SAN ANTONIO – The Big Give, a 24-hour online fundraiser for local nonprofits, is underway and one of the organizations taking part in the event is the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, or YOSA.
“YOSA is a program that changes kids lives through music and our goal is to give kids experiences that give them a bigger sense of their own potential,” Troy Peters, music director at YOSA said.
Since 2018, YOSA has been participating in the Big Give, raising money to help support their programs and their scholarships.
“Our donors make it possible for us to award financial aid, so that anybody who wants to be involved can afford this program and they also just underwrite all of the costs. Although there is tuition for our families, we try to keep it as modest as possible, so that these kids can play at the Tobin Center and travel all over the world and have all kinds of great musical experiences,” Peters said.
YOSA has nearly 500 students in its year-round orchestra program and it serves hundreds more annually through all of their programming.
“We have a summer camp every year that reaches hundreds more kids to introduce them, from elementary school kids having their first musical experiences through the best mariachi musicians and orchestra musicians and band musicians in the city. We have a composition program. We partner with some schools to help them have additional resources for their music programs,” Peters said.
YOSA hosts five concerts a year at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and connects many young musicians together.
Braeden Hager, 12, joined YOSA over a year ago.
“One of my favorite things about YOSA is the YOSA Palooza, which is a huge concert at the end of the year, where I get to play with kids my age,” Hager said.
Hager enjoys playing the violin and is excited to learn more.
“It was difficult to start off, but once I got it started, it was pretty, it was pretty fun,” Hager said.