Competition)
and wins the Bronze Medal
Director Mike Allard triumphs in a bullfight!
1986 – New Orleans on the Mississippi River
Performance on the “President”
the largest and most prestigious of all riverboats
in its’ 400 foot ballroom
and performed jazz concerts with the
New Orleans All-City (Youth) Orchestra.
rehearses and performs
at the old Showboat Hotel
1986 - The Symphony performs
for over 500 guests at the
Allied Arts Council’s Masque Ball Fundraiser
Spring Concert – Received national recognition with a commendation for excellence in education with business partnerships from US Secretary of Education, William Bennett, including personal thanks from President Reagan.
1987 – Mid-April, the Symphony takes their “big trip” to Hawaii
to perform at the Waikiki Shell and at Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center.
Mike Allard leaves Las Vegas
In an exit interview with Hank Greenspun, Allard asks Las Vegas to "look out for his program" because the students were going to need all the help they could get to continue their pursuits.
He wistfully states that he wishes they could have toured the Orient.
1988 – Friends of the Sunset Symphony (non-profit) incorporates. Mike Allard receives an invitation to conduct at Carnegie Hall for Isaac Stern’s Foundation (ISF). The 100+ symphony was one of the first to perform there. ISG was Stern’s dream to save the historic Carnegie Hall by creating a “debut house” and invite the best and brightest to play. The City of Las Vegas forms a partnership with the Sunset Symphony. The Symphony starts rehearsing at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center.
1988 - Orchestra trip to San Diego Ca photos
1991 – The program’s name is changed to
Las Vegas Youth Orchestras (LVYO).
LVYO develops into four tiered orchestra groups.
1997 - Orchestra trip to Flagstaff AZ photos
2002 – LVYO’s First significant fundraiser occurs at Spring Mountain Ranch with Super Summer Theatre
2005 – Orchestra program is awarded a grant for a set of four new timpani from Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. LVYO’s two top orchestras are granted a residency by the touring National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) based in Washington, D.C., accomplished through collaboration with the Las Vegas Philharmonic.
2006 – The Youth Philharmonic (Directed by Karl Reinarz) collaborates with Tucson Youth Philharmonia (Directed by Suzette Battan) in a side-by-side concert of Bolero by Ravel,
performed onstage by over 200 young musicians. LVYO is awarded its first grant from the Nevada Arts Council.
2007 – LVYO’s concert program, logo, and promotional campaign undergo a facelift, thanks to the state arts council’s grant support.
2008 – Youth Philharmonic (Directed by Charles A. Jackson) launches its inaugural tour overseas to Salzburg, Vienna and Prague – performing at world-class venues with a 55-piece orchestra. LVYO participates in “Daniel Pearl World Music Days” a global network of music celebrations during the month of October. Musicians around the world join “Harmony for Humanity” – a tribute event to Daniel Pearl and his belief in the power of music to tear down walls and build bridges among all people. (This tribute becomes an annual tradition for LVYO’s fall concerts.)
2009 – Nevada Arts Council award LVYO the 29th Annual Governor’s Arts Award in Leadership in Arts Education. The State of Nevada shows the first signs of economic duress and executes a sweep of deep budget cuts which affect arts and education. The Youth Philharmonic transitions to an independent entity operated and funded by their non-profit, Friends of Las Vegas Youth Orchestras, now incurring financial responsibly of staff positions. New structure entails appointment of Executive Director position, instructional staff of LVYO’s three other groups continues to be subsidized by the school district. Fund-raising for Tour 2011 commences.
2010 – The nation and state of Nevada are caught in the web of an economic recession. Further state budget cuts require LVYO to change strategies for future survival. Additional collaborations and partners with community become essential components to forge vision and paths of longevity into reality.
2011 – The Youth Philharmonic goes to China for their second overseas tour. What was once a dream for Dr. Allard the Youth Orchestras – now becomes reality!
2012 – The Las Vegas Youth Orchestras hosts a summer Brass Boot Camp with guest artist Sam Pilafian and J. D. Shaw.
2013 – The Las Vegas Youth Orchestras receives a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and brings in artist Alpin Hong to facilitate and performs a concert at the Henderson Pavilion. The Summer Brass Boot Camp is brought back after a successful first year.
2014 – Without an Executive Director in place, the board stepped in to run the daily operations to better understand the position needs and what qualifications will be needed to re-organize and excel the programming.
2015 – The Board fills the vacancy of the Executive Director with Doug Van Gilder, former finance and orchestra manager for the Las Vegas Philharmonic.