The Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) is thrilled to announce that it has embarked on its first-ever European Tour, which began on June 12. This marks a significant milestone for the ASYO, providing a unique and transformative experience for over 60 of the finest young musicians from Western North Carolina.

The ASYO program, renowned for its comprehensive music education, serves over 200 student-musicians across Western North Carolina and consists of two string orchestras, two symphony orchestras, and a percussion ensemble. It offers masterclasses, retreats, workshops, tours, and social events, alongside high-quality music instruction from some of the region’s most esteemed professional conductors and musicians. Through their involvement in ASYO, students develop a strong sense of discipline, increased confidence, and a profound appreciation for music and the arts.

The European Tour will take ASYO students to the culturally rich cities of Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague. The tour includes performances in two historic venues: the Theatre Bad Reichenhall, in Reichenhall, Germany; and the Culture House Novodvorska in Prague, Czechia. This journey will immerse students in the rich musical heritage of these iconic cities, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform internationally and experience new cultures.

General Manager of the ASYO Cynthia Roop shares the inspiration behind this monumental tour: “AYSO Music Director Dr. Dee and I wanted to provide an unforgettable experience for the students of the ASYO. I am most excited for our students to be immersed in other cultures and experience the overwhelming power of travel and performance. They will get to perform in two beautiful venues while in Europe. This experience will be a lifelong memory for our students.”

The opportunity was open to any Concert and Youth Philharmonic Student, including those who graduated from the program last year. Roop hopes that the students will gain an appreciation for other cultures, have a rich, deep experience with music and performance, and create lasting memories. She also hopes this trip will inspire them to continue making music and exploring the world.

A number of generous donors helped make sure the ASYO European Tour was possible. Thanks to the incredible support from the community, the ASYO not only met its fundraising goals to cover most tour expenses, but it also provided each participating ASYO member with a scholarship to help make the experience more affordable.

“I can’t wait to see the students explore the various places we will visit in Europe. I look forward to sharing in their excitement and enthusiasm as they experience a completely different culture,” says Roop. “I hope this trip inspires them to continue to excel in music.”

The Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra’s European Tour promises to be a landmark event for the program, fostering a deeper connection to music and culture for its young participants. This tour is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the ASYO community, showcasing the extraordinary talent and spirit of Asheville’s young musicians.