Community Engagement Initiatives

GDYO strives to serve and engage the community in ways that are welcoming to all young musicians and their families. Increased efforts and resources are directed towards encouraging diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in order to truly engage GDYO’s local community and enable GDYO and its participants to thrive outside the walls of The Sammons Center and the stage of the Meyerson.

Capacity-Building within Dallas Independent School District Music Programs

GDYO provides subsidized programming within DISD music programs, comprised of private and in-class musical instruction, music teacher mentorships, and donations of essential music supplies. The partnership between DISD and GDYO was established with the goal of addressing an array of challenges on the DISD horizon.
Throughout the 17-18 school year, programming was held within music programs at Kramer and Anne Frank Elementary Schools. In just one year, the program yielded significant, measurable success, and per the request of DISD leadership, GDYO expanded significantly for the 18-19 school year.
Now, GDYO’s efforts have expanded to offer many diverse elements of assistance, geared toward capacity-building within each music program to address short term issues and promote long term growth and improvements.
Long-term (5 – 8 month) weekly intensives at both Kramer and Anne Frank Elementary Schools are offered again this school year (18 – 19), while concurrently expanding to Franklin Middle School. Each location includes the following capacity-building initiatives:

  • Teacher support – lesson plans, conducting techniques, class management, etc.,
  • Music supplies – books and ancillary items such as shoulder rests, resin, etc.,
  • Student private lessons – 30 minute, small-group coaching,
  • Other focus-areas depending on the limitations of the schools.

Short-term capacity building offerings include two-hour, in-class jazz or classical conducting workshops by the GDYO conducting staff at 5 – 10 area high schools benefitting an estimated 2,000 students in the 18-19 season.

Community Collaborations and Performances

In addition to a GDYO Jazz presence in the DISD, a rebrand of GDYO’s Jazz program took place prior to the 18-19 season, and local jazz artist, composer, and educator, Kris Berg, was appointed as GDYO’s Jazz Program Director. This change has sparked exciting programming opportunities and choices that are furthering GDYO’s desire to strengthen and expand its community engagement initiatives beyond GDYO traditions, and move towards collaborations that address community needs – including diversity and
accessibility. With an intentional approach to venue selection and partnerships, GDYO is out in the community more than ever! Already in the 18-19 season, GDYO Jazz has performed concerts at the Shakespeare Dallas Winter Faire and Festival, Moody Performance Hall, and the Dallas Public Library, with many more community driven performances to come!

Community Engagement Press

Theater Jones 5/15/2019

Park Cities People 4/23/2019

“…GDYO offered excellent programming that was led by Susan Younghans, the conductor of GDYO’s two youngest ensembles. Without this program, our students generally wouldn’t have much access to private lessons, which has improved their musicality dramatically. Further, (our teachers) received enhanced lesson plans, new classroom management techniques, and assistance with navigating the administrative landscape at both schools. Indeed, our schools benefited greatly from the positive impact GDYO’s programming had on both our teachers and the students. Consequently, we are now working toward increasing the number of schools visited by GDYO, and expanding services at schools for the next year.“

Dimas Delgado
Director, Instrumental Music, Dallas Independent School District